Here you can find frequently asked questions and answers regarding the products from Speedheater. If you cannot find the answer to your particular question here, you are always more than welcome to contact us and we will return with an answer as soon as possible.
Speedheater IR System
The Speedheater™ works well on both exterior wood such as siding, window trim and porches and on interior woodwork such as baseboards, doors, windows, floors, and cabinets. Proper ventilation is needed when you work inside.
Close all doors and all but one window. Place a window fan in this open window to pull the paint (not lead!) fumes outdoors.
Lead in paint turns into invisible, toxic fumes at 900-1000℉. Using a very specific infrared wave length, the Speedheater™ does its job very differently and with the paint only at 400-600℉. Lead fumes are not created at this low temperature. The wave length is not harmful to the eyes; it is the same as what the embers of an open fire emit.
Wearing heat-protective gloves, eye protection, and a respirator or dust mask is recommended. Lead paint debris must be thoroughly contained and carefully disposed of. For more information about how to follow Lead-Safe Work Practices in the US, visit: https://www.epa.gov/lead. For other countries, always follow laws and regulations regarding hazardous waste.
They quickly heat varnish, oil-based, latex, acrylic, or plastic paint. They do not work on shellac, milk paint, or stain.
Speedheater™ was designed to work on wood. It is also effective on metal window bars and sheet metal painted with oil-based paint. On plaster and sheetrock, the paint may soften but the scraping may damage the surface. The Speedheater™ is less effective on thicker metal, marble, concrete and other stonework as the heat tends to dissipate into these. On brick, the paint may separate from most of the surface, but the brick’s uneven surfaces make complete scraping the soft paint difficult and damaging to the scraper blades. For most of these non-wood applications, we recommend environmentally-friendly chemical strippers.
A. Area stripped: The Speedheater™ Standard 1100 heats a 3” x 10” area evenly with only one application. The specific infrared wave lengths used in the Speedheater™ heat only what is directly in front of the heat source. They do not heat the surrounding area. Heat guns blow super hot air unevenly across a strip only several inches wide. The heat gun has to be in constant motion which makes it difficult to control where and for how long the paint is heated.
B. Paint temperature required to make the paint bubble: The Speedheater™ infrared rays need only to heat the paint to 400-600℉ to separate the bottom layer of paint from the wood. Heat guns must heat paint from the top down to 1000℉ to make it bubble for scraping.
C. Risk of fire: The blowing hot air of heat guns goes between and under boards and into crevices where dust and debris can easily ignite. The high heat penetrates onto the reverse side of the wood and into the materials behind the wood. Undetected from the surface, these can catch fire later after the stripping is done. The infrared rays create heat only in the upper portion of the wood and in the paint. They are not pushing heated air. The rays do not heat the back side of the wood or behind it.
D. Operator skill: The infrared bulbs of the Speedheater™ evenly heat paint in one application to a lower temperature. It requires less operator skill to safely monitor the heating. Using the Speedheater™ pull scrapers one can quickly remove all the paint layers down to the bare wood in a few, long strokes. Heat gun operators traditionally use dull putty scrapers. Push scraping at the correct angle with each stroke is difficult. Reheating and rescraping is often necessary to remove the paint thoroughly. Without experience, it is easy to mar the wood using these common tools.