Cherokee Nation Cuts Fumes and Labor Costs With Soy-based Paint Stripper and Mastic Remover

Too Good To Be True?

Chuck Studie applies SOYGel™ paint remover at a Cherokee Nation facility. Staff have used the product to remove at least 10 coats of old paint from cinder block walls. They appreciated the lack of fumes with the product that let them complete the project in only two days instead of the traditional two weeks of work.Gary Cantrell, health facilities maintenance manager at the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma, read about the effectiveness of BEAN•e•doo®, a biobased mastic remover, in a trade magazine and he thought to himself, “That’s gotta be a lie, but I gotta try it anyway.”

Gary and his crew needed to take up black mastic from a floor in one of their hospital’s ear, nose and throat clinics to install carpet. “We have no idea what this black stuff is, but from past experience with it, we know it has to come up or it will bleed right into any new carpet we put down. We’ve tried everything we can to remove it chemically without any luck, and the only way we were able to get it up is by literally scraping the stuff off the concrete and that took hours of hard work,” he says.

And with BEAN•e•doo? “It took two coats and overnight, but it came up completely. I’m perfectly satisfied with the way it worked. It saved my crew lots of time and some very hard work,” he states.

In fact, he was so pleased with the mastic remover that he decided to use another of the manufacturer’s biobased products, SOYGel™ paint remover, on another recent project. 
“This was the basement room of a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. The facility was constructed back in the 1930s, and the cinder block walls had to have at least 10 coats of paint on them. I budgeted four weeks for my crew to complete the entire job, figuring it would take two work weeks to get the old paint off the walls,” he explains.

“We put the soy strip on and in 20 minutes that old paint was literally running off the walls. We finished the paint stripping part of the project in just two days. Sure the product cost a little more, but we more than made that cost up in labor savings,” he says.

“It was all water-based and oil-based paint so we didn’t have to worry about lead, but this product really amazed my crew and me,” he concludes. 

Gary pointed out that the lack of fumes associated with these soy-based products is particularly important since his work is in health facilities. “We have to be very conscious of patient comfort and safety,” he says.  “These products will let us do our job whenever we need to without bothering anyone.  When it comes to waste disposal, it takes no special handling. Because there are no harsh chemicals, we can just handle it the same way we would the paint itself.” 

In total, Gary is in charge of maintenance for 11 health facilities in ten communities in the Cherokee Nation in Northeast Oklahoma. The facilities range from new hospitals like the one in Salina to older ones like the Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Center mentioned above.

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