“The Sponge Bath Best Option” by Ray (Spanish Fork, UT)

While working for an industrial roofing contractor on the west coast, spraying asphalt emulsion (water based tar) with a fiber glass binder onto industrial roofs, the material had to be sprayed to the very edge of the building. A half piece of quarter inch plywood was pulled along the outside edge while the Sprayman would run along behind the board and put down a layer of material. This sealed the edge of the roof. The purpose of the board was to shield anything over the edge from being over sprayed like equipment, materials, cars, etc. Occasionally a breeze would come up and the person holding the plywood was completely at the mercy of the wind and got covered by the overspray blowing back onto them.

It made them appear to be a tar baby. It coated everything it touched; ears, hair, eyes, clothes, everything. The overspray would set up in seconds and then have to be scrubbed off. The problem was it couldn’t be removed with soap and water, but only with hand cleaner which was extremely slow and not very efficient, or a sponge bath in a five gallon can with about a gallon of gas in it. Since we worked from dawn to dark and dinner was suspended until after cleanup, spending a lot of time to cleanup was not desirable for a hungry crew, so the sponge bath became the best option.