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Post Info TOPIC: What to use on wood (decks, fences, etc)?


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Date: Feb 10, 2011
What to use on wood (decks, fences, etc)?
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I've been asked about cleaning decks and fences and to be honest, I'm terrified of cleaning them! I cleaned my parents when I first got into pressure washing and it looked mediocre, at best. I was using sunbrite supply's chems and probably using them wrong, and probably using a bit too much pressure. I had similarly bad experiences with two other projects that I just wasn't happy with overall.

What chems should I be using for best results? I am reading a lot about Sodium Hydroxide and then Ox to neutralize, would this be a good choice? Prior to reading that, someone told me to use Sodium Hypochlorite, soap and water. The results weren't very good.

If I had to strip a deck of a previous sealer, would I use a wood stripper and then some other form of cleaner AFTER the stripping, or would I use only the stripped, allow to dry and then prep for sealing?

Thanks for any help.

-Confused wannabe wood cleaner

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Date: Feb 10, 2011
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Wood care is not something you can "learn" on a forum. You can get some basic info (like you have) but much comes with actual hands on experience and being able to evaluate what you're trying to accomplish. They are more time consuming with much more room for error than roofs - and until you are good at them, not nearly as profitable.

There is something that you do have to make sure of in the state of Maryland and that is having a MHIC license if you are going to be staining. And trust me when I tell you, you don't want to be caught doing that up there. You have some serious, heavy hitters doing wood in Maryland and they work hard to keep their licensing up. Some won't hesitate to turn you in.

We'd be more than happy to talk with you about what you want to know - it's waaayyyy too much to type :)

Celeste


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guest

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Date: Feb 10, 2011
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Hi Celeste, I do know about the MHIC license, which is why I don't clean or stain wood at all. I have the application to complete, but haven't done so yet because as I mentioned, I'm terrified and afraid of screwing up someones property! The projects I mentioned were friends/family and my own property.


Thanks for the information and if you don't mind, I will call you one day to learn more from you?


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Absolutely :)

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Premium Member Roof Cleaning Institute of America Certified Roof Cleaning Specialist

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Alot of companies who sell chemicals will either give vague or incomplete instructions, or no instructions at all for liability purposes. Sodium hydroxide is a good deck stripper and the ox will brighten it up. Sometimes a good strentgh SH on a greying wood fence may be all it needs to brighten it up. I've gotten good results on some pretty cruddy decks and fences with downstreamed sh and a little soap.

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Most wood cleaners are oxylic acid or sodium percarbonate (oxyclean but stronger).

I would advise against sodium hydroxide as it is far to easy to hurt yourself and the wood with it when you don't know what you're doing.
I would also advise against sodium hypochlorite as it will eat away at some woods fibers and bleach the wood to much.


Here is an example5162237218_cfe3481693.jpg

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Matthew C Perry
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Roof Cleaning, Pressure Washing, Paver Cleaning and Restoration
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Premium Member Roof Cleaning Institute Of America Certified Roof Cleaning Specialist-MODERATOR

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Date: Feb 10, 2011
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I am by no means a pro at cleaning wood but we do get requests for it from time to time. I normally use a solution of Sodium Hydroxide, Dawn or Ammonyx Lo and a small ammount of 12.5%. Depending on the condition of the wood I either DS it or run it straight through my roof pump to apply it. washing it all down is normally done with a fine tip using a lower lower PSI.

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guest

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Larry, that one big deck turned out beautifully!

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Date: Feb 11, 2011
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We use sodium hydroxide and precarboate to clean the wood,( pump up sprayer) it will remove the old sealer and then rinse with a very low pressure( COLD).  The hydroxide will turn the wood to a blackish color, so  then appy oxlic acid to bring back the natural wood color.. just spray on and leave it...  stain the following day.. 
if you are staining the wood SH is not a good cleaner it will soften the wood fibers and the stain will not absorb correct.. Mike sullivan has a few post here to explain in detail on how to clean wood properly..
hope this helps

@Larry nice looking deck my friend

Dave

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guest

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Date: Feb 11, 2011
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Thanks for all of the information, everyone.

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Extreme Cleaning Solutions (410) 980-1053
Phil Rogers
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Click Here for an Instant Quote
Roof Cleaning and Pressure Washing in Anne Arundel County, and Howard County, Maryland


Premium Member Roof Cleaning Institute of America Certified Roof Cleaning Specialist

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Date: Feb 11, 2011
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Roof Cleaning Missouri 417-230-8103 wrote:
We use sodium hydroxide and precarboate to clean the wood,( pump up sprayer) it will remove the old sealer and then rinse with a very low pressure( COLD).  The hydroxide will turn the wood to a blackish color, so  then appy oxlic acid to bring back the natural wood color.. just spray on and leave it...  stain the following day.. 

if you are staining the wood SH is not a good cleaner it will soften the wood fibers and the stain will not absorb correct.. Mike sullivan has a few post here to explain in detail on how to clean wood properly..
hope this helps

@Larry nice looking deck my friend

Dave


I don't recommend using more than a 1% sodium hydroxide solution for cleaning bare wood because it will soften the wood fibers too much like sodium hypochlorite does.

Here's a few examples of my work.

 



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Premium Member Roof Cleaning Institute of America

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Date: Aug 22, 2015
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Hey guys, i havent been able to get a hold of pure S hydroxide.. has anyone ever used a drain opener/unclogger crystals on wood? Msds states it has about 30-40% S hydroxide..

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