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Post Info TOPIC: How do you soft wash a deck?


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How do you soft wash a deck?
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I have been getting some request for deck cleaning lately when I go out on a roof cleaning estimate. I have been staying clear of these jobs because I was told that it is an involved process that would require pressure washing. For those that do soft wash decks, could you give me a rundown on the process and chemicals used? I hate leaving money at the job so I'm getting ready to start taking these on - if they can be done with a soft wash method. I'm running the 12volt FatBoy setup as my roof cleaning system.



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Barry Landis

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Barry,

See attached mix ratios sheet at http://softwashsystems.com/page_mixology.htm

Then treat the deck as you would a roof. Then rinse clean with water and finally apply PM for Bleach to neutralise the chems and protect the wood.

AC



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Thanks AC. I'll get a hold of Delux to get a shipping quote on the Green Wash. Anyone in Pa using these products yet?

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Barry Landis

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What about stripping the old sealer? What's the best product for that, and will it require pressure to remove it?

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Came across this post, it never got answered, any deck experts want to shed some light?

Thanks,
Danny

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Barry...Use a 2% mix, mechanical agitation with a brush maybe necessary depending on the condition of the deck.  Rinse and neutralize with bleach wash.  The benefit of softwashing wood surfaces such as decks is that the wood fibers aren't raised and won't require the extra step of sanding.  If the customer is looking to strip the wood of paint or old sealer then softwashing is not what they want and pressure washing would make more sense.  However, if the customer's goal is surface prep to remove any mold or mildew for paint or sealer prep and stripping is not required then softwashing works great.  The other added benefit of softwashing a deck is if they are looking to clean wood surfaces that are beginning to rot or start to have peeling paint but don't want to replace or repaint at this point, the softwashing process will allow you to clean these surfaces of mold and mildew and not disturb the rotted wood or paint.  Good Luck!



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Barry...Just saw the date of your original post so you probably don't need this info but for anyone else (Danny) here is my opinion.



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Thanks, ya it was for me, I was just searching the forum, and figured why start a new thread. I plan on giving Barry a call tomorrow. Thanks Mike, I am in a situation right now where I can bid on a large HOA they need deck work done. I plan on going and taking measurements and photos. There is currently a stain on the deck, so what option do I have now?

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Dan,

What are the goals of the HOA? Do they want the "stain" removed? Is it going to be restained?

Hank



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I haven't seen the decks yet, I'm not sure the last time they were stained, it may need to be stripped and restained? I gathered some info over the phone, but not enough. I will start a new thread, wanted to keep this one on topic of how to clean decks.

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Use sodium hydroxide to strip the deck. 16oz per 1 gallon of water. You will have to power wash it off and it may need two applications depending on how much stain is on there.

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As with other strippers, would you need to follow with a neutralizer/brightener after washing off the Sodium Hydroxide?

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Yes, you need to neutralize with sodium hydroxide. I also use it in a lighter mix to clean wood. Does a great job! Wood is an art all to itself. It takes LOTS of practice to get the best results.

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Michael Derose wrote:

Use sodium hydroxide to strip the deck. 16oz per 1 gallon of water. You will have to power wash it off and it may need two applications depending on how much stain is on there.


Thanks Mike, How much area will this cover?

I'm know Picaso, so I have been watching Deck cleaning videos for days!



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Mark Fermoyle wrote:

As with other strippers, would you need to follow with a neutralizer/brightener after washing off the Sodium Hydroxide?


 Good Question, will bleach wash do the job? or Do I need something stronger?



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Ox acid will brighten it up and 1 gallon of sodium hydroxide should get you around a 100sq ft.

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Danny Cronauer wrote:
Mark Fermoyle wrote:

As with other strippers, would you need to follow with a neutralizer/brightener after washing off the Sodium Hydroxide?


 Good Question, will bleach wash do the job? or Do I need something stronger?


 Bleach Wash will neutralize the bleach once the cleaning is done.

AC



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How long do you guys let your SH solution dwell for on wood? I am looking at a heavily stained boathouse and deck. Probably going to use 3 percent because 2 was not doing the job.

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It is a job to job thing , but typically not longer than 5 minutes, then rinse, bleach wash and rinse again..if the first application did not work, I would hit it with a a second before the BW, rather than a six that could be too strong ( ie. a roof mix 3%). Too much SH, and left on too long can make the furnace of the wood very pulpy and expose too many fibers. 



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