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Exterior Maintenance Cleaning Products for Concrete, Wood & Fabric

Posted by Linda Chambers on Thu, Apr 08, 2010 @ 11:38 AM

Each month we are featuring a group of our products to help our current and future customers learn what products we carry that they might not be aware of. Plus this gives information regarding the differences between some items as well. This month we will discuss products used for exterior maintenance cleaning.

For concrete flat work we have a basic “Concrete Cleaner” as well as degreasers like “Mighty-O” “Mighty-Max” and “Mighty Max Plus” these all contain butyl, a great grease cutter. The differences between these three mainly are the amount of butyl they contain, 3%, 6% or 10% respectively. We have a product called “Pro BRC” or Building Restoration Cleaner for brick and masonry to remove years of neglect, mold, mildew and dirt. It will restore mortar lines back to original or near original color with out using damaging high pressure that can loosen mortar joints. To remove rust stains from concrete, sometimes caused by certain mineral waters or irrigation thru metal water lines, we have “Concrete Rust Remover”. This is a powder that is mixed 4 lbs per 5 gallons of water for best results. We also carry some more environmentally friendly products when other products can not be used due to Home Owners Associations or other factors, like our “Natures Green APC” all purpose cleaner or “Mighty Green” which is in the same family as the well known Simple Green®. We also have a bio degradable Economy degreaser called “Rite Stuff” that contains an organic solvent if butyls are not allowed to be used.

For wood cleaning for decks and other wood structures we have the following:

Deck Wash” for regular cleaning of most wood surfaces it can clean anything from cedar to pressure treated wood. Now if a softer approach is needed to clean, and in no way can contain any acid or harsh ingredients, then our “So Safe” can be used. This percolating product comes in a powder that is mixed just prior to use and only in the amount that is expected to be used, since it will loose its cleaning ability if left to sit. This is perfect when you just need to lift off a layer of dirt with out touching the stain, finish or the woods own character like with teak or a newly stained deck. Now if you are in need to remove an existing finish or stain then you will need one of our strippers. We have two; the first is just called “Deck Stripper” and can handle most normal single layer or worn stain jobs. But if multiple or thick layers of stain, sealer or varnish need to be removed then we have the product “Super Stripper” that will do the job. With either of these you will need to follow them up with a neutralizer to stop the chemical action and for that we have our “Wood Brightener”. This comes in a powder and is mixed 4 lbs to 5 gallons of water and can also be used alone to brighten a previously untreated wood surface. The last product we have in our exterior wood section is our Bio Barrier mold inhibitor product. This should be applied to a surface after it has been cleaned and is completely dry. This will prevent the re-growth of mold on wood in areas having known pre-existing problems. Bio Barrier does not kill mold, that is why the surface must first be clean and old mold removed, but once applied to a surface it should stay mold free for at least 6 months if not for a year or more. Length of time will depends on factors like amount of time area is in the shade, how much water or moisture it comes in contact with, how much air circulation is available to the area and if the surface is horizontal or vertical.

Next is a product for outdoor cloth or plastic fiber fabrics found on lawn furniture pads, umbrellas, awnings and fabric gazebos called “Carpet & Fabric Cleaner” this is a great multi use product. It is formulated with optical brighteners to give colored fibers deeper tone and better contrast. It will help restore color to fabrics that are faded by dirt and grime. It contains no harsh chemicals that will damage fibers and will help to extend the life of the outdoor fabrics use. Companies such as Sunbrella® suggest to only use mild detergents for heavy soiling or to remove molds and mildew by adding a small amount of bleach to the cleaning solution, hot water should NEVER be used on Sunbrella® fabric and may require some brushing to remove stubborn stains from between fibers. “Carpet & Fabric Cleaner” can be used in this recommended manner.

Tomorrow we will cover our products for house washing.

Tags: exterior maintenance, exterior cleaners, Deck wash, building restoration cleaner, Carpet and Fabric Cleaner, Deck Stripper, Super Stripper, Concrete Cleaner

Deck Cleaning and Stripping Advice from Soap Warehouse.

Posted by Linda Chambers on Wed, Jun 11, 2008 @ 11:30 AM

The first step to deck cleaning is to first find out if the wood only needs a general cleaning or if there is an old finish that needs to be removed and if the customer plans to retreat, seal the wood, stain or paint.

C  Documents and Settings Dan Kidd My Documents My Pictures PhotosfromotherWebsites a deck cleaning Advanced

If you have a good finish under just general dirt, a good deck wash is all you will need. Our "Deck Wash" is designed especially for cedar wood and is fine for all other kinds of exposed wood surfaces. With a deck wash you are just loosening and removing surface dirt, mold and mildew. It is best to use warm-hot water at the lowest pressure setting possible that allows you to remove the dirt without damaging the finish or raising the wood grain. Followed by a good rinse, when dried, the original natural color or treated color should be easily seen. If needed a new coat of sealer for wearability or new coat of stain can be applied by either you or the customer.

But if the deck has an old finish that is worn out in places, old paint or a badly faded finish you will first have to remove the old surface materials with a stripper. When ever you use a stripper, you have to have mixed up and available to use right after using the stripper, a neutralizer, like our "Wood Brightener", to bring the ph of the wood back down to normal following the stripper. We have two different levels of strippers.

Our regular "Deck Stripper" is made to penetrate and emulsify old paint, varnish, stain, dirt, grease and oil. Our "Supper Stripper", which is three times stronger than the regular "Deck Stripper", is for removing newer or thicker build ups of stain, paint or other materials. It can also be used to clean asphalt or fiberglass shingles. Both strippers can also be used on other wood surfaces such as fences, free standing structures like gazebos or wood roofs or siding. Again be sure to follow any stripper with a neutralizer like "Wood Brightener" to stop the chemical reaction of the stripper on the wood and make the surface ready to take a new paint or stain after it is rinsed well and has thoroughly dried.

If you had seen problem areas of mold or mildew you may want to think about using some "Bio Barrier" to retard the return of new mold growth.

Please see the earlier session a few days ago on Bio Barrier in this Blog; you can use the search to find other Bio Barrier posts as well.

Tags: Deck wash, Wood Brightener, Bio Barrier, Deck Stripper, Super Stripper

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