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Teak Furniture had sat outside in the elements for years, just waiting for a little love. I used a direct application of water, sodium hydroxide & bleach, let dwell for 15 min, then 500 psi wash to remove dead wood. While still wet, I applied oxalic acid to brighten/neutralize, then hosed off after 5 min.

For the fence, I used a similar starting mix, only more sodium hydroxide, and I also added butyl cellosolve, (about 2 cups per 5 gallon mix). Since the old stain on the fence was an acrylic, I needed the butyl to strip it, because hydroxide alone won't cut it. I applied it with my roof pump, let it dwell for 15 min, re-applied, then washed at about 800 psi after letting the second application dwell for another 10 minutes. Same as the teak, I applied oxalic while the fence was still wet, and hosed it off afterwards.

The stain applied was a penetrating oil. Teak & fence was sprayed a very light even coat, then back-brushed, allowed to dry for a few hours, then sprayed & back-brushed again. Teak was all ragged dry after a few hours when I knew it wasn't gonna accept any more stain.

I also washed their house, all their stepping stones around the home, and the 270' of white stone wall. I used oxalic on the rust that was on the stone. Oxalic actually does a great job of brightening concrete & stone if you've never used it. Some guys use it as a pre-soak and some just post-treat with it. Either way, it brightens concrete & stone up nicely.

This little job is literally the only exterior work I've done all year so far, except for concrete & roof cleaning & straight power washing. We had a 3 day window that lowered moisture enough to squeeze it in. Some of the pics didn't turn out, since I tried to take some between thunderstorms while cleaning up. Beautiful blue sky one minute, dark thunderclouds the next. Gotta love Oregon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's some seriously nice work! I also appreciate the details about you process and cleaning solutions.
Did it require any scrubbing?
How many hours start to finish?
I didn't scrub a thing. Total time was just over 20 hrs doing it myself.

Day 1: Wash/strip fence & teak, brighten, wash house, arbor, stone, etc.: 10 hrs

Day 2: (Actually, several days later, but 2nd day of work), mask & protect grounds in back yard, drape 6 mil plastic over the top of that stupid arbor, wrap her vehicle with plastic since she left town and decided to park in the driveway next to fence to be stained, spray & back-brush fence & teak 2 coats: 8 hrs

Day 3: Unmask, clean-up, and use my sniper-like abilities to quickly take some pics when it wasn't raining: 2.5 hrs

I bet I spent 2 hours on the masking that arbor alone, but wanted to have a dry place for all the teak in the event the rain rolled in within the the next day or so. Also, I had serious drainage issues, since all water wanted to settle in the middle of the back patio. Easily spent an hour just diverting water during the washing phase. This was just me doing this, and I wasn't trying to set any land-speed records, just needed to complete certain tasks at the end of each day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
That's impressive stuff there, Troy.

Couple of questions. Do you use OxBrite from pressuretek and what mixing ratio do you use for downstreaming?


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Thank you. As far as the oxalic, I've used PressureTek's Oxbrite in the past, (F-8), but I'm actually getting all my chems locally now at Univar. For those interested, most states have a Univar as well as a Brentag, 2 of the biggest wholesale chemical suppliers in the US. Nothing wrong with Bob's Oxbrite, I'm just using stuff at a different scale this year, since I've focused my efforts much more on commercial pressure washing & roof cleaning. Buying local is a lot cheaper also. I pay $150 for a 55 gal drum of fresh 12% sodium hypochlorite, (bleach). The big bags of caustic soda beads and oxalic I'm buying now are half the cost per lb that I've paid from various vendors.

Here's a few pics of the chems I get from Univar. This bleach usage was for the last 6 days, (not counting what's in trailer). The butyl cellosolve in this pic is from www.chemistrystore.com but Univar also sells that, so I'll be getting it there from now on. I paid as much for shipping that gallon as I did for the actual gallon of product.

Oh, and as far as my mix, I don't usually apply oxalic via downstream. I use my roof pump for direct application. The problem with downstreaming oxalic is that only so much of it will dissolve in each gallon of water, so you can't ramp it up to compensate for the 10:1 ratio of water/chems like most downstream injectors use. Yes it can be done and warm water certainly helps, but I've got a shiny new roof pump to get my money's worth out of, so I chose to apply direct.
 

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Teak Patio Furniture & Cedar Fence Strip & Stain

Thanks for sharing where you've been getting your chems at. Personally, I've found the chems used in power washing to somewhat intimidating. I'm worried that a "Homebrew" mix could damage my clients property or they could be harmful to my health.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Where do you purchase Butyl Cellosolve? You've mentioned it in other posts before and it's probably something I should get familiar with for these types of jobs.

Does pre-wetting the ground prevent the chems from discoloring concrete or damaging plants?

Thanks!!!


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Butyl is from www.chemistrystore.com, as pictured in my post, (I think I posted it just after you posted this).

As far as pre-wetting, absolutely wetting everything before, during & after. I even have soaker hoses I pull out during warmer weather when I'm stripping long stretches of fence above concrete. As far as plants, there are still some that are especially prone to damage via chems, so it's always something that's covered with each customer and reduced to writing in the contract.

You can also use gypsum pellets anytime you've got to use a lot of bleach next to plants. Although it's more applicable for roof cleaning, it's still a good tip to know.
 

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Thanks a bunch, Troy. I tried downstreaming the oxalic for the first time about a month ago on a deck and just didn't seem to work like direct application.

I'm too old to change now, but I believe Davemac and Ken are right; get set up right for pressure cleaning and you do much better than painting.


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks a bunch, Troy. I tried downstreaming the oxalic for the first time about a month ago on a deck and just didn't seem to work like direct application.

I'm too old to change now, but I believe Davemac and Ken are right; get set up right for pressure cleaning and you do much better than painting.


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Nothing wrong with the cheap pump-up garden sprayers for tasks like applying oxalic. It isn't terribly fast, but it's effective and very little waste comes from it. As far as washing, I'm absolutely certain Davemac & Ken were right. There's not a roof job I've done that didn't yield more than $100/hr. That's the first time I've ever discussed rates & pricing of any kind by the way, so I'm definitely not bragging. Just stating facts and agreeing with you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Never mix an acid and a base

Thanks for sharing where you've been getting your chems at. Personally, I've found the chems used in power washing to somewhat intimidating. I'm worried that a "Homebrew" mix could damage my clients property or they could be harmful to my health.
There's been many cases where serious accidents have happened, not only to the person working, but to the property they were working on. One of the biggest mistakes is mixing an acid and a base. For instance, if I were to use the same container to apply the brightener, (acid), with the stripper, (alkaline base). Even trace amounts in a container can cause a violent reaction, with starts with a mustard gas and could end with an explosion. The second biggest mistake is when people apply water to chemicals. Always apply chemical to water, never water to chemical.
 

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There's been many cases where serious accidents have happened, not only to the person working, but to the property they were working on. One of the biggest mistakes is mixing an acid and a base. For instance, if I were to use the same container to apply the brightener, (acid), with the stripper, (alkaline base). Even trace amounts in a container can cause a violent reaction, with starts with a mustard gas and could end with an explosion. The second biggest mistake is when people apply water to chemicals. Always apply chemical to water, never water to chemical.
I made this mistake and am thankful nobody got hurt. We finished cleaning a cedar house with a typical house wash mix. I thoroughly rinsed the mix bucket out and mixed Oxbrite in it. The resulting odor/gas was intense.
As you said, even the slightest residue from a base was enough to react with the acid.
 
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