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  1. #1
    Member Graduate Student
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    SOFT washing CEDAR with Bleach causes major Problem

    This is a Western Red cedar deck I was hired to to wood care for in Greenwich Ct . The floor and 70% of the rails are less than a year old. I was scheduled to preform the cleaning and oiling in September. In July I get a call from the home owner asking what they should do to the deck to protect it. She was having a new awning installed and trim replaced and painted along the deck area. I wrote out instructions for the contractors to keep the deck wet while applying bleach and keep rinsing as not to affect the wood.Rinse the dirt off with water. Then tarp the deck to avoid paint drips . Pretty simple ,hey ?

    This was an easy prep/clean and oil job that turned into an extra day ( 8 /10 hours) of using a floor buffer and buffing to remedy the miss use of bleach and not understanding what it can do.

    Well, the contractors bleached the floor and most of the rail system( They clean roofs too). They kept walking on the deck while the bleach was on the deck making marks and foot prints all over the place and furred up the rails . When I saw that I new I had to buff the deck. I get ahold of the home owner , they call the contractor and they think they did us a favor by bleaching the deck and not following my instructions .

    The first two photos are of the bleaching affects by the contractor, the next two are of my cleaning and trying to remove the grey wood which is brutal on one year old cedar and a photo of the buffing prep. The next two are finished. Half clear /half light brown Ready Seal.

    Not to shabby?
    Attached Images Attached Images


    Jim Foley, Owner/Operator
    www.ipressureclean.com
    203-754-4284 or 860-354-0855

  • #2
    Member Graduate Student Seymore_BlEaCh's Avatar
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    Very nice job Jimbo nice color!

    Do you clean again after you buffed the deck?
    Shane Brasseaux
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  • #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymore_BlEaCh View Post
    Very nice job Jimbo nice color!

    Do you clean again after you buffed the deck?
    No , vacuumed dust up . Sometimes I do but I was behind. That is western red cedar with very little pigment my favorite .The color changes a lot with age.


    Jim Foley, Owner/Operator
    www.ipressureclean.com
    203-754-4284 or 860-354-0855

  • #4
    Member Junior Undergraduate ACE PAINTING's Avatar
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    Jim, when you're talking about oil is that ready seal?
    ACE PAINTING
    Tom Buczak
    216-323-0552

  • #5
    Member Senior Undergraduate WASH-IT H.B.'s Avatar
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    Napier New Zealand
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    Nice recovery. What possessed them to bleach it for crying out loud. Hope the owner goes them for your time and effort for the recovery.

  • #6
    Member Graduate Student Reider's Avatar
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    Beautiful finished product Jim. It's also good education for everyone working with cedar.

  • #7
    Member Graduate Student Everett Abrams's Avatar
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    It is real nice work Jim, the result you got in the last two pictures you would not have gotten from any type of coating after the contractor over bleached the in the first two pictures. Would have come up dull and blotchy, beautiful result!
    Everett Abrams
    DECK RESTORATION PLUS 1-866-440-DECK(3325)
    Deck Restoration Plus Website
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  • #8
    Member Graduate Student
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    Yes it's Ready Seal, the house trim was being painted so they were using bleach for the mildew. I had given instructions on what to do to prevent any issues. What you don't see is the deck is 10 yards away from a river and little waterfall . Very nice setting


    Jim Foley, Owner/Operator
    www.ipressureclean.com
    203-754-4284 or 860-354-0855

  • #9
    Member Graduate Student
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    Yes Everett, its difficult for people to comprehend what bleach does to wood below the surface. They took a 10 month old deck and made it look 5 years old. I use it all the time and like Shane Of the BDA (Bleach Dwellers Association) we use bleach responsibly.


    Jim Foley, Owner/Operator
    www.ipressureclean.com
    203-754-4284 or 860-354-0855

  • #10
    Member Senior Undergraduate al9226's Avatar
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    orange park,fl
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    Me thinks thou knowest what thou art doing.


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    Al Gigliotti
    ANR Cleaning Services LLC
    Orange Park, Fl 32073
    904-710-1249

    http://anrcleanteam.com
    http://pressurecleanjax.com




  • #11
    Member Sophomore Undergraduate N.A.P.W.O's Avatar
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    Always nice to see your work Jim! You are an insparation to Ready Seal appliers on Cedar! When it's done right, Ready Seal is beautifu on cedar! Thanks for sharing as always!

  • #12
    Member Graduate Student
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    Quote Originally Posted by N.A.P.W.O View Post
    Always nice to see your work Jim! You are an insparation to Ready Seal appliers on Cedar! When it's done right, Ready Seal is beautifu on cedar! Thanks for sharing as always!
    Thanks Tracy !


    Jim Foley, Owner/Operator
    www.ipressureclean.com
    203-754-4284 or 860-354-0855

  • #13
    Professors Graduate Student bigchaz's Avatar
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    Apex, NC
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    Great job as usual. Good reminder that will all chemicals, the proper dilution and strength is key. Strong bleach with extended dwell can and will mess up some wood.
    Charlie S.
    Apex DeckSavers
    Deck Cleaning and Staining
    (919)-302-1523
    charlie@apexdecksavers.com


  • #14
    Member Graduate Student Ed Thompson's Avatar
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    Woodbridge NJ
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    Jim would you use sodium hydroxide on cedar?

  • #15
    Member Graduate Student
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Thompson View Post
    Jim would you use sodium hydroxide on cedar?
    I use sodium hydroxide on cedar when stripping a finish, a booster added to sodium hypochlorite for some maintenance processes, some times when doing cedar shakes that have severe extractive bleed that bleed out and form a hard shell on a shakes (its black). Sodium hydroxide softens it but that is when I'm doing a restoration and each shakes is being cleaned and prepped for a finish. On bear wood sodium hydroxide doesn't kill mold but will attack the wood and break it down. People who do use will fur the wood up like crazy creating more work.

    Anytime I use sodium hypochlorite or noah I pre wet the surface of wood to protect and create a barrier further in the wood so the application doesn't extend further than the surface. Its called defense. Similar to using an acid with brick and pre wetting. If chems penetrate to far into a substrate they will cause damage you can see until the future comes back to haunt you.


    Ed ask more questions about cedar shake bleaching and what it does to the interior of the wood. What happens when you use 30 gallons of 3% bleach solution in a 5 minute video on approximately 300 square feet of cedar siding ?

    Ask any questions about wood , siding, roofs and decks.


    Jim Foley, Owner/Operator
    www.ipressureclean.com
    203-754-4284 or 860-354-0855

  • #16
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    ED, Some woodie experts use sodium hydroxide in different strengths with success on unfinished wood. That could be an instance where an aggressive conversation might break out among woodies about wood prep.


    Jim Foley, Owner/Operator
    www.ipressureclean.com
    203-754-4284 or 860-354-0855

  • #17
    Member Associate Professor Craig's Avatar
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    Nice job Jim! I bet your customer was happy this time.

  • #18
    Member Freshman Undergraduate Martman's Avatar
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    Nice Work!!
    Marty Inman
    Xtreme Clean Window Cleaning & Power Washing
    Kingstree, SC 29556
    843-372-1498

  • #19
    Member Sophomore Undergraduate BradCarey's Avatar
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    Looks like a promotional post card or should be . Very nice work.
    Brad Carey
    Brad's Window Cleaning and Power Washing
    (616) 745-5753
    Grand Rapids, MI

  • #20
    Member Junior Undergraduate
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    Savannah, GA
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    Nice what was your process for the rails?

    Chatham Property Maintenance
    912-988-3832

    Chatham Property Maintenance provides both residential and commercial pressure cleaning services to Savannah, Georgia and surrounding areas. We provide house washing, roof cleaning, concrete cleaning, wood restoration and many other pressure cleaning services.

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