Concerns about cleaning a dock on a lake. Need advice.

Looking for some advice on cleaning a wood deck on a lake. One of my customers has a lake house they are putting on the market. He's not looking to have the wood stained and fully restored. He just wants the 2x4 wood planks cleaned to make the property look better for listing purposes. Is there a way I can clean it and be EPA compliant? Im concerned about cleaning solutions getting into the lake. If not I may just turn down the job if I have to risk a large fine.

I know the answer will probably be that the only way to clean it is to use chems that are a no no with the epa and fresh water. I just want some veterans to chime in and tell me how they usually handle this situation.

Thanks
 

Ralph Q

New member
I researched this a while ago , and everywhere I turned oxygenated bleach was given as the cleaner for docks.
 

waxman18324

New member
Matt,

You'll have to manage the expectations of the customer. I would stay away from any chemical usage around a dock. Is it a stained surface or natural wood? Do you have a decent pressure washer?

Hank
 
Matt,

You'll have to manage the expectations of the customer. I would stay away from any chemical usage around a dock. Is it a stained surface or natural wood? Do you have a decent pressure washer?

Hank

The wood is not stained. It looks like PT Pine thats 5-10 years old. I have a 4gpm 4000 psi machine. The areas that are over the water don't have much algae if any. It just starting to weather and turn grey.
 
Here is a pic. He first just wanted to clean the first part of the dock where there was a lot of algae. I applied a roof mix and let it set for a min or two and then rinsed with 1200-1400 psi. Turned out good but made the rest of the dock that wasn't that dirty look old
. dock.JPG
 

waxman18324

New member
Matt,

This is just my personal opinion(bass fisherman) but I would just pressure wash it and be done with it. Have you chcked the local codes? With that amount of docks there might be something on record.

Hank
 

john neilson

Roundtable Host 2009
Matt,

This is just my personal opinion(bass fisherman) but I would just pressure wash it and be done with it. Have you chcked the local codes? With that amount of docks there might be something on record.

Hank
I agree, Straight water and bring a pole!
 

Ralph Q

New member
I searched the epa website a bunch of times looking for info on guidelines for dock cleaning and cleaning around waterways and could never come up with an answer. I went to several sites of contractors who clean docks. Most of them recommended oxygenated bleach. Basically all said the same thing. Oxygenanted bleach is safe, non toxic and breaks down to peroxide and soda ash. Problem is, that is straight sodium percarbonate. Most products they sell as oxygenated bleach has other stuff in it. Surfactants and fillers. Hank is probably right, to stay away form any chemicals. If it was me, I would just soak the dock down with water, and keep it wet for a while and just power wash it with plain water. Letting it soak will help with the cleaning, loosening up the spent fibers and dirt. Just explain the procedure to the customer and and let them know it's not going to be perfect because you are using no chemicals, but it will be a lot more presentable.
 

Sirocco Jerry

Active member
Reclaim on the Docks

The answers are easily found like this..
Find a dock managed by the local municipality,
ask the muni how they clean it,
.. ask for BMP's they work off of,
You can bid the job based on their pre-approved BMP's
..if they can do it, you cannot be fined for following suit.
If they try to fine you.. the suit falls apart in front of the judge.

most probably.. you will be using a Vacuuming Surface Cleaner, to minimize overspray,
..as that IS the "best available technology", and it is the most practical method available.
.. My Vacuum Reclaim equipment ROCKS the docks :{)

Please e-mail me or call me or more info on "instant-capture cleaning tools" or how to deal with law enforcement.
I can send you a free copy of "The Wash Water Control HandBook".
(..my website is being reconstructed at this time).
Jerry@PressureWasher.net
 

Doug Rucker

Roundtable Host 2009
When all they want is to have them cleaned, we just clean with water.....if they want to have them stained, then i refer them to Shane or Adrian.
 
To my knowledge and dealing with many of the decision makers and AHJ's of this industry I have never had one say "no" to the use of oxygenated bleach. As matter of fact, it is often recommended as the cleaner of choice around water ways. It all goes back to evaluating each job individually and assessing a good, better, best method for the restoration while being conscience of the water and the environment. In keeping with "you must be doing everything possible to be environmentally friendly" using an oxygenated bleach is just that. For this particular job with little to no sealer or stain this would be ideal. If there were a coating I would recommend sanding to prep for the next coating over any type of stripper. Though Dumond makes a Smart Strip that is environmentally friendly. Then I would follow up with a water based product for a coating over an oil based product. There is also the perception of the neighbors as well and if you are out there with a sprayer or intimidating piece of equipment someone with little to no knowledge may make that phone call that brings trouble your way. Most of the time no one comes up asks you any questions they just assume some type of result and make a call. Then you have to go over your procedures and products and next thing you no it costs time, hours, and money. I usually bid these type of jobs a little higher because of time and the pita factor. If you use a brush method to seal probably no issue, use a sprayer and people see product going in the water, expect a visit. Now in the end and as it has been explained to me by these decision makers, even using oil based products that based on the amount that enters the water in ratio to the body of water there should be no issue. Times change and so do regulations and best management practices so it is always wise to check with your local municipality or local offices to be on the safe side. Bottom line is that less product and more labor is best on these jobs.
 

Ralph Q

New member
To my knowledge and dealing with many of the decision makers and AHJ's of this industry I have never had one say "no" to the use of oxygenated bleach. As matter of fact, it is often recommended as the cleaner of choice around water ways. It all goes back to evaluating each job individually and assessing a good, better, best method for the restoration while being conscience of the water and the environment. In keeping with "you must be doing everything possible to be environmentally friendly" using an oxygenated bleach is just that. For this particular job with little to no sealer or stain this would be ideal. If there were a coating I would recommend sanding to prep for the next coating over any type of stripper. Though Dumond makes a Smart Strip that is environmentally friendly. Then I would follow up with a water based product for a coating over an oil based product. There is also the perception of the neighbors as well and if you are out there with a sprayer or intimidating piece of equipment someone with little to no knowledge may make that phone call that brings trouble your way. Most of the time no one comes up asks you any questions they just assume some type of result and make a call. Then you have to go over your procedures and products and next thing you no it costs time, hours, and money. I usually bid these type of jobs a little higher because of time and the pita factor. If you use a brush method to seal probably no issue, use a sprayer and people see product going in the water, expect a visit. Now in the end and as it has been explained to me by these decision makers, even using oil based products that based on the amount that enters the water in ratio to the body of water there should be no issue. Times change and so do regulations and best management practices so it is always wise to check with your local municipality or local offices to be on the safe side. Bottom line is that less product and more labor is best on these jobs.

Estimating a dock tomorrow, dock is on a lake. I asked the lady when it was done last and if she remembered if they used a cleaner or not. She said she didn't remember, but when I mentioned oxygenated bleach, that rang a bell with her. I think that is the stuff to use. Thanks Everett for clearing that up. I looked on the county websites the fed websites and could never get a definitive answer, mostly containment and reclaim was mentioned for the gutters and street drains.
 
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