The Cleaning Process
- If your wood has serious tannin stains, a light solution of oxalic acid and detergent will be applied to brighten wood and help in the cleaning process.
- If severe fungi, mold and mildew exist, we apply a light anti-fungal solution to kill organisms that can inhabit deep within the fabric of the wood.
- If there are areas where the old stain has not been sufficiently degraded by the sun, we will apply a biodegradable stripping agent to facilitate in the power washing process.
- Your wood is then carefully power washed with between 2,000 and 3,500 P.S.I. of water pressure. Power washing essentially removes the top layer of dead wood fibers much the same way sandblasters remove rust from metal. Our technicians are trained to carefully maintain an approximate 45 degree spray angle and stay with the wood grain to avoid fraying of the wood surface.
- We allow 24 hours to dry, and then groom wood by sanding and wire brushing, setting nails and sanding any splintered wood.
The Application Process
- On decks we use TWP 1500 series, a penetrating pigmented oil. If the wood is older and porous, we recommend adding 20 to 50 percent TWP 200 series with “Radcon”, to add more solids, thus increasing the protection factor. Click here to learn more about TWP and our product blending philosophy.
- The application goal with TWP is to saturate the wood fibers without having the product “puddle” on the surface. After an initial application is made with roller and brush, a second coat is applied if the wood will accept more product. This process is referred to as, “two wet-on-wet coats.”
Ipe, Palope, and Ironwood are all names for the same wood, an eco-grown Brazilian hardwood. Ipe is thirty times denser than redwood and seven times denser than teak, so it does not accept a penetrating oil like TWP. In the past organic oil-based film-forming coatings have been used. However, anything organic will harbor micro-organisms that will often result in mold and dark stains. The challenge has been to find a product that will enhance and protect Ipe decks without these drawbacks. No one product will meet all needs, but we’ve found two products that will fit most situations:
Messners is a film-forming, oil-based, one-coat sealer that we have found to perform better, with fewer darkening problems than other oil-based products. From our experience if, a year after the initial application, you do a moderate power wash, you will be able to re-coat. If you wait longer than a year, you will most likely need to do some sort of stripping to get a clean surface. Even with this care, eventually you will have to strip it off and start fresh.
Flood Co. CWF for Hardwood is a film-forming, water-based sealer, requiring two coats. Hence it is a more expensive application. What we particularly like about CWF is that, unlike the oil-based products, it has no problems with mold or dark staining. Thus, even after several years, it can be reapplied with just a moderate power wash as preparation. It never requires stripping. It should be said, however, that the protection of the water-based product will not last as long as Messners. Also, the smaller molecules of the oil-based Messners will tend to enhance the natural color of the wood more than the larger molecules of the water-based CWF.
In short, the oil-based may offer a longer lasting protection, but it may not look as good for as long as the water-based.