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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Different Surfaces Require Different Preparation

Q. Should I wash a real wood surface (like cedar siding) the same way I would wash T-111 (composite wood siding)?

A. No. Different surfaces require different treatment. a composite wood will generally require a detergent wash and not an overly agreesive power wash. I was watching TV ( I believe it was This OlD House) and they were demonstrating how to power wash. They were holding a high pressure sprayer about 1 inch from a wood deck and you could see the dirt totally being blasted out of the wood. ONE PROBLEM. While that may make the wood seem clean at first, after it dries the wood will likely be damaged or require a massive amount of sanding to get stain to sit evenly on it.
You should never use a power washer to remove something that could otherwise be removed by hand (sanding, scraping or paint removal machine) or by an environmentally friendly detergent.
Try cleaning the surface with either JOMAX, TSP or M1 House wash. If you add exteremely Hot water to one of these detergents and scrub them on with a medium bristle brush, you will likely get a better result than an agressive power wash but not damage the surface.
The same is true for scraping and sanding or use of a paint removal machine.
Make sure you do the wash after the scraping and sanding as they are likely to create dust.

Cement surfaces are different but just remember: Aggressive power washing and wood or composite wood do NOT MIX