Saturday, May 31, 2014

Fence Restoration & Presure washing

(Tips from Power Equipment Direct) courtesy of
Power Wash Fences  revised by Fast Finish

Wash the Fence
Rotating Scrub BrushApply approved fence detergent from the bottom up to avoid streaks, and allow 5-15 minutes to let it work. Continually add water to any areas that start to dry to prevent the detergent from staining the wood. ( Fast Finish utilizes several different custom mixed detergents for different types of wood) Washing  a fence may not be enough depending on the types of stain used prior. It is not uncommon for a fence to need stripping of old sealers(especially acrylics) before applying new stains and sealers. Failure of stripping will leave undesirable results from applying new modern sealers over old worn stain and sealers.  After stripping of sealers it is important to neutralize the wood. Fast Finish utilizes special neutralizing brighteners to achieve the best results.

Rinse the Wood
Pressure Washing a FenceUse a delicate low pressure spray pattern when rinsing. Wood is very soft, and you don't want to cause any damage to the surface of your fence. It is best to call a professional, however acceptable results can be obtained by the do it yourself types.

 Always, rinse the from the top down, and work with the grain of the wood. Cover 1 to 2 boards at a time, working in identifiable sections. Avoid to much pressure that will cause wood scars and damage that would need sanding or replacement. We are often able to clean and entire structure without the use of damaging pressure with the proper use and techniques of our chemicals.

Sealing your Fence
Staining A FenceAfter washing, let your fence dry for at least 48 hours. Then, seal your fence with paint or a sealer, according to the manufacturer's directions. We utilize the best proven stain/sealers that are available. None of them contain acrylics in the finish. We believe from experience that acrylics over time turn color from the UV and also peel like a sunburn over time. They are also inconsistent and require stripping and sanding to accept new sealers.They have the shortest protection life of all the sealers and do not penetrate the pores to protect the wood like penetrating oils. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Pressure washing, Bad sealer

Bad sealer on concrete or aggregate driveways, patios/ walkways will generally come off when pressure washed. The age of the sealer and frequency of cleaning, along with the exposure to the elements plays a role in what will strip off the surface. The problem most people encounter is the sealer that remains. The home owner will discover that they are unable to remove large portions of the remaining sealer. Most basic pressure washing companies will also encounter the same issue, and they really do not know what needs done at this point. There are basically two methods of removal for old concrete sealers. They both have their place. The first method utilizes chemical strippers that re- emulsify the old sealer so it can be extracted. Extreme caution and care must be used with these chemicals an appropriate removal equipment is essential. A lot of inexperienced companies will pressure wash the emulsifier off , only to splatter it on surrounding structures etc.. Creating a bigger mess. If they don't have a vacuum system that extracts while it cleans they create a much larger problem.  The emulsifier will also strip paint from surrounding structures or leave the old sealer stuck to the surface when it drys.
The second method is media blasting the surface. This method is typically safer but does require a fair amount of clean up as well with a vacuum to remove the un recycled media that is left behind.
Fast Finish utilizes both methods of removal to insure the best bond for new sealers being applied. For regular cleaning of driveways, patios and sidewalks it is best to use a company that understands what is needed to finish the job correctly.  Application of new sealer over the old will create an unsightly look.
For more information regarding the removal and application of sealers or sealants on cement ,concrete or exposed aggregate call Fast Finish at 503-749-5001

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Pressure Washing Mistakes

There are several ways of cleaning concrete , but there are some that cause more damage than can be seen with the naked eye. The main ingredients to good clean concrete are Time/Heat/Agitation.
This is accomplished by application of the right emulsifiers to the surface to help breakdown the stains to be removed. The most common concrete cleaner has a high alkaline content that breaks down the most common soils, oils and greases that are often found on the surface. The other most common stain is molds and mildew that embeds into the pores of the cement. (SEE PIC BELOW)
Most pressure washing companies DO NOT utilize all the proper techniques to get the best clean possible for the surface. What they often do is apply more pressure from the washer due to not having heat or knowledge of the proper chemicals to apply to the surface. Unsuspecting home owners hire the basic pressure washing company to clean and have their cement blasted away at for hours to get the surface clean. What they don't know is that the top layer of concrete is blasted away with the cold water. The top layer or cream of the cement is the layer that provides protection and the finished cement that keep it together. After that is gone it starts to wear quickly with further weather and washing. Fast Finish utilizes less pressure and more heat to clean more efficiently. Combine emulsifiers and extensive knowledge of chemistry / PH levels and a concern for the environment makes for the best scenario for concerned home owners.