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gtkersey

My Chemical Solution isn't working

Question

First, let me thank you all for providing this website and forum for people like me to use.

I have been in the deck restoration for two season now, and took up a job that required cleaning the vinyl siding and refinishing the deck. I have experience with deck restoration but house washing is another field.

The equipment i have isnt the best but, for cleaning decks & staining it has made me $$$$ ( you'll will laugh but you gotta work with what you got FIRST)

Husky 2.3gpm 2600psi pressure washer

Telescoping wand 18'

High-pressure- detergent applicator - Sears: Online department store featuring appliances, tools, fitness equipment and more

Solution: 5 gallon bucket

2/3gal of clorox (Regular)

32 oz Dish Soap

1 Scoop of Dish Detergent (individual packets)

3 gallon water

( I mixed well, until bucket full of soap suds)

****

Also, added 1/2 gal of deck/roof cleaner I had leftover from last season ( Don't ask why, thought it would help my house wash mixture)

Ok.

This house is two story I used the detergent applicator to reach the second story. I applied the chemical solution let it well for 10, 15, 20, minutes then use a 40 degree tip to rinse. This is good for light dirt, mold and light mildew. The problem i'm having is when it comes to the black stains on the white vinyl ( I think is mildew) I have to use a 15 degreee tip to get it off but some stains would move at all. If I brush it or rub it with my finger it comes off but not with my pressure washer???

I need help!!! this project is taking too long and I alreadly have 2 more deck project waiting on this one to finish can someone point me in the right direction, I dont have time to order chemicals, looking for a local solution to this minor problem.

1. Rent a 4gpm pressure washer

2. Scrub the hard spot ( Please say NO)

3. Better solution/chemicals ( Monster house wash, Jomax, Something???)

*** The picture attached is the house im cleaning BEFORE i started using my chemical & pressure washer.. You can't see it but I'm having trouble cleaning spots at the edges of the house and on the second story above the deck***

Thank for everything and more!!!

Greg,

www.kgdecks.com

post-6777-137772375582_thumb.jpg

Edited by gtkersey
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Like Doug said, you arent getting even close to enough chlorine on the house. When using 6% I usually mix 5 gals 6% with 2 scoops simple cherry and that has worked excellent for me. If it is actually mildew this will take care of it.

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Greg,

how are you trying to apply the chemicals? with the high pressure injector that is on that machine? I would recommend getting a downstream injector and making your mix a little stronger

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My responses in blue;

2. Scrub the hard spot ( Please say NO) Yes! use a soft bristle house washing brush and it will help to remove it. Look, nothing in life is always easy and just because it was in the past doesn't mean it will be in the future. Don't get me wrong, my crew actually taught me a lesson where this is concerned and our quality for housewashing has improved. There is no longer a house that doesn't receive a brush anymore and while it may take longer, the results are better, last longer and your customer is more likely to feel they got their money's worth.

3. Better solution/chemicals ( Monster house wash, Jomax, Something???) Nothing personal, but it is time you give up the amateur methods.

http://www.thegrimescene.com/forums/residential-pressure-washing/21196-house-wash-mix-things-aware.html this link is to a post which is also an article on TGS. Post #15 is where I explain more about house wash solutions and why.

*** The picture attached is the house im cleaning BEFORE i started using my chemical & pressure washer.. You can't see it but I'm having trouble cleaning spots at the edges of the house and on the second story above the deck***

Invest in two things:

1. a 24' telescoping pole and put the house wash brush on it.

2. an M-5 jet (also known by its predecessor the X-jet). There was no mention of it in your post so I am assuming you don't have one yet. The Sears version you have...let me just say this; there are consumer grade products and there are contractor grade products. The M-5 will blow this thing out of the water and provide you will more draw of chemical without any proportioners. you will draw chem @ 3:1 (3 parts water:1 part chemical) vs the Sears version which I guarantee will not draw higher than 10:1 (10 parts water:1 part chemical). The higher the number, the weaker the draw.

More than likely, this is why your chemicals are not working...they are too weak once they reach the surface.

As for the difficulty reaching those spots on the house, you will need a ladder. The M-5 comes with a longer enough hose you can leave your container on the ground while you get up high enough to clear the pitch of the roof and apply the chems to the siding above the roof.

Thank for everything and more!!!

Greg,

The stains on the side of the house can be something different than mold or mildew/algae. It could be carbon staining as well, or it could be aluminum oxide (rust) which appears as a long streak below window frame corners. This one in particular requires an acid to remove while the former will be removed with a different base chemical. Your mix is not capable of dealing with that range of stain and will be ineffective. You need a wider range of reactivity to encompass carbon stains.

Acid based cleaners need to be applied separately after your wash is complete and rinsed well. Otherwise, you will create a reaction which can either neutralize your cleaners or create a new one which is a gas and leave the siding with chemical burns.

Rod!~

Edited by Beth n Rod

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This house is two story I used the detergent applicator to reach the second story. I applied the chemical solution let it well for 10, 15, 20, minutes then use a 40 degree tip to rinse. This is good for light dirt, mold and light mildew. The problem i'm having is when it comes to the black stains on the white vinyl ( I think is mildew) I have to use a 15 degreee tip to get it off but some stains would move at all. If I brush it or rub it with my finger it comes off but not with my pressure washer???

I need help!!!

I decided to answer this one separately as it has some points I want to define.

Fluid dynamics vs mechanical agitation are what you saw. Fluids, even under pressure can only interact with mass above the substrate when it is hard. The stain exists below the substrate and has no mass to apply the "chisel" effect to, so it cannot reach the areas below as it becomes its own adversary once it impacts the hard surface. This is why I say, use a brush.

The other issue I want to address is your use of a 15* tip on siding.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCgQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.kpproducts.com%2Fkpbp%2Fdocs%2FKay3542_p.pdf&rct=j&q=vinyl%20siding%20assembly%20illustration&ei=ZByTTcPzLY630QHHmvHMBw&usg=AFQjCNFDL_Pt0DGCZ_b4t0fpz5Emb2mgzw&cad=rja

This link to a pdf has on page 7, an illustration of what siding looks like from the side. It shows that all that joins it are a top joint and butt joint and these are held together only by the tension of assembly.

While the illustration does not show a vapor/moisture barrier, there is one, but it is not seamless. There are overlaps, but none-the-less, there are points of entry.

At the bottom of each row are pin holes. These are designed to allow condensation to escape. They are Not designed to handle high amounts of water which can be introduced under pressure with your tip.

What you are doing with a 15* tip is forcing tremendous amounts of water behind that siding and it is cascading behind it as you wash. Water seeks its own level and water will travel laterally as well as down. The pressure you impose will force the water in different directions making it go behind that moisture barrier and penetrate into the particle board that comprises most homes with either vinyl or aluminum siding today. Much like the one in your photo.

Your client will not know and you will not know for several year what is going on behind that siding. you have introduced water into an area that was not supposed to have it and now mold is growing without notice and guess what...you are responsible. You cannot rinse it or remove it without removing the siding. So, the bleach you used to kill the stuff on the exterior will now become the basis of what the mold will grow on once it breaks down. (trust me, I have seen it.) It takes a few years and besides the buckling of the siding from the particle board expanding after the glue as broken down from exposure to the bleach you forced behind the siding does its deed. Bleach is also a caustic and is corrosive. Anytime moisture is reintroduced either from high humidity or from points of exit from within the inside of the house, this is reactivated and the process continues till the bleach is no longer viable.

This is another reason why I suggest the M-5. you don't need to use high pressure to wash and you surely don't need it to rinse. Just high volumes of water and if you can heat it, the better. Cold water cleans, warm or hot water (not above 115* on vinyl) cleans better. The pressure should not exceed what garden hose pressure the machine can supply with a rinse tip.

Rethink your methods cause it can come back to bite you some day when for some reason, that homeowner needs to get the siding replaced due to some form of construction or remodeling and they discover what lies beneath.

Rod!~

Edited by Beth n Rod

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My responses in blue;

The stains on the side of the house can be something different than mold or mildew/algae. It could be carbon staining as well, or it could be aluminum oxide (rust) which appears as a long streak below window frame corners. This one in particular requires an acid to remove while the former will be removed with a different base chemical. Your mix is not capable of dealing with that range of stain and will be ineffective. You need a wider range of reactivity to encompass carbon stains.

Acid based cleaners need to be applied separately after your wash is complete and rinsed well. Otherwise, you will create a reaction which can either neutralize your cleaners or create a new one which is a gas and leave the siding with chemical burns.

Rod!~

Great info Rod.

I wash my house at least once a year, black streaks on the gutters and above the window trim molding "tiger striping" returns within 2 years. Vinyl siding/Stripes look cleaner after the a good house wash mix down streamed (suds sucker, or double injector), but the brush on a pole dipped directly in the mix removes moderate stripes completely.

Edited by 810F250

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New mix need advice

4 gallon bleach 6%

1 gallon water

8 oz tsp

16 oz detergent

Another, bucket

I might need an acid based cleaner for the hard spot, will a toilet bowl cleaner, CLR work for carbon stains/rust, RustAid

OR

5 gallon bucket

5 gallon 6% bleach

8 oz TSP

16 oz Detergent

** take into consideration I don't no the proportioner on my detergent application assuming ( 1:10), would 5 gallon of straight bleach be overkill, I'm worried I will dilute too much the mix when applied with the detergent applicator

found a great site for dilution ratio: http://jansson.us/mixingratio-concentration.html

Edited by gtkersey

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Are you going to repaint or just wash TSP is what painter use in the paint prep. you need to find nice soap that is made for pressure washing. I know alot people on use simple cherry. I say read up on what tsp is used for.

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New mix need advice

4 gallon bleach 6%

1 gallon water

8 oz tsp

16 oz detergent

Another, bucket

I might need an acid based cleaner for the hard spot, will a toilet bowl cleaner, CLR work for carbon stains/rust, RustAid

http://www.thegrimescene.com/forums/residential-pressure-washing/21196-house-wash-mix-things-aware.html

This is the link I posted above that answers your questions. My post starts at #15.

Again I will state, there are consumer based products and then there are contractor grade.

You need to talk with a chemical supplier to address which products you need and move away from 'toilet bowl cleaner' and the like. You are in a different league now. Time to change the way you think about chemicals.

Rod!~

ps...Talk to Tom @ACR Products for one example. He is one of our advertisers and you can click on the banner to get the contact info.

Edited by Beth n Rod

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