So you are in the pressure washer business and you want to clean the local docks at the Marina. Good plan, let us give you a little advice on this. First you have to sell the account. Explain to the marina manager or the dock master or municipal purchasing agent that their clientele and/or citizens will be very impressed to see that this normally much neglected area of the marina and/or pier is being taken care of and cleaned. It's going to make it much more presentable. The clientele will be happier, therefore will be more likely to keep their moorage in storage there and be happy-paying customers for long into the future. Explain to the dock master or marina manager also that it can be a safety issue. The cleaner and less slippery their docks are the better and safer it's going to be for their clientele. This is also a good selling point. This is an easier sell to government agencies since everyone wants to stay away from lawsuits.
When doing areas that are consistently shaded, or in dark recessed areas, make sure that you remove the excess water to avoid the growth of algae. If you are doing anything inside a building that's over water or anything similar to this, make sure that you remove as much water as possible. You may also want to, in certain situations where their docks warrant it, use a staining product to re-stain the docks to keep them up since a lot of them get weathered and they are consistently exposed to sunlight and harsh salt air and water. For the best products on wood we recommend Lifeguard Water Proofing Products which are guaranteed for five to seven years depending on which grade you buy. You can purchase them at Eagle Hardware, in Canada at Depots.
Other products we recommend are Behr Products, which are the second best and can be found at Home Depots around the country. If they ask you for a wet look go buy a product called Sikkens and this is also available at Home Depot.
If you do any re-staining on decking, be extremely careful not to let the stain material drop into the water as it can sometimes drift and attach itself onto the gel coat of other boats right at their water line. Although it can create some work for you, there will be some unhappy boaters and they will know directly who to go to if you do not work carefully. So, just be cautious, since most stains are lighter than water and they float until they wash up against something, such as a boat hull.
Wood Discoloration Factors and Procedures for Dock Cleaning
There are many types of stains, which can get on a dock at the Marina, if you do not have a pressure washer or steam cleaner and you need to clean these stains you may wish to know how to clean them without expensive equipment. If you have the proper equipment but a stubborn stain, you might want to use these procedures to increase your success.
Algae: Use a diluted bleach* solution (4:1). Saturate algae growth and allow to sit five to ten minutes. Scrub and rinse well.
Extractive/Tannin Bleed: Use a four to five percent solution of oxalic acid. Allow solution to remain on spot until the darkness disappears, then rinse well with water.
Grease: Use a strong household detergent in warm water and agitate with a brush. Automotive degreaser has also shown to be effective when used according to directions.
Mildew: Use a diluted bleach* solution and scrub.
Mill Stamps: There are no solvents available to remove these stamps. Sanding is the most effective means. They will also fade with time.
Leaf Stains: Use a diluted bleach* solution and scrub.
Pitch/Rosin: Scrape the excess material from wood using a putty knife or steel wool and clean the area with hot, soapy water. Turpentine is effective in removing pitch, which is still sappy.
Rosin from surrounding trees: Wipe area with a wet cloth with turpentine.
*Sometimes when cleaning wood with a stain, especially with bleach, the natural color of the wood may disappear. Check with your distributor/supplier for products than can be used to ensure uniformity and restore the wood to its natural color.
Wolmans, Behr, Sikkens, Lifeguard and others have company websites with all this type of information and more. You would be wise to understand these procedures to insure a perfect job. Do it right, do it efficient. Think about it.
"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs