Deck Restoration Seattle

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Old Weathered Decks can be Restored

Wood deck restoration in Seattle is the process of bringing back the natural appearance to wooden structures such as cedar roofs, cedar decks, gazebos and patio furniture. The climate in Seattle is wet, damp and lacking in sunlight; this leads wooden decks to develop:

  • Moss, Fungus and Lichen.
  • Micro cracks from the stresses of constant rain and sporadic sunlight.
  • Weathering: wood uses weathering to protect itself from our climate.

Although your wood deck in Seattle may look like it needs replacing, most of the time a restoration can bring it back to life. The process of wood restoration is accomplished using certain tools and chemicals and done in a certain order. The first step would be a survey of the structure to be restored.

The Survey

Before starting any restoration project a survey of the structure must be done. Some common questions asked by wood restoration experts are:

  • What type of wood is the deck, gazebo or roof made of?
  • What type of maintenance was previously done? If the wood structure has been previously stained, a different procedure would be called for.
  • Is the damage to the wooden structure on a surface level or will boards and shingles need to be replaced?
  • Is the structure infected by moss and lichen or black algae? If so a treatment before cleaning must be done to rid the deck of these.
  • What is most cost effective to the customer and what procedure will last the longest?

By starting with a good survey it gives both the customer and the restoration expert the opportunity to take the measured steps required in bringing back the wooden structure to its original appearance. Different types of wood require different types of cleaning procedures and chemicals. The woods condition and its current appearance will give the restoration company, a starting point on what needs to be done next.

Chemicals Used in Wood Restoration

Each chemical in the process of wood restoration carries a function. The mixtures for these chemicals can vary widely due to:

  • The level of cleaning needed.
  • The wood type being cleaned.
  • Whether the wooden structure will be stained or has stain currently on it.

Below is a sample table with some common chemicals used in wood restoration. This is not meant as an all inclusive list but as a starting point for what is commonly used in the renovation of wood.

Chemical

Function

Oxygen Bleach

Draws dirt to it gently, used as a green material.

Citric Acid

Brightens and restores natural hues.

Sodium Hypochlorite

Removes top layers of grime, kills moss and lichen.

Trisodium Phosphate

Removes paint stains and rust. Helps kill moss and lichen.

Oxalic Acid

Brightens and remove rust stains. Sets an even tone to wood.

WARNING! The use of these chemicals and their mixtures should only be done by an experienced wood restoration expert. Wrongly mixing chemicals such as Oxalic acid with Oxygen bleach can cause VERY serious injuries. These 2 chemicals cause a reaction that causes noxious gases and when mixed with water can even cause explosions.

The Process

There are steps to properly restoring wood. Certain chemicals are used for each step in the process; wood restoration is also done in a standard order:

1. Cleaning

Depending on what the restoration expert believes is appropriate for cleaning; the deck, gazebo or roof is usually sprayed with a mixture of oxygen bleach or a trisodium/sodium hypochlorite cocktail. This is done to lessen the amount of time it will take to power wash the structure. Power washing by the expert is done with the upmost care to limit the furring of the wood, usually at a PSI of 1000 or lower for wood structures.

2. Brightening:

The process of brightening can be accomplished with either oxalic acid or citric acid or a brightening agent of the restoration experts choosing. This process also helps to neutralize the effects of having used heavy cleaners on wood. It also helps to bring out the woods natural color and grain patterns.

3. Staining, Sealing & Weatherproof

After brightening and neutralizing your deck or roof, a sealer, stain or weatherproofing product should be applied to extend the life of the cleaning and protect the wooden structure from UV rays and rain. The product can vary by the customers or restoration experts’ opinion on the best method for the type of structure. For instance, a cedar roof would receive an oiling while a deck would receive a stain with rain and UV inhibitors.

Appearance and the customers concerns also determine the right product to use. There are many products out there today that contain algae resistant chemicals and coloring to add both protection and improved appearance to the cleaned, brightened and stained wooden deck, roof, gazebo or furniture.

Conclusion

Seattle is home to over 150 days of rain a year. Moss, Lichen and mold are a problem we are constantly battling to control. Decks are an inviting environment for the growth of moss and lichen, and are also victims to the effects of weathering. Proper care and maintenance of wooden structures should be done on a yearly basis. Choosing the right chemicals, tools and procedures can either enhance or ruin a deck. Whether you are considering doing-it-yourself or are seeking a professional for advice you are welcome to call us with any questions or concerns.

How to Repair a Leak in a Gutter

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Gutter leaks at seams are a common occurrence.  A gutter patch at the seam will stop a troublesome leak. Leaks in gutter can cause serious problems to the home by allowing water to get behind:

  • Siding
  • Drywall
  • Eaves

Here’s what you’ll need to patch your gutter:

  • Scissors
  • Henrys 208
  • 6 inch non adhesive mesh tape.
  • A flexible putty knife 2 inches thick

Step 1.

Clean All Debris out from the area being patched.

Step 2.

Using a rag, completely dry the area around the leak.

Step 3.

Apply Henrys 208, 6 inches past the leak on each side.

Step 4.

Use your scissors to cut the mesh tape so it fits in the gutter.

Step 5.

Gently press the mesh tape into the Henrys 208.

Step 6.

Using your flexible 2 inch putty knife, apply Henrys 208 to the mesh tape, completely covering it.

You have now repaired the leak at your gutter seams. This method is a long-lasting, quick way to patch leaky gutters. The asphalt covers the leak and the mesh tape stops the asphalt from splitting in hot or cold weather. Although this was not our invention, we have used it with great success, and we hope it works for you too!

shoes for walking on cedar roofs

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Shoes for Walking a Cedar Roof

Korkers are a good tool to add to any roof cleaners arsenal. They are shoes with spikes that grab ahold of extremely slippery cedar shakes. Cedar shakes are like ice when they are wet and its a GUARANTEE that a cleaner will be headed for a long fall without some measure of safety. I would venture to say that walking a cedar roof is nearly impossible even in dry conditions!

In the picture below the wearer of these shoes is walking a roof of  7/12 pitch with no problems. Although korkers are a necessity for safely cleaning cedar roofs they do not take the place of necessary safety devices for fall protection such as:

  • Lanyards
  • Safety harness
  • Roof hooks
  • Chicken ladders
  • Safety engineered rope

Bleach for Killing Moss on a Roof

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WHY STORE BOUGHT BLEACH ISN’T STRONG ENOUGH TO KILL MOSS

There is a common misconception that bleach can kill moss. Homeowners go into their local supermarket and pick up a jug, pour it on their roofs and wonder why the moss hasn’t died. This information is faulty because, originally, store bought bleach only contained 6% of its weight as Sodium Hypochlorite [A.K.A Bleach].

6% bleachMIXTURES AREN’T ALWAYS SO CLEAR

There are many faulty ehow recipes on how to mix the bleach. By the time you’re done with even a conservative, 1 part bleach to 3 parts water your mixture isn’t strong enough to kill the moss you were after. Mixing household bleach which originally held 94% of its volume as water with even more water makes for a product that is not potent.

Bleach is about $6 a gallon at this time of writing. It takes about 40 gallons of liquid to properly cover an average homes roof.The roof cleaning costs quickly add up.

Let’s take a look at how easy this can be to screw up, and how difficult it can be for an average consumer to properly and correctly clean his roof:

Original Amount of 6% Bleach

Amount of Water

Strength after Dilution

Gallons of mix required for average 1200 Square foot home

Gallons Total:

1 gallon

33%

4%

40

Bleach: 30 g

   H2O: 10g

You now need a surfactant (something to stop the mix from rapidly flowing into your gutters), Dawn* soap or any surfactant able to mix without causing a reaction to bleach, work well. This is a surfactant that works well with bleach and doesn’t take away from its shelf life.

The mix above is a standard mix roof cleaners use to kill moss. Many times depending on the bleaches shelf life, the mixtures need to be adjusted. Bleach is a very volatile solution that loses its strength quickly and doesn’t handle well with a whole host of surfactants. Mixing the wrong surfactant can be wasteful and leave you with a mixture that doesn’t do what it was supposed to which is to:

  • Kill Moss.
  • Remove Stains.
  • Not Damage the roof it is applied to.

We’ve covered everything except how to get 40 gallons of liquid onto your roof ……. [Continued shortly in: pumps for roof cleaning]

Black Streaks on Roof

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Chemical Cleaning to Remove Black Streaking from Roofing

Gloeocapsa Magma is the scientific name for those black streaks on your roofing. Gloeocapsa is a form of algae that lives in wet humid climates. These streaks of black are not as evident in the Seattle-Tacoma region due to the majority of roofing material being of dark coloring. If your roofing substrate is light colored, it’s very probable that these stains will be found on your home.

Although, Gloeocapsa Magma is not harmful to roofing, the appearance of a home suffers tremendously. When selling a home the algae stains should be an issue that is dealt with before the home is placed up on the market. These stains are a red flag to potential home owners who may not know exactly what that black stuff is and whether or not it’s harmful to the roofing.

Soft wash roof cleaning with chemicals is a superior method of removing Gloeocapsa. This method of roof cleaning gets rid of these unsightly black streaks while keeping the integrity of the roofing intact. Power washing is not as effective at eliminating Gloeocapsa. It is also very damaging to roofing shingles. Read more here………….

In the picture to the left, a chemical solution is sprayed on the roof. Each chemical in the mix does a certain job. Within 25 minutes, the picture to the right shows the roof stains are almost completely gone. The mix continues to work on the stains and streaks until the next day of rain. After the roofs first shower, the roof is looking its best.

Going from being a white roof covered in black to being a white roof again has strong selling value for a home. Soft Washing is a great way to safely and effectively remove black streaks from your roof in Seattle. Whether your home is up on the market or you just don’t like coming home to a dirty roof, consider chemical cleaning when hiring a roof cleaning contractor.


 

Cedar Roof Oiling is it Necessary?

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Why Should I Oil My Roof?

 There is a big debate on the benefits of oiling a cedar roof. A comprehensive and great research paper was written by OSU students, referenced in EC1271, September 1988. Their exhaustive research neither discounted nor encouraged oiling of cedar roofs. As stated in EC1271, originally Cedars mass only contained 3% of its weight in oil. With such a small percentage of its weight to begin with being oil, the debate on replenishing is faulty.

 We are not stating that the oils should be replenished. We are advocating oiling a roof in Seattle to prevent rapid expansion and contraction caused by UV rays and rainwater. The stress of shrinking and enlarging cause wood to crack, it is our belief, that oiling a roof stops the expansion and contraction from causing damage to the shingle. The oil allows natural contraction to happen without stressing the wood it is applied to.

 

What Product to use when Oiling a Cedar Roof in Seattle?

Chevron shingle oil is a superior product for oiling cedar roofs it is of low velocity and transparent. The application doesn’t change the appearance of wood; instead it gives the wood a wet look. Although higher in price then other cedar oils, the history and its long established reputation amongst wood restoration experts make it possibly, the best choice for oiling a cedar roof or fence. There are many benefits of Chevron Shingle Oil such as:

  •  Its established reputation.
  •  Its ability to mix well with solvents.
  •  Its lasts when applied: many homeowners have said their oil treatment lasts 5 years or longer.
  • It’s easy to apply. A backpack sprayer with a round tip or flat headed tip work great. There is no need for paint sprayers.
  •  Its ability to be mixed with stain.

5 gallon pails of Chevron Shingle Oil

Why Chevron Shingle Oil?

 Its long established reputation is a major factor on why this is our product of choice. We have used other oil products but they don’t lay down as well as Chevron. When mixed with a solvent at 1 to 5 gallons of shingle oil the flow of the oil is even. The vast majority of a roof can be covered in one solid, thin application. A major problem when oiling a cedar roof is over application that clogs the pores of the wood. The oiling needs to be laid down evenly and uniformly in a thin manner. Chevron in our experience, when mixed correctly, accomplishes this.

 When deciding to oil your roof, it should be done from the day it was installed. The ability to repair a cedar roof once the damage has been done is nonexistent. Maintenance is major issue for wood roofs. There are ways to treat cedar for moss that differ greatly from the way we would treat a composition roof. On average a 1200 square foot roof area costs from $16,000-25,000 dollars, according to homewyse. Yearly maintenance can run you about $400. When deciding to purchase a home with a cedar roof or having it installed, budgeting for maintenance should be the first thing you do. The unexpected consequence of not maintaining your roof, can seriously hinder your economic circumstances.

 

 

Cost to Clean a Cedar Roof in Seattle

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Cedar Roof Cleaning Cost in Seattle

The cost for a cedar roof cleaning in Seattle for a :  3000 square foot , 2 story, medium roof pitch home, averages between 800-1300 dollars. There are many expenses to cleaning a cedar roof:

  •  Labor
  • Gas for Power washer: 75-85 dollars worth for a 3000 square foot home.
  • Insurance costs
  • Chemicals [oxygen bleach and a revitalizer]

The cost for a cedar roof cleaning quickly adds up for the company performing the task. Cedar roof cleanings require meticulous attention to detail. Every square inch is cleaned for the product to turn out right. The job is very labor intensive and requires a set of skilled eyes and hands.

Cedar roofs are like ice when there is moisture and moss growing on them. A good tool to have is a pair of Korkers©. These shoes with spikes are essential to a cedar roof cleaner in Seattle. The spikes allow the wearer to grab a footing while cleaning the shakes. They do not replace other safety measures such as:

  • Lanyard
  •  Chicken ladders
  • Harness
  •  Rope

There is a lot to pressure washing a cedar roof and the right equipment and experience are necessary when deciding to tackle on the task. Many roof cleaners in Seattle won’t even touch a cedar roof as the liability for something going wrong is too high. Slips-Falls and improper use of a power washer can have serious consequences for the roof cleaner and the roofing substrate.

If you are considering hiring someone to clean your cedar roof always make sure the company’s licensed, bonded and insured. Make sure to ask for references. Cedar roof cleaning is a task that requires many years to master and some of the best roof cleaners won’t try their hands at it.

We provide cedar roof cleaning and oiling to the following cities:

Alderwood- Ames Lake- Arlington -Auburn- Ballard- Bellevue-Belltown-Bothell-Bridle Trails-Brier-Burien-Covington Crossroads -Des Moines-Edgewood-Edmonds-Everett-Evergreen-Fall City-Federal Way-Ferndale-Granite Falls-Hunts Point-Issaquah-Issaquah Highlands-Juanita-Kenmore-Kent-Kingsgate-Kirkland-La Conner-Lake City-Lake Forest Park-Lake Goodwin-Lake Stevens-Lynnwood Madison Park-Magnolia-Maltby-Maple Valley-Marysville-Medina-Mercer Island-Mill Creek-Monroe-Mountlake Terrace-Mukilteo Newcastle-North Bend-Overlake-Parkland-Puyallup-Rainier Valley-Redmond-Renton-Rose Hill-Sammamish-Sand Point-SeaTac Seattle-Sedro-Woolley-Shoreline-Smokey Point-Snohomish-Snoqualmie-Spanaway-Stanwood-Tacoma-Totem Lake-Tukwila -University Place-White Center-Woodinville-Yarrow Point