tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-19934390593407296092020-02-29T00:30:22.362-08:00Landscape & Home TutorialsHow-to landscape &amp; home repair articles for the DIY.Unknownnoreply@blogger.comBlogger3125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-1993439059340729609.post-72435224263536269542019-02-09T14:20:00.001-08:002019-02-09T15:04:21.146-08:00Landscape Maintenance Checklists<div style="text-align: center;"><i>by Jess Stryker, Landscape Architect, Lic. CA#2743&nbsp; (retired)</i></div><br />The following are generic Landscape Maintenance Checklists that you can use as a starting point for determining what specific maintenance items may be needed for both weekly and monthly landscape maintenance chores.&nbsp; The lists are suitable for both residential and commercial landscapes.&nbsp; I created these to help my clients to preserve the investment they had made in new landscaping.<br /><a name='more'></a><br />In the course of my career, on numerous occasions I have seen poor maintenance practices kill off 25% or more or the plants in a brand new landscape in the course of a single year!&nbsp; To put that in terms of money, think of this, many of the landscapes for the large big-box stores that were my clients cost over half a million dollars to install.&nbsp; That means in one year those stores lost $125,000 worth of landscape they had paid for, often to save about $200 a month in maintenance costs.&nbsp; Can you imagine the reaction of those store managers if they found that a store employee had stolen $125,000 worth of merchandise?&nbsp; Yep, somebody would probably be in jail.&nbsp; So here's a simple list of the most basic things needed to at least give the landscape a fighting chance at staying alive and preserve your investment.<br /><br />These checklists are copyrighted, however you are free to use them without charge or royalties for any individual project or site.&nbsp; I do ask that you review and modify them to meet your specific landscape needs, as each landscape is unique in some way.&nbsp; I also request that you not republish them in whole, in either print or electronic form.&nbsp; You use this entirely at your own risk!&nbsp; I expect you to modify it as needed to avoid any issues that would create liability for you or for me.&nbsp; <b>By using the checklists you agree to hold me harmless from damages resulting from your use of them.</b><br /><b>-----------------------------------------------------</b><br /><br /><b>Modify these lists to fit your landscape before using.&nbsp; This is a guideline only!</b><br /><h3>WEEKLY LANDSCAPE MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST</h3><ol><li>Mow and edge lawns if needed.</li><li>Prune back any shrubs overhanging curbs or sidewalks.&nbsp; Don't prune all the shrubs weekly just because they are there!&nbsp; Let them grow out to a healthy size and fill in.</li><li>Prune back any groundcover overhanging curbs or sidewalks.</li><li>Remove litter and leaves from plants, planters, and parking lots.</li><li>Remove any broken or fallen branches from trees. Remove sucker growth from tree trunks.</li><li>Remove any weeds larger than 2 inches (5 cm) high or wide from planters. Weeds 2 inches (5 cm) and larger must be removed, not just killed.</li><li>Return to the planters any bark mulch which has been knocked or washed out of planters. Smooth mulch layer if it has been disturbed.</li><li>Return to the planters any&nbsp;decorative rock which has been knocked or washed out of planters. Smooth decorative rock surface if it has been disturbed.</li><li>Check plants for signs of stress or disease. Replace any plants that are dead or missing.&nbsp;&nbsp; Request authorization if extra charge.</li><li>Sweep or blow clean all walkways, curbs, and gutters.</li><li>Treat for any signs of disease or pest infestation.&nbsp; Request authorization if extra charge.</li><li>Complete any items required on the Monthly Checklist.</li><li>Hand water any plants that are dry and stressed.</li><li>Check the irrigation system. Make emergency repairs as needed or request authorization to make major repairs.&nbsp;</li><li>Adjust the irrigation controllers (if they are not self-adjusting Smart Controllers) for current water needs of plants.</li></ol><h3>MONTHLY MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST</h3><div>(Dates for this list are based on the climate in USA West Coast and Southern States, you may need to adjust some items to different months depending on your local climate.)</div><div><br /></div><b>January:</b><br /><blockquote class="tr_bq">Prune any tree branches that interfere with public safety. Prune all parking lot and street trees yearly to encourage strong upward growth.&nbsp; Thin foliage if needed.</blockquote><b>February:</b><br /><blockquote class="tr_bq">Apply fertilizer to promote early spring growth in late February or early March.&nbsp;</blockquote><b>March:</b><br /><blockquote class="tr_bq">Plant annual color for spring/summer bloom.<br />Flush out irrigation systems as needed and check for proper operation of each valve zone. (Do irrigation work after last hard frost of season.)<br />Remove and clean irrigation main filter screens, if any.<br />Clean or replace plugged sprinkler nozzles and the screens under the nozzles. Replace plugged drip emitters.<br />Replace irrigation controller program back-up batteries, if any.</blockquote><b>April:</b><br /><blockquote class="tr_bq">Inventory all plant materials. Make an exact count of all shrubs and trees, itemized by planter.&nbsp; Compare it to previous inventories and replace any dead or missing plants.<br />Add new mulch to planters where the mulch depth has been reduced to less than 2 inches (5 cm) thick to reduce weeds and conserve water. Mulch not required where shrubs or groundcover completely hide the soil surface from view.&nbsp;</blockquote><b>May:</b><br /><blockquote class="tr_bq">Apply fertilizer to all landscape areas. The May fertilization of shrubs/groundcover areas may be deleted when the plants reach maturity or completely fill the planters, without space between them.&nbsp;</blockquote><b>June:</b><br /><blockquote class="tr_bq">Prune spring &amp; winter-flowering shrubs as needed to maintain proper shape after blooms have dropped off.</blockquote><b>July:</b><br /><blockquote class="tr_bq">No additional items.</blockquote><b>August:</b><br /><blockquote class="tr_bq">Apply fertilizer to all landscape areas. The August fertilization of shrubs/groundcover areas may be deleted for plants that have reached maturity or completely fill the planters, without space between them.&nbsp;</blockquote><b>September:</b><br /><blockquote class="tr_bq">Prune perennial bulbs back to ground level as soon as leaf blades yellow and wilt due to cold weather. Apply 3 inches of mulch on ground surface over bulbs to insulate from cold.&nbsp; Apply 3" of mulch around trees in areas where local practice is to mulch trees for winter.<br />In areas without snow, plant annual color for fall/winter bloom.</blockquote><b>October:</b><br /><blockquote class="tr_bq">Apply fertilizer to all landscape areas if in a location where hard frost is not common. The October fertilization of shrubs/groundcover areas may be deleted when the plants reach maturity or completely fill the planters, without space between them.<br />Prepare irrigation system for winter. Make sure backflow preventer is well insulated or drained prior to first freeze. Blow out pipes using compressed air in areas where freezing could result in breakage.&nbsp; See irrigation winterization tutorial at <a href="http://irrigationtutorials.com/">IrrigationTutorials.com</a>.</blockquote><b>November:</b><br /><blockquote class="tr_bq">No additional items.</blockquote><b>December:</b><br /><blockquote class="tr_bq">Prune any tree branches that interfere with public safety. Prune all parking lot and street trees yearly to encourage strong, upward growth.*<br />Prune summer and fall-blooming shrubs as needed to maintain proper shape.</blockquote><br /><h3>Don't Top Off Trees (there are better options!)&nbsp;</h3>* Almost all arborists agree that you should not "top" trees (cut off all the top branches to lower the tree height.)&nbsp; Topping creates weak new growth branches that can break off and cause injury or damage when they fall.&nbsp; New growth that occurs after topping is almost always thicker and denser than the previous branches were, and it also grows back very rapidly as the tree puts all its resources into replacing the lost foliage.&nbsp; Therefore, the purpose of topping to open up a view is more or less defeated shortly after the tops are removed.&nbsp; &nbsp;If the tree is blocking a view here are some other options to consider:<br /><br /><ol><li>The best solution when you want a view of a building facade or house preserved is to prune off the lower branches to push the tree's foliage up higher on the tree and allow the view to be seen under the tree's foliage.&nbsp; Picture the tall wispy trees you see in photos of Africa where giraffes have eaten off all the low foliage.&nbsp; That's what you are aiming for, trees that will frame your building, directing attention toward it rather than hiding it.</li><li>A less effective approach is to selectively remove some branches to thin the tree foliage so you can see through it.</li><li>Remove the tree all together and plant a shorter tree.&nbsp; In commercial center parking lots this usually is not an option because environmental protection laws require the large trees to offset the adverse impact of the parking lot.</li></ol><br /><br /><br />Unknownnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-1993439059340729609.post-4733452208452803042019-02-08T16:25:00.001-08:002019-07-04T15:10:07.291-07:00How to Fix a Noisy or Bubbling Noise in a Sloan Flushmate ToiletToilet models that use the <b>Sloan Flushmate System</b> will sometimes make a moaning or groaning noise when flushed.&nbsp; Other times they continuously gurgle, like the sound of water leaking or bubbling. The groaning noise occurs just AFTER the toilet has flushed, while the tank is refilling. The gurgling noise is continuous.&nbsp; A somewhat loud whooshing noise is normal when this type of toilet is flushed, this sounds similar to the noise a commercial toilet makes.&nbsp; Here's how to fix it.<br /><a name='more'></a><br />The objectionable noise from the <b>Flushmate</b> device sounds something like an old-style foghorn, a loud groan, or vibration (it is cause by vibration, so that makes sense!) Some people may find that it sounds like a ghost, cow, or some other animal. Often it is a two-toned noise with a high pitch at first and then a lower pitch after. I think it sounds like the fog horn on that old soap commercial that went "Bee...- Ohhh..." Now I'm dating myself, since that commercial hasn't been around for many, many years!<br /><br /><h3>The very easy fix for the Sloan Flushmate Noise:</h3>Fortunately both these problems are very easy to cure. The same fix works for both.<br /><ul><li>Remove the ceramic cover from the tank on the back of the toilet.</li><li>Fill a one-gallon jug with water.</li><li>Pour the water into the toilet tank. Just pour it over the top of the black plastic <b>Flushmate</b> container. It will run down the sides into the bottom of the ceramic tank. See photo below.</li><li>Now flush the toilet. The noise should be gone.</li></ul><br />That's all there is to it.&nbsp; Note that this fix does not permanently cure either noise, I found that both came back with time, requiring water to be added to the tank again.*<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-nvlgfa007cQ/XF4Q7q5fXPI/AAAAAAAAEQc/T50phZAid48bBwsQRN5t95T6tkp8opopACLcBGAs/s1600/Noisy%2BFlushmate%2BToilet%2BFix.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Pouring water into the toilet tank around the Flushmate unit." border="0" data-original-height="450" data-original-width="600" height="300" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-nvlgfa007cQ/XF4Q7q5fXPI/AAAAAAAAEQc/T50phZAid48bBwsQRN5t95T6tkp8opopACLcBGAs/s400/Noisy%2BFlushmate%2BToilet%2BFix.jpg" title="" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">Pour 1-gallon of water into the tank, then flush the toilet.</div><br />If this does not fix the problem there is a separate issue regarding Flushmate toilets made prior to the year 2000. The noise these older toilets make is at the start of the flush cycle and is due to a defect or misadjustment. At one time there were instructions for fixing that problem on Sloan's website but they appear to have been removed at the last time I checked.&nbsp; You will need to contact Sloan for assistance, see&nbsp;<a href="http://www.flushmate.com/">Sloan's website</a>&nbsp;for contact information.<br /><br /><h3>Why just adding water works:</h3>To prevent condensation from filling up the ceramic tank there is a water release valve at the bottom of the ceramic tank, under the black Flushmate unit. Sometimes this valve becomes stuck, which results in the noise that you were hearing. Pouring water into the tank causes the valve to unstick.<br /><br />Sloan Flushmate systems are used in toilets made by the following companies: American Standard, Capizzi, Crane, Ellipse, Eljer, Gerber, HCG, Kohler, Lamosa, Mancesa, Mansfield, Orion, Peerless Pottery, Vitra, Vitromex, Vortens, Western, Xinqi.<br /><br /><h3>* Update:</h3>My Flushmate shown in the photo eventually began to gurgle daily, indicating need for repair.&nbsp; My wife was never happy with this Crane toilet, it's very loud when flushed and didn't clear the toilet contents very well.&nbsp; So rather than bother to repair a toilet she didn't like, I replaced it with an American Standard Cadet 3 model with a 3" flush valve.&nbsp; The new toilet is now several years old and working great.&nbsp; It clears better and is much quieter than the Flushmate.<br />Happy wife = happy life!<br /><br /><br />Unknownnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-1993439059340729609.post-36227212971644459162019-02-04T16:08:00.000-08:002019-07-04T15:08:42.788-07:00How to Clean and Renew Your Redwood or Cedar Fence or Deck<i><span style="font-size: x-small;">by Jess Stryker, Landscape Architect (reg. no. 2743 California)</span></i><br /><br />Is your fence or deck looking gray and dirty?&nbsp; Do you have a brand new fence or deck with ugly black marks on the wood?&nbsp; Here's how to identify the problem and fix it.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DQCc9O90ivs/XFi50fVnW8I/AAAAAAAAEQE/1HKJdrC53ak1gJ6a4S7ItqqRpFxDdmEnACEwYBhgL/s1600/weathered%2Bredwood%2Bfence.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Photo of a weathered gray fence." border="0" data-original-height="450" data-original-width="600" height="150" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DQCc9O90ivs/XFi50fVnW8I/AAAAAAAAEQE/1HKJdrC53ak1gJ6a4S7ItqqRpFxDdmEnACEwYBhgL/s200/weathered%2Bredwood%2Bfence.jpg" title="" width="200" /></a><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TZKJ17pstRg/XFi5rvMRBWI/AAAAAAAAEPI/R2rHuH2VW9UASQpwAncsAFk8H7rZUTCNwCLcBGAs/s1600/Splotches%2B%2526%2BBlack%2BMarks%2Bon%2BRedwood%2BFence.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Photo of a new redwood fence with a black splotch on it." border="0" data-original-height="300" data-original-width="400" height="150" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TZKJ17pstRg/XFi5rvMRBWI/AAAAAAAAEPI/R2rHuH2VW9UASQpwAncsAFk8H7rZUTCNwCLcBGAs/s200/Splotches%2B%2526%2BBlack%2BMarks%2Bon%2BRedwood%2BFence.jpg" title="" width="200" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both;">Left: Weathered redwood fence that has turned gray with age and dirt.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both;">Right: Ugly black discoloration on a new redwood fence.</div><br /><a name='more'></a><br /><h3 style="text-align: left;"><div style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Chances are more than one problem is causing the discolorations on your fence/deck. In this article we'll look at how to correct the following common sources of discoloration:</div><div style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;"><br /></div><ul style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;"><li>Sap and Oil Discoloration.</li><li>Mold, Mildew, &amp; Tannin Stains.</li><li>Normal graying and fading.</li><li>Burns and other causes of discoloration.</li></ul><div style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;"><br /></div><div style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">The easiest approach to the problem is to go through each of the steps below in order. They are ordered here starting with the easiest and quickest, and moving along to the more laborious and time consuming. Hopefully the discolorations will be reduced to an acceptable level before you get to the last, most labor-intensive step!</div><div><br /></div></h3><h4 style="text-align: left;">New Fences &amp; Decks</h4></div>Now that your brand new <b>redwood or cedar fence/deck</b> is installed, as you stand admiring it, you realize it has <b>black blotches</b> on the wood. Some of the black marks likely appear as <b>black swirls</b>, others are streaks or small spots like paint drops. In still other areas, you may have <b>splotches</b> that look like hazy black clouds, or even black lines. What are they? How did they get there? Most of all, what can you do to get rid of them?&nbsp; Here's some DIY solutions for ugly marks on your fences and decks.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-P5dMglhLHj0/XFi5ywt-WJI/AAAAAAAAEPg/dQaAqjNsaQQSEbusMQ_jZdUUh6BxOnNAACEwYBhgL/s1600/redwood%2Bfence%2Bafter%2Bcleaning.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Same fence as the previous photo, but the black splotch is cleaned off." border="0" data-original-height="300" data-original-width="400" height="240" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-P5dMglhLHj0/XFi5ywt-WJI/AAAAAAAAEPg/dQaAqjNsaQQSEbusMQ_jZdUUh6BxOnNAACEwYBhgL/s320/redwood%2Bfence%2Bafter%2Bcleaning.jpg" title="" width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">Same new fence as shown at the top of this page after cleaning and brightening.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><h4>Normal Color Variations for New Fences:</h4>If this is a new fence or deck your first step is to ask yourself&nbsp; "is there really a problem, or is the color variation normal?"&nbsp; Some color variation in the wood is normal, especially for Redwood. Fresh cut cedar has a cream color. Fresh cut redwood varies in color from cream to a reddish pink. The cream colored wood is sapwood, from the outer perimeter of the tree. The reddish-pink wood is heart wood that is taken from the center of the tree, the red color is due to a chemical called tannin. Tannin is very rot and insect resistant. The tannin is what makes redwood so durable. So the red colored wood will hold up better over time. (That's something to consider when picking out redwood boards at the lumber yard.) Both cedar and redwood age to a silver gray color over time.&nbsp; Keep in mind that if you allow the wood to age to its natural silver-gray color, most color imperfections on fresh cut cedar or redwood will fade and become much less obvious over the course of 2-3 years.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-EZkjbgZ37Gw/XFi5xa_cDuI/AAAAAAAAEP8/6-kpq3QvCoUWvDIiIAm-yfda6Fq1L9XdACEwYBhgL/s1600/new%2Bredwood%2Bfence.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Photo of a new redwood fence showing color variations." border="0" data-original-height="450" data-original-width="600" height="240" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-EZkjbgZ37Gw/XFi5xa_cDuI/AAAAAAAAEP8/6-kpq3QvCoUWvDIiIAm-yfda6Fq1L9XdACEwYBhgL/s320/new%2Bredwood%2Bfence.jpg" title="" width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">New redwood fence with normal color variations.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><h4>Sap and Oil Discoloration:</h4>Start by examining the black coloration. If the spots have a somewhat shiny surface and/or are raised slightly above the wood service they are probably caused by sap that has oozed to the wood surface. Sap will often be sticky if you touch it. Oil spots are less common, but periodically occur when oil drips on the wood while it is being cut at the sawmill.&nbsp;<b>Sap and oil spots can both be removed using paint thinner.</b>&nbsp;Take a small rag or paper towel, wet it with paint thinner, and then scrub the spot with it. It will take a little vigorous rubbing, but if it is sap or oil, the spot will dissolve and come off. Remember that paint thinner is very flammable, be sure you read the warnings on the can, and dispose of the used paint-thinner soaked rag properly!<br /><br /><h4>Mold, Mildew, and Tannin Stains:</h4>The next step is to go after black marks that are caused by tannin stains, mold or mildew. These are the most common causes of black stains you'll find on redwood and cedar fence/decks. As mentioned before, redwood and cedar wood both contain tannin. Tannin reacts with a number of things, such as steel in tools or nails, to create discoloration. Tannin discoloration due to the saw blade used to cut the wood is very common.&nbsp;<b>Saw blade marks often appear as black swirl marks on the wood.</b>&nbsp;Steel nails often cause a black spot around the head of the nail. (To minimize nail spots the nails used in redwood and cedar wood should be stainless steel, aluminum, or double-dipped galvanized steel.) Steel straps used to hold bundles of wood together for shipping also leave black marks on the wood. You will notice that the black tannin stains are worse on the redder areas of the wood, this is because the redder areas have more tannin in the wood.<br /><br /><b>Mold and mildew</b>&nbsp;simply grows on the cut boards while they are being shipped or stored. If you want to tell if a discoloration is tannin stains or mold/mildew simply put a drop of undiluted&nbsp;<b>bleach</b>&nbsp;on it. If it is mold/mildew it will fade away. Do this in an inconspicuous place. Concentrated bleach will discolor the wood. Some experts recommend a solution of one cup bleach and one cup of TSP in one gallon of water, sprayed on the mold to remove it. (Real TSP, not a TSP substitute.) This diluted bleach/TSP solution does not discolor the wood; however I have found that it is not very effective at removing the mold or mildew.<br /><br /><h4>Old Dirty Gray Color Wood:</h4>If you dislike the silver-gray color of an older fence/deck, you can easily restore it to a lighter color by pressure washing it with water or brushing on an oxalic acid spray. However this will not restore the original shades of red &amp; cream, which are lost as the wood ages and the tannin leaches out.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DQCc9O90ivs/XFi50fVnW8I/AAAAAAAAEQE/1HKJdrC53ak1gJ6a4S7ItqqRpFxDdmEnACEwYBhgL/s1600/weathered%2Bredwood%2Bfence.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Photo of a weathered gray fence." border="0" data-original-height="450" data-original-width="600" height="240" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DQCc9O90ivs/XFi50fVnW8I/AAAAAAAAEQE/1HKJdrC53ak1gJ6a4S7ItqqRpFxDdmEnACEwYBhgL/s320/weathered%2Bredwood%2Bfence.jpg" title="" width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">Weathered redwood fence that has turned gray with age and dirt.</div><br /><h4><b>Pressure washing:</b></h4>Spraying the fence with a high pressure steam of water using a pressure washer will do a good job of brightening an old gray fence.&nbsp; It has to be a 2000 PSI or more pressure washer, a nozzle on a garden hose alone will not have enough pressure to blast the dirty top layer of wood off.&nbsp; The high pressure water actually removes the outer layer of wood, so keep in mind that regular pressure washing will make your fence boards thinner over time.&nbsp; <b>Be sure to hang a over-spray tarp behind the fence before you pressure wash it!</b>&nbsp; (See instructions for making a over-spray tarp near the bottom of this page.)&nbsp; The high pressure spray will carry much of the dirty water through these gaps and onto whatever is on the other side of the fence.&nbsp; I have seen the dirt from the fence "paint" dirty stripes on the adjacent house's walls.&nbsp; (The neighbor's wall had to be pressure washed and the paint touched up!)&nbsp; &nbsp;You can build a simple frame for the tarp using 2x4 lumber.<br /><br /><h3>Oxalic Acid Treatment for both New and Old Wood.</h3><b>Use oxalic acid to remove dirt and both tannin stains and mold/mildew.</b>&nbsp; Oxalic acid crystals are sold online and at some hardware stores. It can also be used to remove the gray color from aged wood, it turns the wood to a much lighter yellowish-gray color.&nbsp;&nbsp;Note: It will not restore the old wood to a completely fresh-cut look.&nbsp;&nbsp;Oxalic acid will not strip off previously applied sealers, stains or paint. For those situations you need to use a product made specifically for paint or stain removal.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-SkRRCuq-LxU/XFi5yRweGiI/AAAAAAAAEP4/GWv3f8ve3F0VV_qmNMYv4E3623pkeobTgCEwYBhgL/s1600/oxalic%2Bacid%2Bused%2Bto%2Bbrighten%2Ba%2Bboard%2Bon%2Bold%2Bgray%2Bfence.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Gray fence with a single board treated with oxalic acid wash. " border="0" data-original-height="400" data-original-width="300" height="320" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-SkRRCuq-LxU/XFi5yRweGiI/AAAAAAAAEP4/GWv3f8ve3F0VV_qmNMYv4E3623pkeobTgCEwYBhgL/s320/oxalic%2Bacid%2Bused%2Bto%2Bbrighten%2Ba%2Bboard%2Bon%2Bold%2Bgray%2Bfence.jpg" title="" width="240" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">The brighter old fence board was treated with oxalic acid.&nbsp; Pressure washed board look similar.</div><br />The lighter board on this old redwood gate in the photo above has been sprayed with oxalic acid.&nbsp; As you can see it does not restore the pinkish color of the redwood, but it does brighten it and removes many of the dark stains.<br /><br /><b>Applying Oxalic Acid:</b><br /><br />WARNING: Oxalic acid is dangerous stuff.&nbsp; Use as little of it as possible.&nbsp; Avoid getting it on adjacent surfaces.&nbsp; It will damage or kill plants if sprayed on them.&nbsp; Wear chemical resistant gloves and eye protection.&nbsp; Wear a dust mask when opening containers of oxalic acid crystals and when mixing.&nbsp; Read all warning labels.&nbsp; Use at your own risk.<br /><br />1. Cover any metal parts (except nails) of the fence/deck with plastic to protect them from the acid. Wear gloves and eye protection, remember you are working with acid!&nbsp; If there are gaps between fence boards place a over-spray tarp behind the fence to catch the spray that goes through the gaps.&nbsp; Cover any plants that might get sprayed with plastic drop clothes.<br /><br />2.&nbsp; Make a oxalic acid spray solution per the directions on the box. Most people use 4 oz. of oxalic acid crystals per gallon of warm water to make the spray solution. One gallon of solution will typically treat about 400 square feet of wood surface, or about 66 linear feet of a standard 6 foot tall fence.&nbsp; Or use a cleaner solution that contains oxalic acid (see below).<br /><br />3.&nbsp; Wet down the fence/deck with a hose, then allow a few minutes for the excess water to drain off. If water puddles on the wood, sweep it off, you want the wood to be just slightly wet.<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xujnannf0IM/XFi5z1HeneI/AAAAAAAAEQA/f78wAKfB8SY8GAWPDPlVsxlSBt6nX3u6wCEwYBhgL/s1600/spraying%2Bfence%2Bwith%2Boxalic%2Bacid%2Bto%2Bremove%2Bstains.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Spraying solution on fence." border="0" data-original-height="300" data-original-width="400" height="240" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xujnannf0IM/XFi5z1HeneI/AAAAAAAAEQA/f78wAKfB8SY8GAWPDPlVsxlSBt6nX3u6wCEwYBhgL/s320/spraying%2Bfence%2Bwith%2Boxalic%2Bacid%2Bto%2Bremove%2Bstains.jpg" title="" width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">Spraying oxalic acid on a fence.</div><br />4.&nbsp; Use a standard plastic garden sprayer to spray the oxalic acid solution onto the wet wood. Make sure you use a plastic sprayer that does not have any metal parts. Apply the solution in small sections. If treating a fence, an 8 foot long section is a good area to work with at one time.<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AhctlRdZpSg/XFi5xSkr_vI/AAAAAAAAEP0/j9EL1LQJP3swC33sZpsrbFEjdv9LrjLEQCEwYBhgL/s1600/brushing%2Btreated%2Bfence%2Bwith%2Boxalic%2Bacid%2Busing%2Bold%2Bbroom.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Using a plastic broom to spread solution around and work it into the wood grain." border="0" data-original-height="300" data-original-width="400" height="240" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AhctlRdZpSg/XFi5xSkr_vI/AAAAAAAAEP0/j9EL1LQJP3swC33sZpsrbFEjdv9LrjLEQCEwYBhgL/s320/brushing%2Btreated%2Bfence%2Bwith%2Boxalic%2Bacid%2Busing%2Bold%2Bbroom.jpg" title="" width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">Spreading the oxalic acid solution using a broom.</div><br />5. After spraying the solution on the fence/deck spread it evenly and rub it into the wood using a broom or brush. A standard plastic broom works very well. Do not use a wire brush. The black discoloration should start to fade as you rub the acid over it with the broom. Stains that are more persistent may need a second application, and a little scrubbing.<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Sn8GgLHQbLs/XFi5xS8e80I/AAAAAAAAEPw/hpaGwP6RnLMHGVmQHQTNK8tIKWP2QBFxwCEwYBhgL/s1600/Fence%2Bstain%2Bspot%2Btreatment.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Using a small nylon brush for spot treatment of stubborn stains." border="0" data-original-height="300" data-original-width="400" height="240" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Sn8GgLHQbLs/XFi5xS8e80I/AAAAAAAAEPw/hpaGwP6RnLMHGVmQHQTNK8tIKWP2QBFxwCEwYBhgL/s320/Fence%2Bstain%2Bspot%2Btreatment.jpg" title="" width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">Spot treat and scrub areas that resist cleaning.</div><br />6.&nbsp; Spot treat areas that resist cleaning by spraying with the oxalic acid again, and using a small hand held nylon scrub brush (wear gloves!)<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-vDNErJgDelg/XFi5zHPVPoI/AAAAAAAAEQE/hQAo_LVEKMkE4fnlwh1CfZdfjDp6sXHbwCEwYBhgL/s1600/rinsing%2Bacid%2Boff%2Bfence.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Rinsing the fence with water sprayed from garden hose." border="0" data-original-height="300" data-original-width="400" height="240" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-vDNErJgDelg/XFi5zHPVPoI/AAAAAAAAEQE/hQAo_LVEKMkE4fnlwh1CfZdfjDp6sXHbwCEwYBhgL/s320/rinsing%2Bacid%2Boff%2Bfence.jpg" title="" width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">Rinse with a strong stream of water from a hose.</div><br />7. About 30 minutes after the initial acid application, rinse off the fence/deck with a strong stream of water from a hose. Allow to dry and the black coloration should be gone. The entire wood surface will also be slightly lighter and brighter in color than it was previously.<br /><br /><b>How about using TSP?</b>&nbsp; Some experts like to clean the fence/deck with TSP before applying the oxalic acid. This might be especially helpful if there's lots of mold on the wood. Use 1 cup of TSP per gallon of warm water and apply similar to the oxalic acid described above. Be sure to use real TSP not one of the TSP substitutes that are often sold as "TSP". Some of these TSP substitutes will turn your fence/deck black.<br /><br /><h3>Burns and other causes of discoloration:</h3>Sometimes black marks on redwood and cedar are the result of burning of the wood by a saw blade. Burning typically occurs when the wood jams in the saw and friction from the saw heats the wood and burns it. <b>To remove burn marks sand them off using medium or coarse sandpaper.</b> Standing is the final solution for removing any discolorations that the above methods won't remove.<br /><br /><h3>Making an Over-Spray Tarp:</h3>To make a <b>Over-Spray Tarp</b> simply get a 8'x10' plastic tarp, 40' of 3/4" SCH 40 PVC pipe, and 4 right angle glue-on PVC ells.<br /><blockquote class="tr_bq">(You can use wood boards in place of the PVC.&nbsp; Use whatever board sizes you can get, for example 1'x2'x8' furring strips work good.&nbsp; Assemble the same way, just use wood in place of PVC in the instructions below.&nbsp; Wood is usually less expensive than PVC, but you also may get splinters handling it.)</blockquote><ol><li>Spread out the tarp on the ground.&nbsp;&nbsp;</li><li>Lay a PVC pipe along one side of the tarp and cut it to create a length about 2" shorter than the tarp edge.&nbsp;</li><li>Repeat so that you have a pipe cut to size for all 4 edges of the tarp.&nbsp;&nbsp;</li><li>Using the ells connect the 4 PVC pipes together to make a rectangular frame for the tarp.&nbsp;&nbsp;</li><li>Don't bother to glue the ells onto the pipes, they should stay put without glue.&nbsp; If you are using wood for the frame rather than PVC, use screws to attach the ends of the wood frame together.&nbsp;</li><li>Now staple or screw the tarp to the PVC frame.&nbsp;&nbsp;</li><li>Set the framed tarp behind your fence and use heavy duty string or small rope to tie it to the fence so it stays in place.&nbsp;</li></ol><br /><br /> Unknownnoreply@blogger.comϾ˶ţapp