Exterior Maintenance Cleaning Products for Concrete, Wood & Fabric

Each month we are featuring a group of our products to help our current and future customers learn what products we carry that they might not be aware of. Plus this gives information regarding the differences between some items as well. This month we will discuss products used for exterior maintenance cleaning.

For concrete flat work, we have a basic “Concrete Cleaner” as well as degreasers like “Mighty-O” “Mighty-Max” and “Mighty Max Plus”. These all contain butyl, a great grease cutter. The differences between these three mainly are the amount of butyl they contain, 3%, 6%, or 10% respectively. We have a product called “Pro BRC” or Building Restoration Cleaner for brick and masonry to remove years of neglect, mold, mildew, and dirt. It will restore mortar lines back to their original or near-original color without using damaging high pressure that can loosen mortar joints. To remove rust stains from concrete, sometimes caused by certain mineral waters or irrigation thru metal water lines, we have “Concrete Rust Remover”. This is a powder that is mixed with 4 lbs per 5 gallons of water for best results. We also carry some more environmentally friendly products when other products can not be used due to Home Owners Associations or other factors, like our “Natures Green APC” all-purpose cleaner or “Mighty Green” in the same family as the well-known Simple Green®. We also have a bio-degradable Economy degreaser called “Rite Stuff” that contains an organic solvent if butyls are not allowed to be used.

For wood cleaning for decks and other wood structures, we have the following:

“Deck Wash” for regular cleaning of most wood surfaces it can clean anything from cedar to pressure-treated wood. Now if a softer approach is needed to clean, and in no way can contain any acid or harsh ingredients, then our “So Safe” can be used. This percolating product comes in a powder that is mixed just before use and only in the amount that is expected to be used since it will lose its cleaning ability if left to sit. This is perfect when you just need to lift off a layer of dirt without touching the stain, finish, or the woods’ own character like with teak or a newly stained deck. Now if you need to remove an existing finish or stain then you will need one of our strippers. We have two; the first is just called “Deck Stripper” and can handle most normal single-layer or worn stain jobs. But if multiple or thick layers of stain, sealer, or varnish need to be removed then we have the product “Super Stripper” that will do the job. With either of these, you will need to follow them up with a neutralizer to stop the chemical action and for that, we have our “Wood Brightener”. This comes in a powder and is mixed with 4 lbs to 5 gallons of water and can also be used alone to brighten a previously untreated wood surface. The last product we have in our exterior wood section is our Bio Barrier mold inhibitor product. This should be applied to a surface after it has been cleaned and is completely dry. This will prevent the re-growth of mold on wood in areas having known pre-existing problems. Bio Barrier does not kill mold, that is why the surface must first be clean and old mold removed, but once applied to a surface it should stay mold-free for at least 6 months if not for a year or more. Length of time will depends on factors like the amount of time the area is in the shade, how much water or moisture it comes in contact with, how much air circulation is available to the area, and if the surface is horizontal or vertical.

Next is a product for outdoor cloth or plastic fiber fabrics found on lawn furniture pads, umbrellas, awnings, and fabric gazebos called “Carpet & Fabric Cleaner”. This is a great multi-use product. It is formulated with optical brighteners to give colored fibers a deeper tone and better contrast. It will help restore color to fabrics that are faded by dirt and grime. It contains no harsh chemicals that will damage fibers and will help to extend the life of the outdoor fabrics used. Companies such as Sunbrella® suggest only using mild detergents for heavy soiling or to remove molds and mildew by adding a small amount of bleach to the cleaning solution, hot water should NEVER be used on Sunbrella® fabric and may require some brushing to remove stubborn stains from between fibers. “Carpet & Fabric Cleaner” can be used in this recommended manner.

Tomorrow we will cover our products for house washing.