Step-By-Step for Homeowners

Rowhouse PowerwashedSTEP-BY-STEP

FOR HOMEOWNERS

POWERWASHING is the first step in the deck cleaning and sealing process, and can be scheduled as long as temperatures are averaging above 45-50 degrees.  Furniture is cleared from the surfaces, they are powerwashed, treated with brighteners or stain removers as appropriate, then left to dry for at least 24 hours before they can be sealed.

SEALING is the second step, and can begin when the decks are completely dry, 24-48 hours after powerwashing and at least 12 hours since last rainfall, and when no rain is in the forecast for the next 24 hours.

STEP ONE: DECK CLEANING AND POWERWASHING

PRIOR TO POWERWASHING … 
Temporary access to a working water source, and to all areas in which the work is to be performed, must be provided prior to the work’s commencement. Where building or gate keys are required, a duplicate entry key may be made available to the crew manager, to be returned upon completion of the project.  Ladders will NOT be used by crew members to gain access to locked areas.  NO ENTRY INSIDE residential units unless owner is present.

Furniture, potted plants and personal belongings must be removed from all work areas prior to the crew’s arrival. Added costs are incurred when crew members must relocate these items. Crew members will not remove anything hanging from the decks. Stationary items, such as built-in planters, statuary or cooking surfaces and grills may be left in place.  All windows and doorways should be tightly closed.

SURFACE AREAS BENEATH ITEMS REMAINING ON THE WORK AREA  WILL NOT BE CLEANED OR SEALED.

WHEN THE CREW ARRIVES TO POWERWASH …
Plants and/or areas that ought to be protected from the water stream (or chemicals, when using brighteners or sealant remover) are relocated, if possible, or covered in plastic. Shrubs or small trees growing near the surfaces to be treated are covered with plastic fencing and pulled back and away from the surface area when possible.

High-pressure hoses are brought to the highest level of the areas to be cleaned, then lowered to ground level and connected securely to the powerwasher. Garden hoses from the water source are then connected to the powerwasher as well, the water is turned on and the VERY noisy powerwashing machine engine is started. Several powerwashers are often used concurrently to minimize completion time.

Residents MUST NOT come out onto the decks while the crew is working.

AFTER POWERWASHING …
The surrounding area is cleaned and hosed down completely with a garden hose, to minimize any spotting remaining from the dirty water droplets falling during the powerwashing process. Residents may walk on the surfaces immediately after powerwashing and use them in the days following, while they are drying and waiting to be sealed. The crew will return to seal the porches as soon as there is a rain-free opportunity. We will be in touch via email during this time, as we watch the weather together.

STEP TWO: SEALING

PRIOR TO SEALING …
1. Move anything on the ground at least 30 feet away from the area to be sealed, so it is not speckled with any stray droplets of sealant.
2. Remove EVERYTHING from the surfaces of the decks, except GRILLS
(no furniture, cushions, carpets, mats, plants, pots, planters, lights or hanging baskets.) Crew members will not remove anything hanging from the decks.
3. Stationary objects like statues, fountains or heavy storage boxes are left in place and we seal around them.
4. Nothing should be stored on the ground beneath the porches.Brazilian Redwood Sealing 3

WHEN THE CREW ARRIVES TO SEAL …
Our crews take all possible care to protect the property and its surrounding area prior to sealing the surfaces.  All areas to be protected are tarped extensively and all plants are lightly watered with a garden hose before they are tarped.  The surfaces are examined carefully, then prepped and lightly sanded, where necessary, and any remaining stains spot-treated.

Residents MUST NOT come out onto the porches while the crew is working.

AFTER SEALING …
The oil and color in the sealant take about two hours to penetrate and set. We ask that you not walk on the decks for about 24 hours, however, because the light surface oil remaining needs another six to twelve hours to evaporate before people walk on the surfaces. Yellow DO NOT CROSS tape is placed at the base of the staircase, where applicable, and across every doorway as a reminder.

A good rule of thumb is that if after 24 hours the decks are still sticky to the touch, wait another day. If not, then feel free to walk on them.