Fence question

Hey guys my name is Grant, I own Aqua Force in Gulfport,MS. I have a quick question I’m cleaning my personal fence and the mold and algae is ridiculous down here on the gulf coast. My question is I’m having trouble getting the deep algae out of the wood. I mixed up a 3% mix in a 1 gallon spray jug of 12.5 sh and it faded it a little but it’s still there, so I was wondering if I need to up the mix or is it just so bad that I don’t need to expect 100% clean. Its never been sealed or cleaned in probably 20 years, it’s a family house I inherited and my grandparents never cared to ever clean it. Thanks guys

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Wet it first, then hit with your 3-4% mix. Let dwell for awhile, like 15min, then rinse with pretty good pressure. On one that bad doesn’t hurt to hit the bad spots with 2nd coat if needed or add a little sodium hydroxide to your mix. make sure you put a little soap in the mix too, that helps the SH penetrate and stick. Actually doesn’t look too bad though the part you’ve cleaned considering age.

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@AquaForceMS Greetings to you from Louisiana, I’m not too far. Let me know if you have a line on a good farm to get grass fed raw milk around there…been trying to plan a trip forever. I hear MS is where it’s at. if you have no idea what I’m talking about or could care less, forgive me. I’m an aspiring yogurt maker in my spare time and when I saw MS on your name, all I could think about is getting my hands on some good raw milk or butter. I’m looking for a good source of pecans,macadamias and walnuts too, that’s local - fruit stand is kicking my ass I just spent 42 bucks on nuts.

@Racer Nice to see experienced people posting in threads like this for new guys, with no hidden agenda. Made me smile, and I just accidentally wiped a hard drive I spent a fair amount of time configuring with the linux dd command, …so I needed a smile, this Ubuntu is absolutely fantastic when I have everything running properly. So much better than Windows. When everything is configured properly and the sysop knows what the hell he’s doing. (I don’t )
That fence looks fine, listen to boss here and give it a soak, then hit it again. If it was me, I’d just hit it with the 15 degree tip, pendulum technique. If the green STILL wouldn’t come, then, well,fall back on the 4% soak.

I like the 3-4% numbers , also, as it’s not a strong mix that will stain that wood quickly. I remember when I first started out, that was my problem (too strong of a mix)

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@Racer I would like to ask you a question.

What chemicals, other than Sodium Hydroxide, would you recommend for someone to keep on their truck? I’m just starting out, barely have a year under my belt. I’ve done a bit of research, but there’s nothing google can tell me that experience has shown you, so, Racer, I gotta ask- what few chems would you add on a truck? (and, what would they be good for?, ie, Ascetic Acid=good for mold on expensive marble surfaces such as swimming pool spigots etc) [btw, i am just using that as an example. but ascetic acid prolly would work]

Aqua Force,
I might add that if you end up using a stronger mix than say 1-2% then after you rinse go back and rinse with a neutralizer (brightener) Most common are oxalic or citric. Most use oxalic because a little easier to fine and if you have a lot of rusty nail stains that’s a good choice. But I typically use citric acid, just a tad more expensive, but easier on environment. Slightly higher on ph scale so not quite as strong as oxalic but will do the job. Just spray on liberally(can do a few sections at a time) and then rinse again, can just use hose to rinse 2nd time, don’t need the pressure. What you’re doing is returning it to Ph neutral.

Otherwise that fence you’re cleaning will be a nice faded gray in about no time.

Where I buy my citric - mix about about 1 cup per gallon - Citric Acid (Fine and Coarse Grain) Supplier | Bulk Apothecary


@Racer Thank you very much, i will try adding the sodium hydroxide like you said and see if that get its, also i didnt let it dwell that long maybe 7 minutes, so i will go the full 15 this time.

I rarely, ever use Sodium hydroxide unless I’m stripping wood. Nasty stuff and will burn you. Some people do all the time because they’re lazy or impatient. Try just a little stronger mix and let dwell a little longer. Be sure to wet first. Most the damage is on the exterior of the wood.


@Lagniappe Thanks man, I used to live in picayune MS which is like 15 miles from Slidell and maybe 40 minutes from New Orleans. Oh yea the best yogurt is made with raw milk, there used to be an amish market down here that sold raw milk and butter, but i think it ended up closing down. I know that there is a place is Laurel, MS called Rolling Hills Ranch that sells raw milk, butter, and basically everything you can get on a farm.

where would be a good place to find powder oxalic acid? I’m having issues locating it locally, which sucks because I need it for a job this sunday

Usually sold in big box stores as ‘wood bleach’ Either HD or Lowes should have.Going to be more expensive though.

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I’ve been reading a lot on here and watching videos. Here’s what I’ve gathered. I should rinse the deck. Apply my standard house wash SH Mix. (Maybe a little hotter than normal) let dwell for 10-15 mins and rinse thoroughly. Then apply oxalic acid mix with a pump sprayer and then rinse to complete job. Does this sound about right?

In general yes but every one is different. If it’s real dirty may need to use like a roof mix or if it has been sealed you’ll need to add some sodium hydroxide to your mix to strip it.

What would be a good concentration for mixing the oxalic acid? How much per gallon I should say?

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Apple cider vinegar does the same thing and is easily available


6-8oz 1 cup

I prefer citric - same ratio

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@Innocentbystander @Racer. Thanks for all the replies and tips. Wood work is definitely what I’m most hesitant about but really interested in. So many different chemicals and routines. I think I’m gonna call bob and go with some f10. I need to reorder some elomonator anyway (that stuff is legit). I like the thought of the vinegar. :thinking:

Study this - Especially the ph chart


@Racer dude. That is awesome. Thanks for all the info!

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Hey what if you have a stain deck that just needs to be cleaned ??? Would you guys just wash with low pressure water? If you use a house mix with bleach will it hurt the stain that’s on the wood already…lol it might be a stuiped question

I just joined this forum and I love it because I find more and more everyday how much of an amateur I am and how much I have to learn. I say this because I quoted a fence clean at 1,728 sf. fence at $0.15 per square foot, overpaid for Lowe’s deck cleaner, and knew nothing about neutralizing the wood after. Thank you to everyone on here especially @Racer and @Innocentbystander who take the time to help guys like me out. I’ve literally learned more about pressure washing in the past few days that I’ve had this account than I have in the past 11 months and 3 weeks that I’ve been in business.