Eco-Awareness and Your Fence

It’s nice that we’ve dedicated one twenty-four hour period — April 22nd — as Earth Day. Here at Everlasting Hardwoods, we celebrate eco-mindedness 365 days a year. While our hardwoods are at the pinnacle of sustainable stuff, we know people would like to know how to keep Mother Earth in mind when it comes to cleaning the fence you got installed  years ago.

But when you do it, harsh chemicals may not only damage the beauty of your “best neighbor” policy, what about all the greenery that’s grown around the barrier? Don’t want to injure years of growth. That’s why we’re taking this occasion to give you ways to polish-up your investment without harming the great outdoors you enjoy.

Throw Out the Old

Nobody’s going to grab a bucket, some soapy water and a hard bristled brush and do it by hand. Well, maybe a few who want to go green-extreme and has a lot of time.

A few folks may already have power washers. The ones that don’t, unless you plan to use it on a regular basis, just rent one for a day or two. When you’re done with the fence, touch-up the deck, too.

You don’t need one that can blow-out a couple thousand pounds of pressure. As a matter of fact, you can do whatever you want to for between 1200-to-1600 PSI. The high-powered units will remove paint. The lower setting will do the cleaning.

Non-Toxic, Eco-friendly Cleaners

You’re taking the pressure washer approach. The next question is: Can I do it simply with water? Obviously, that’s the one which won’t hurt the planet. There is, however an additive you might consider.

Called Oxygen Bleach, this stuff is extremely green. It’s nothing like the liquid you use when you’re doing the laundry. It comes in a powder.

What makes it so friendly? It’s prepared from soda ash and hydrogen peroxide. Mixing it with plain old H2O you’re not going the damage the structure or the greenery that surrounds your wooden fence.

Take it Easy

First timers have a tendency to crank the flow as high as they can. Bad. You’re going to rip-up the surface of the wood. Imagine when your fence dries, it suddenly looks fuzzy. That’s what happens when you go with the pressure.

Another issue is the tip of the pressure washer. Getting the working-end of the nozzle too close to the wood will have the same effect — ripping the exterior fibers of the surface to shreds. Test it out yourself before you dig-into the project. Find a piece of scrap lumber or an area that’s virtually unseen and set your pressure washer to 1200, keep the nozzle about one foot away from the surface. Give it a blast. You’ll find that it’s going to remove the dirt, stains, mildew and whatever plagues your fence without ratcheting it up to full tilt.

Earth Will Forgive You

You are either going to be using one of two types of energy with a pressure washer: Gas or electricity. The greenest way to do it is to get the whole family involved. Everyone gets a bucket with Oxygen Bleach, water and a hard-bristle hand brush. That’s the extreme.

If you’re saying, that’s not going to work, balance out the synthetic energy you’ll use with a pressure washer by forgoing a Sunday drive this week. Take out the bikes or better yet, go for a nice long walk. It takes away the guilt. Gives you some exercise.

After all, Earth Day means not only respecting the world we live on. It means making sure you’re healthy enough to enjoy it after you’ve cleaned your fence. A little exercise isn’t going to hurt you. Frankly, it adds years to your life, just like the years you’ve added to your wooden fence after a good eco-friendly cleaning.

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