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It has recently been discovered that using normal household cleaners on a vinyl deck can cause some long-term discoloration of the surface. Apparently this is due to the different pH levels in the cleaner which may have a deteriorating effect on the surface. It is important to have a pH level, which is balanced to the vinyl.
There are also certain ingredients within some household cleansers, which can be harmful in the long term. It is particularly important to flush any cleaning solution off the deck with water and leave no residue. It is this chemical residue which is harmful.
Duradek has brought out a cleaner, which is specifically designed for use with vinyls. Its ingredients have been thoroughly tested and when used according to the directions will enhance the life of the product in addition to doing an excellent job of cleaning the surface.
We recommend the product Duradek Vinyl Deck Cleaner, be mixed with warm water at the rate of one-cup (8 oz) cleaner to one pail (approximately 2 gallons) of water. This should be applied to the deck with a scrub brush or stiff bristle broom and scrubbed in a circular motion to remove the dirt from the bottom of the pebble design. It should then be completely flushed with clean water. The Duradek vinyl deck cleaner will make an excellent household cleaner. It is highly concentrated (for industrial use). Depending upon the difficulty of the surface to be cleaner, experiment with the dilution rate.
In areas where acid rain or industrial fall-out is a problem, decks should be cleaned much more often. The acid from the rain stays on the deck once the water has evaporated away. With each new rainfall more acid stays and the concentration of acid on the deck increases as it mixes with the fall-out already there. As the concentration increases, so do the deteriorating effects.
To combat this, thorough cleaning at least monthly with the Duradek Vinyl Deck Cleaner will prevent the acid build-up from getting to a harmful stage.
Fresh paint or stain on vinyl, should be wiped off immediately. Use Fantastik spray or Cascade Dishwasher Detergent(only for a few minutes) to clean the remaining paint or stain. Rinse well with water. Always try a test patch to make sure that it will not harm the vinyl. Some oil base stains have penetrating power that will allow it to soak right into the vinyl with little chance to completely remove it.
Once the paint has dried there is no way to remove it with any guarantee there will be no long-term effects on the vinyl. Our recommendation is to use a water soluble paint stripper or paint brush cleaner. Apply some to the effected area and wait the recommended time. The paint should crinkle up as it is attacked by the chemicals. Then without rubbing or scrubbing, remove the paint and paint stripper with a blast of water from a hose.
In both cases, wash with Duradek Vinyl Cleaner and flush well with water to remove any chemical residues from the paint removers.
The long term effect of using any harsh chemicals on the vinyl may be that it eats into the top surface a bit and will be effected more quickly by the ultra violet rays of the sun than the areas which had not been touched with the paint removers. This may result in premature fading but won’t affect the waterproofing.
We often have complaints about rust or vinyl especially on new construction sites where nails are left lying around. Rust is difficult to remove.
We have found a product called Naval Jelly, which is available, is most hardware or paint stores. Apply this jelly to the rust and it will quickly dissolve it. Flush the are with a blast from a hose. Do not rub it or scrub it excessively. Wash with Duradek deck cleaner and flush with clear water.
Lime stains can occur when water passes across fresh stucco or concrete adjacent to the deck and pulls out some of the lime. When the water evaporates it leaves a lime residue. This can be removed by washing the deck with a solution of muriatic acid (available from a hardware store). Dilute about ten parts water to one part muriatic acid. If a stronger solution is needed, gradually increase the percentage of muriatic acid. Once again, wash well with Duradek deck cleaner after the application of muriatic acid solution and then flush with clear water.
Urethane caulking is very difficult to remove without smearing. It can be removed from tools and other surfaces which will not be harmed with Tolual while it is still curing. Once it has cured it will have to be removed physically by scraping it off. While not yet cured it can be safely removed from any surface with the Essex Urethane Hand Cleaner. Rub the Essex jell on to the caulking and let sit for a while. Wipe up with a cloth. Wash with Duradek deck cleaner and flush with clear water.
Stains from biodegradable matter such as leaves are difficult to remove if left for any length of time. It is important to keep the deck free of this kind of material by regular cleaning. Should the stain set in, wash thoroughly with Duradek Vinyl Deck Cleaner. If at first it does not come off, increase the proportion of cleaner to water and try again. Flush with clear water.
Freshly spilled contact glue on vinyl comes off easily by rubbing it around and pulling it up with itself. When dried, spray with starter fluid (di-ethyl ether) and leave for awhile. The glue will soften and can be rubbed with the fingers in a circular motion to remove. Wash with Duradek deck cleaner and flush. Water based glue can be cleaned up with water until it has cured. Then it must be cleaned with mineral spirits. Wash with Duradek deck cleaners and flush with water.