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Industry Discussions: Wood Cleaning
Wood Cleaning

No matter what industry you’re in, a pivotal part of being a business owner is keeping up with the latest industry trends and news.  For those involved in power washing, the Power Washers of North America (PWNA) is a great way to learn about the industry and get involved in the latest discussions.  The PWNA represents power washers from all areas including those involved in wood cleaning and restoration, aerospace cleaning, concrete cleaning, and kitchen exhaust.  The association promotes four key areas that include education, networking opportunities, conventions, and having a clear voice for the industry.  Recent discussions in the power washing industry revolve around wood cleaning, water-based coatings, and wood stains.

You may be surprised to learn that within the past two years a group called the Wood Coatings and Forest Products committee contemplated writing a paper that would advocate against the use of pressure washers for wood cleaning.  Such an announcement would not have been taken lightly as the committee was composed of professionals from DuPont, Dow, PPG, Sherwin Williams, and the US Forestry Department, among others.  If the use of pressure washers for wood cleaning was prevented, the impact on the power washing industry would be detrimental.  Fortunately, a representative from the PWNA attended a gathering of this committee and relayed his years of experience using a pressure washer for wood cleaning.  As such, the Wood Coatings and Forest Products committee chose not to write the paper and changed their opinion on wood cleaning by pressure washing.

Another discussion within the power washing industry relates to how to remove water-based coatings.  Requirements concerning volatile organic compounds have persuaded manufacturers to develop more water-based products; however, these products are extremely challenging to remove by stripping agents.  Often the water-based coating is impossible to remove via a stripping agent and customers are shocked to learn that their wood restoration project has become more expensive.  Virtually, the only way to remove water-based coatings is by sanding, which can only reach flat surfaces, such as walking surfaces.  The PWNA is aware of this concern and continues to give input on the subject.

Also, a frustrating topic of conversation is the use of “solid color stains” on manufacturers’ labels.  The use of the phrase is misleading and often used for what is basically a type of paint.  The confusion causes consumers to believe they are purchasing a stain when in fact they are not.  Later, wood restoration is a costly course of action as the process will involve sanding.  Small and large business owners alike should take into account this wording and evaluate the consequences of the deceptive phrasing.  Research the products you are using well before applying!

Overall, the pressure washing industry sees ups and downs as in any industry.  Owners of power washing businesses have a valuable means of staying updated on the latest educational materials and industry discussions through the PWNA.  The PWNA seeks to aid power washing business owners, providing them with conventions, networking resources, and industry information.  A main goal of the association is to provide a clear voice in industry discussions and increase their membership, making that voice stronger and louder.