Powerwashing Magic!

The previous owner of my house had a feud with the family who lived next door (at the time) to the west. Often one to overreact, she put up a 6’ privacy fence along almost the entire western border of the property – about 200 feet long.

When I moved in, the fence was gray. Six and a half years later, it was dirty gray. I’d never thought much about it until this year, when the subject of powerwashing it was brought up to me by a contractor I found on Angie’s List for an unrelated landscape issue. I wound up not hiring him at all (he got an “F” rating from me for never showing up when he said he would), but the idea had been sowed. As I came to realize that this year was going to be my year to upgrade and enhance my home and yard, getting the fence power washed got added to the list.

Here’s what it looked like on March 12th. In the foreground you see the fairy figures we put on top of my cat Lucy’s grave. Behind them is a hardy hibiscus (Rose of Sharon – hibiscus syriacus), beyond that my weeping Siberian pea tree (caragana arborescens pendula), and in the back, the composter.

Dirty Privacy Fence

This fence probably hadn’t been cleaned in 8 or 9 years.

I was just blown away by the results of the powerwashing. I never imagined the fence was so beautiful. (Notice that in this picture, the weeping pea tree is gone – I’ll show you where it is now in another blog.)

The fence just GLOWS after being power washed.

The fence just GLOWS after being power washed.

So now I’m researching stains that will protect it from weather and UV damage. All the experts seem to agree that penetrating, semi-transparent stain is best for protection while still showing the wood grain. Most such stains are oil-based which, says the internet, can contribute to mold growth. So far I’ve only found one water-based penetrating (as opposed to filming) stain, brand name DEFY, that has been rated as excellent. I’ll have to do more research before my daughter Angel arrives to do a massive amount of painting here.

Next month the same contractor will be doing the bluestone patio (which is gray and mossy and has all kinds of weeds growing between the pavers) and the house, preparatory to Angel’s painting the house. I’m all excited!

Recommended Resource:
Mike Nystrom
Mobile Powerwash, Ltd.
(847) 223-3488 or (847) 567-0046
Grayslake, IL

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