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Old 05-28-2017, 09:30 PM   #1
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Teak cleaning question

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Cleaned my teak decks today with the Semco 2 part cleaning system. Tomorrow I'm going to apply their sealer.

I've got a question. After the teak dried from the cleaning, some of the teak has patches of what look like "furry" wood fibers.

Should I lightly sand these areas before sealing, and if so, can someone recommend what grade sandpaper?

Or should I just seal it as is?

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 05-28-2017, 09:59 PM   #2
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The fur is the teak fibres left behind after the 2 part removed all of the teak that was grey or that had deteriorated a little. If you measure the thickness of your teak boards before using the 2 part on them and measure again afterwards, you will know how many times you can clean that way before you have to replace the whole teak deck.
Now that you have cleaned right down to new teak, sand off the fur and either apply the sealer you have, to try to keep the "new wood" appearance, or let it go grey.

When my boat was new to me, I used that 2 part cleaner once. That was 23 years ago. I have let it go grey since then, except for a dress board around the perimeter and the king plank in the middle of the foredeck, which are varnished. I thought I might keep this boat too long to risk wearing out the teak with 2 part cleaner. So far my strategy is working.
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Old 05-28-2017, 10:12 PM   #3
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I was planning to let them go gray, but the Beneteau technician who was on my boat the other day said I should treat them with something as they aren't that thick. I told him I thought just giving them a salt water cleaning and fresh water rinse and letting them go gray would offer the best longevity. He replied that the trawlers built in Asia have very thick teak, but since this boat doesn't I should seal them and keep them sealed.

It's all so confusing. So many conflicting opinions out there. :-(
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Old 05-28-2017, 10:57 PM   #4
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A bit of soap and a soft brush across the grain, the cleaners are just too vicious. Funny the Beneteau guy said they were thin so use cleaner and sealer? Makes little sense.
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Old 05-29-2017, 03:30 AM   #5
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Here is a good video of cleaning decks from a teak deck manufacturer. We use only their methods and their products. I would suggest now that you've gotten started that before doing more give them a call. Might be prepared to send them photos.

The World's Leader in Pre-Manufactured Custom Teak Decks - Teakdecking Systems®
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Old 05-29-2017, 06:22 AM   #6
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Here is a good video of cleaning decks from a teak deck manufacturer. We use only their methods and their products. I would suggest now that you've gotten started that before doing more give them a call. Might be prepared to send them photos.

The World's Leader in Pre-Manufactured Custom Teak Decks - Teakdecking Systems®
Obviously, the secret is to get your boat as the test subject for a video on teak cleaning products.
FYI, the MSDS data sheet on their cleaner says
55% Sodium Carbonate
45% Sodium Carbonate, Peroxyhydrate
5% Sodium Bicarbonate
very similar ingredients to dishwasher products.
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Old 05-29-2017, 06:51 AM   #7
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...Or should I just seal it as is?

Thanks,
Mike
Just use the Semco. I was told by a teak deck guru that a deck should be 3/8" thick or better to be considered serviceable. Thick enough so that screws and plugs are functional and there is enough thickness so seams can be maintained. So don't sand. That teaks expensive.

For cleaning, we use liquid Cascade dishwashing detergent and a white 3M Scotch pad. We clean the decks usually twice per year and then we use Semco clear.
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Old 05-29-2017, 11:51 AM   #8
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Obviously, the secret is to get your boat as the test subject for a video on teak cleaning products.
FYI, the MSDS data sheet on their cleaner says
55% Sodium Carbonate
45% Sodium Carbonate, Peroxyhydrate
5% Sodium Bicarbonate
very similar ingredients to dishwasher products.
I know many who use dishwashing liquids to clean teak. Just not my choice. I like to use what the manufacturer recommends. No sanding. No caustic products. However, products like Dawn do have solvents.

Now, most don't get to start with a clean slate so have damage done by previous owners. I do find the comment by the Beneteau guy to be shocking that he'd say your deck is too thin so let's see how we can make it thinner, basically.

No hard pads cleaning. And always against the grain. The fur described typically comes from scrubbing with the grain.

I have seen very basic cleaners such as the ones I refer to do an amazing job of bringing color back.

I just say when dealing with a teak issue, no one better to turn to than the manufacturer. Sanding is definitely not the solution for a long life.
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Old 05-29-2017, 12:13 PM   #9
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I suspect the Beneteau deck is a glued down product. It's probably only 3/8" thick. It needs to be sealed to prevent too much loss from constant scrubbing. It should only be brushed across the grain to prevent the "furry" loss of material. Make sure it gets a good seal and you won't have to keep scrubbing it. Renew the sealer at least annually.

I find OxyClean detergent does an excellent job of keeping the deck clean without damage.
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Old 05-29-2017, 12:49 PM   #10
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Whenever we see what we think as natural teak color, honey, light brown, etc., only means a significant number of upper layers of wood have been removed. After a few years, we won't have any teak left to have this discussion! The "natural" color of teak, after it's been used as boat decking, is light gray. Dawn soap brushed cross-grain and rinsed with salt water (as Xsbank said in #4), bungs properly sealed, and seams between boards properly sealed will preserve the deck longer than you'll own the boat.
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Old 05-29-2017, 09:09 PM   #11
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Teak cleaning question

Quote:
Originally Posted by McGillicuddy View Post
I suspect the Beneteau deck is a glued down product. It's probably only 3/8" thick. It needs to be sealed to prevent too much loss from constant scrubbing. It should only be brushed across the grain to prevent the "furry" loss of material. Make sure it gets a good seal and you won't have to keep scrubbing it. Renew the sealer at least annually.

I find OxyClean detergent does an excellent job of keeping the deck clean without damage.


I agree. If I'm good about reapplying the sealer every 6 to 12 months I shouldn't have to clean it again with chemicals or by sanding for a long time. Semco says it will last a year, but I'm assuming I'll get 3 to 6 months for areas in direct sun, especially the swim platform.

By the way, here is the finished product after two coats of Semco "Natural".

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Old 05-29-2017, 10:38 PM   #12
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Michael:

Now that we all have ganged up and got your deck regimen organized, what are you going to do about your rails? I noted in another thread where you posted a closeup photo of something else with one of your rails in the photo, showing what I can only describe as badly damaged teak. You need to get that sanded smooth and multiple coats of a very good quality varnish on it or your rails will be gone in a very short (10 years?) time.
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Old 05-29-2017, 11:00 PM   #13
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Michael:



Now that we all have ganged up and got your deck regimen organized, what are you going to do about your rails? I noted in another thread where you posted a closeup photo of something else with one of your rails in the photo, showing what I can only describe as badly damaged teak. You need to get that sanded smooth and multiple coats of a very good quality varnish on it or your rails will be gone in a very short (10 years?) time.


Agreed, they look awful, especially now that the Teak looks good. Believe it or not, the rails actually have some sort of coating that was put on them. It was a very messy job, wasn't prepped properly, and is wearing very unevenly.

Anyway, a guy who comes highly recommended by others at my marina is going to start on the rails this week. Here is what he said he's going to do:

"Strip, bleach, tape, sand, application. One coat of epoxy sealer, two coats color and 3 coats clear coat, these will last for 2 years before they need another 2 coats to keep it fresh."

I believe he is using Cetol for the color.
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Old 05-30-2017, 09:24 AM   #14
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Agreed, they look awful, especially now that the Teak looks good. Believe it or not, the rails actually have some sort of coating that was put on them. It was a very messy job, wasn't prepped properly, and is wearing very unevenly.

Anyway, a guy who comes highly recommended by others at my marina is going to start on the rails this week. Here is what he said he's going to do:

"Strip, bleach, tape, sand, application. One coat of epoxy sealer, two coats color and 3 coats clear coat, these will last for 2 years before they need another 2 coats to keep it fresh."

I believe he is using Cetol for the color.
In my home marina there are two boats built by San Juan that have epoxy on their rails, and they are spectacular. Ask your guy to use the same system and you should get the same results. Otherwise, ask to see an example of his work that is over a year old to see if you like the look.

If it was my rail, I wouldn't bleach or colour. Nor would I use Cetol as the high content of pigment (colour) does nothing to improve the colour of teak, as it isn't at all like the natural, unbleached colour of teak.
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Old 05-30-2017, 09:41 AM   #15
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I ruined the teak deck on my last boat by using one of the popular 2-part cleaners. It looks great, but the look doesn't last, so it becomes impossible to resist the temptation to do it again. Before you know it, all of the soft part of the wood has been dissolved away, leaving a rough, porous surface. I clean my current boat with salt water only, and I have let it go grey. 8 years in, it looks fine, but I may have it sanded (my original plan was to sand every 5 years, and I figured I could sand 4 times (giving 25 years of life to the teak).
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Old 05-30-2017, 10:01 AM   #16
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I ruined the teak deck on my last boat by using one of the popular 2-part cleaners. It looks great, but the look doesn't last, so it becomes impossible to resist the temptation to do it again. Before you know it, all of the soft part of the wood has been dissolved away, leaving a rough, porous surface.

Did you use a sealer after the 2-part cleaner? And if so, did you continue to reseal over time?

If you clean and don't seal, it will quickly go gray again.

In any case, I do not plan on using the 2-part cleaner again anytime soon. I'm hoping that gentle cleaning with either salt water or a mild soap along with re-application of the sealer every 6 months (maybe 3 on the swim platform) will work.
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Old 05-30-2017, 11:28 AM   #17
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Semco will also work on rails

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Originally Posted by koliver View Post
Michael:

Now that we all have ganged up and got your deck regimen organized, what are you going to do about your rails? I noted in another thread where you posted a closeup photo of something else with one of your rails in the photo, showing what I can only describe as badly damaged teak. You need to get that sanded smooth and multiple coats of a very good quality varnish on it or your rails will be gone in a very short (10 years?) time.
I had a Beneteau sailboat, until last year, and it had the same type of rails pictured by the OP. I used Semco on the rails for many years without any issues. Semco is so much easier to apply than varnish and the wood looks great for years.

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Old 05-30-2017, 12:10 PM   #18
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I agree. If I'm good about reapplying the sealer every 6 to 12 months I shouldn't have to clean it again with chemicals or by sanding for a long time. Semco says it will last a year, but I'm assuming I'll get 3 to 6 months for areas in direct sun, especially the swim platform.

By the way, here is the finished product after two coats of Semco "Natural".

Attachment 65257Attachment 65258Attachment 65259


That looks very nice! Good job.
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