How to Clean a Dock

How to Clean a Dock

Central Florida is home to abundant lakes and waterways, which means that many homeowners have waterfront property with a private dock for access. But whether the home is a grand estate, a humble cabin or a typical family homestead, every dock needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. With weather, algae, mold, mildew and just plain dirt being the great equalizers, we at The Paint Manager offer this guide on keeping your dock shipshape and safe!

Why a Clean Dock is Important

To begin with, a dock is part of your home’s curb appeal. A dock that’s in poor repair and/or dirty detracts from the impression it makes to passers-by and – even more detrimental – to potential buyers should you put your house on the market. A dirty dock implies that you also have been lax on home repairs and maintenance, and those buyers will be looking out for expensive potential problem areas they may need to address. And if your neighbors take pride in the appearance of their dock, don’t be surprised if they look askance at those that don’t uphold community standards.

Beyond aesthetics and judgy neighbors, however, keeping your dock clean extends the life of its materials and structural integrity – as well as provides a safe, healthy area for people and pets to enjoy. The pros at EZ Dock of Texas have a very informative blog post about the detrimental effects that green algae, moss, mold and mildew have on wood docks. We invite you to read it in its entirety, but provide the following main points:

  • Green algae is a green and slimy film that grows in dark, wet conditions. Because it causes any surface it grows on to be slippery, green algae can be a safety hazard. The moisture that green algae helps retain will slowly begin to penetrate into the wood, causing cracks, splinters and wood rot. Green algae reappears in a few weeks if not properly removed.
  • Moss is soft, fuzzy and green, and grows in the same type of conditions as green algae. Like algae, it can be a slipping hazard.
  • Mold and mildew show up on wood as greenish-black streaks. In addition to being unsightly, they are health hazards.


Use the Right Cleaning Method for Your Dock’s Material

Doing the job quickly and well requires pressure washing. Depending upon your level of experience operating pressure washing equipment, physical ability to do so safely, etc., you may choose to do it yourself. Our blog post – “Pressure Washing: Should You Hire a Pro or DIY?” – deals with exterior house cleaning, but includes information also relevant to cleaning docks.

Should you take the DIY route, inspecting your dock is the first step. The good people at VW Docks of Spirit Lake, Iowa, recommend looking for any loose/rotten boards, nails, or screws sticking up and fixing them. Also inspect the railings, ladders and other dock accessories and take corrective measures wherever needed. Even if you hire a pro, the dock will still need to be in proper repair before it’s subjected to the high pressure of a power washer. It must also be sturdy enough for the power washer operator to safely work there.

Owners of a larger dock should call a specialist in dock construction and repair should extensive repairs and maintenance be necessary. Our friends at Construct Co Inc. offer construction and repair of docks, boardwalks, decks and boat ramps – among many other marine structures – for residential, commercial and municipal clients.

Pressure treated lumber – Wash docks built of pressure treated lumber with a pressure washer every one or two years. Handle the pressure washer carefully to avoid splintering the wood. Scrub resistant areas with a stiff brush. Use a cleaning solution that won’t harm the environment.

Tropical hardwoods You can clean hardwood docks every year or two, using a stiff brush and a pressure washer. Make sure you seal and stain the wood often to maintain it in prime condition.

Composite decking – Most composites decks require cleaning only every other year. As with wood docks, pressure washing works best to remove dirt and algae accumulation.

Safe, Natural Products that Effectively Clean Your Dock

It is always important to use environmentally safe products to clean your dock. ShoreMaster recommends a non-corrosive cleaning solution, such as baking soda or a few drops of water-based dishwashing liquid. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Safer Choice Standard can help you determine which products are best to use. In general, choose a cleaning agent that’s biodegradable and phosphate-free, and has a neutral pH.

Keep in mind that some ordinary household cleaning products can increase nutrient pollution in lakes and other waterways, resulting in oxygen depletion and algae bloom. For example, never use bleach to remove algae from wooden boat docks. Not only is it toxic, it can change the color of the wood and cause the metal fasteners that keep your dock together to rust.

When it comes to safe products for cleaning wood docks, EZ Dock of Texas has the following recommendations:

  • Use products specially designed for green algae and moss removal (a little more expensive than homemade solutions, but effective).
  • Use hydrogen peroxide (will not stop algae from growing, but will remove it effectively).
  • Apply white distilled vinegar (mix one gallon of water with one cup of vinegar).


On the other hand, avoid cleaning products that contain the following:

  • Ammonia
  • Antibacterial agents
  • Disinfectants
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Petroleum solvents
  • Phosphorus and phosphates
  • Phthalates


The Take-Home Message

A boat dock is a great amenity that allows you to experience the full benefit of your waterfront property. Maintaining it properly will provide many years of fun and fond memories as you go boating in your slice of Central Florida paradise!

If you’ve already decided to call a pressure washing professional, The Paint Manager is ready! In addition to docks, decks and fences, our team has years of experience in power washing homes and commercial buildings of all sizes, construction materials and ages. We use professional-grade equipment and follow OSHA guidelines. Contact us for a free estimate!

What to Look for When Hiring a Professional Roof Cleaner

What to Look for When Hiring a Professional Roof Cleaner

Welcome to Part Two of our blog series on the important topic of cleaning your roof. Last month, we covered how to do it yourself. This month, we look at how to hire a reputable professional roof cleaning contractor. For as much as we admire those hardy, resourceful do-it-yourselfers who populate TV cable remodeling shows, not everyone has the physical capacity to safely climb a ladder and walk along a roof with the sure footing of a mountain goat – while carrying equipment at the same time!

Let’s reverse the order, and first discuss how not to hire a roof cleaner. Never hire anyone who rings your doorbell (or leaves a flyer) offering to perform maintenance or home improvement services. While it may seem convenient, many of these people have criminal intent. They – or their partner – may try to gain entrance into your home to steal money, credit cards and other valuables. Typically, they quote a low fee, then demand considerably more upon completion – in a threatening manner. However, the work isn’t finished, or competently performed. Many victims of such scams even report property damage because of improper materials and shoddy workmanship.

Florida is a popular target because of its relatively mild winters, which attracts scam artists from Northern states, and its high population of retirees. This is the prime season in the Sunshine State for these illegal operations, so homeowners beware!

So how do you find a reputable professional? Follow these guidelines!

Do your homework – Google is your friend! Enter a simple search, such as “roof cleaners near me” or a similar search, and take it from there. Visit company websites and look for the following:

  • Length of time in business
  • Licensed and insured
  • Has the appropriate equipment and protective clothing for the job
  • Scope of work – make sure the company cleans your type of roof – for example, tile roofing
  • Physical location or permanent address
  • Reliable means of contact
  • Better Business Bureau membership – preferably with an Accredited Business A or A+ rating.

Read reviews – but read between the lines – A company website may include reviews and testimonials. Also read the company’s Google My Business reviews, as well as those on their Facebook business page, Yelp, Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor. Just keep in mind that all reviews are not necessarily genuine. Company owners can and have asked relatives, friends and employees to post reviews, so proceed with caution. Read all reviews to determine a pattern, such as a spate of highly positive reviews posted within a short amount of time after predominantly negative reviews. If possible, contact reviewers directly to confirm that they were satisfied with the contractor’s work.

Have your roof assessed and get quotes – After doing your due diligence and making a short list of prospective companies, call two or three to visit your house to assess your roof and provide a quote for the work. Contractors should look at the type of roof (asphalt shingle or tile being the most common in Florida), age of the roof and condition. A roof heavily covered in algae or moss will require more intensive cleaning than one lightly stained, and expect to pay more for a two-story home. 

The contractor should also easily answer your questions about the cleaning method to be used, and how nearby plants will be protected from detergent water run-off. 

Check the warranty – Work should be covered for a certain length of time. According to industry experts, algae and mold can take up to a year to reestablish growth on shingles.

Parting thoughts 

Despite today’s culture of conducting business online, the pros you trust to maintain and repair your home should be people you’ve spoken with and met in person. When you talk with a company owner, you can get a good idea of that person’s commitment to doing quality work, their integrity and their commitment to the community they live in. If everything adds up, you’ve found a contractor you can count on today and in the future.

As always, The Paint Manager is ready to help! Our team has years of experience in cleaning every type of roofing material for both residential and commercial properties to provide the best possible results. You can also contact us for innovative ideas on painting and repainting your home’s interiors and exteriors – as well as providing a wide range of other services. We offer free estimates on all projects, and will be happy to help you take your home improvement plans to reality!

Selling a House? Here’s How To Improve The Curb Appeal Of Your Home

Selling a House? Here’s How To Improve The Curb Appeal Of Your Home

How To Improve The Curb Appeal Of Your Home

Let’s accept it, first impressions make a difference. Don’t you try to look your best when you go out on a first date? Or, do you buy clothes that don’t appeal to you in the first place? In fact, you always want to look impeccable and you can only buy stuff that creates a good first impression. Likewise, when you plan to sell your house, first impressions make a huge difference.

People spend so much money on the upkeep and appearance of their home’s interior, but do you make sure that it looks attractive from the outside as well? If not then you should start paying attention to your home exteriors, as it improves the curb appeal of your house.

In fact, what people get to see from outside either makes or breaks their impression. The same is true for your home as well.

So, what exactly is the curb appeal?

Curb appeal is a term generally used by realtors to evaluate a house or property that is up for sale. It is the attractiveness of a house or property when seen from the street. Interested home buyers first see a house from the street, and if it appeals to them, then they ask the realtor to move forward.

63% of prospective home buyers will come by to visit a house only after they like what they see online (National Association of Realtors).

This clearly means that the house they see from outside should generate sufficient interest among the potential home-buyers in the first place. What do they see from outside? The front entry, driveway, sidewalk and yard. Your home’s exterior should have the capacity to attract prospective home-buyers and bring them to the table for further negotiations.

Hence, the home exterior is the first thing that you need to work on and improve if you want to sell your house at a decent price.

So, what is it that you need to do?

Let’s Examine 9 Ways to Improve the Curb Appeal of Your Home

  1. Start thinking like a buyer – The first thing that you need to do is start thinking like a buyer. Grab a notepad and pen, and walk around the exterior of your home with a hawk eye to find out what could annoy a potential home buyer. Make note of things that you think needs replacement, repair, or cleaning. Take your car and drive down the street on both sides of your house, both during the day and night. You might just see a few things on the roof that you must remove, or a sidewalk that needs repair.
  2. Make sure your address number is visible, clean, and tastefully depicted – Address number is a small thing which many people tend to overlook, but has a tremendous effect on everyone who enters your home. If you write your number differently, then it generates more interest among prospective home-buyers. For example, if your house number is 428, you can write it as “four2eight”. Written numbers are a more stylish form of displaying your address.
  3. Ensure that your roof is clean and spotless – Many people think that a clean and spotless roof doesn’t improve the curb appeal of your home. That can’t be further from the truth. It creates a negative impact on the image of your home. Therefore, ensure that your roof is clean, free of streaks, and does not look dingy. Also, make sure that your roof isn’t missing shingles. Once you plan to sell off your house, see to it that your roof is cleaned, pressure washed, repaired, or replaced.
  4. Make your front door attractive and eye catching – Front doors are another thing that influence home-buyers. An attractive, eye-catching front door can impress your prospective buyers, and raise the value of your house. Make the entrance of your home more stylish. Paint it a bold color, and don’t forget to place a new cheery welcome mat in front of the entrance.
  5. Repaint the trim and shutters, and get a new mailbox – When you are repainting your front door, don’t forget to redo the trim and shutters. Also, try a new mailbox for your home. If yours is damaged or weathered, it could detract from the overall aesthetic.
  6. Get your sidewalk, driveway, and deck pressure washed – A dirty driveway, sidewalk, and deck can act as a spoiler for people who plan to buy your house. This is another important thing that you can do to improve the curb appeal of your house. Get your driveway, sidewalk, and deck pressure washed to make it sparkling clean. Don’t forget that someone’s first impression at times turns out to be their last one. This is not just cost efficient, but it is also very effective.
  7. Light up your porch, walking path, and landscape – Putting up lighting fixtures at the right places can bring out the best of what your home has to offer. Use them to draw the buyer’s eye to the most interesting aspects of your home, and away from the mundane parts.
  8. Place flower pots in front of the entrance – There are many plants (in a flower pot, of course) which you can place in front of your entrance. Put the flower pots in a symmetrical fashion, and spruce up your front yard with seasonal flowers.
  9. Get your home exterior painted – If you think your home’s exterior is worn out, then get it repainted by a professional painter. A freshly painted home exterior can be your best tool, in finding a buyer and receiving more offers.

Freshly done up home exteriors can greatly improve the curb appeal of your house, but it is not all that easy to spruce up your home exteriors in a jiffy. You need a lot of time, innovative ideas, and executional capabilities, besides experienced and trained manpower to change the face of your home from outside.

It is always advisable to hire professionals to improve the curb appeal of your house. Get in touch with The Paint Manager and make your home exteriors look attractive.

From repainting your home exteriors, pressure washing your sidewalks, driveway, and decks to the installation of a new mailbox, redoing your front door and roof cleaning, professionals at The Paint Manager are capable of providing a facelift to your home’s exterior just the way you would love to see it.

Most importantly, you should consult professionals at The Paint Manager for innovative ideas that can improve the curb appeal of your house.

Photo credit: Scott Webb: httpss://

Roof Cleaning Contractors: Hiring the Best Company for the Job

Roof Cleaning Contractors: Hiring the Best Company for the Job

A little bit of research goes a long way when it comes to saving time and money on your roof cleaning.

Most homeowners want the exterior of their house to look great. But how? You can hire painting contractors to paint the exterior of your home. For a quick fix, you can get it pressure washed. Maybe it is time to spruce up the yard? One place you may not think to look to is your roof.

Look up, and for the first time, you may notice the algae buildup and dark streaks that have accumulated over time. It is time to start looking for roof cleaning contractors.

A clean roof not only adds value to your home; it increases its overall lifespan. Your roof faces a lot of abuse, from natural weather conditions to man-made irritants. Rain, sun, dust, wind and carbon pollution can all contribute to roof damage, over time.

The “dirty” appearance of your roof comes in the form of dark patches, usually caused by algae growing on the surface. Sometimes, homeowners confuse the color change for a bigger problem and assume that it is time to replace the roof. You can avoid having to take on such a project with proper roof maintenance.

At this point, your best bet is to call a roof cleaning professional to assess the current state of your home’s roof. When a professional leads the effort on restoring your roof, you can expect the removal of dirt, algae and other unsightly stains. Afterward, your neighbors will swear you had a new one built.

However, choosing a roof cleaning service can be a challenge. There is no shortage of qualified individuals out there, most of which can do the job without any issues. Yet, there are some companies that deal in shady or illegal practices, which can put you or your home at risk. With a few extra precautions, you can have a clean roof without any extra stress, undue cost, or inconvenience.

Why Hire a Professional?

You may be hesitant to pull out your wallet for what sounds like a pretty simple job. However, professional roof cleaning services know exactly what it takes to complete such a large scale job. You, on the other hand, may not.

1.  Roof cleaning is long, hard work.

If you think cleaning your roof only consists of climbing up with a bucket of water, scrubber, and some soap, you are surely mistaken. After spending hours on the roof, you would realize that you’ve only managed to remove a bit of dirt. The algae, mildew and mold still remain.

Leave roof cleaning to the pros, while you tend to the rest of your to-do list. Besides, climbing and working on a rooftop is dangerous. It is better to leave it to trained professionals who know how to avoid accidents.

roof cleaning contractors

2.  It is not as expensive as you think.

If you think roof cleaning services are too expensive, do some research, speak to your neighbors, or ask your co-workers who have recently had their roofs cleaned. There weren’t always so many roof cleaning contractors in business. Due to the increase in competition, there are more options, making rates much more affordable.

Do keep in mind that rock bottom rates should not be your sole deciding factor, as the type and quality of services makes a world of difference when it comes to your roof cleaning experience.

3. The work lasts for quite some time.

When you clean the roof on your own, then there is no guarantee that it will stay clean for months. But, when you hire professionals, proactive measures are taken. They don’t just clean the roof, they undertake preventive measures so that it remains in good condition for the foreseeable future.

roof cleaning contractors

4.  Roof cleaners will not damage your roof.

Cleaning your roof yourself or hiring inexperienced cleaners can damage your rooftop. It is not just about cleaning your roof with a pressure washer or using a scrubber and elbow grease. If during the process of cleaning you damage any of the shingles or some of them get loose, then it might create more problems for you. Broken and unattached shingles attract more mildew, dirt and algae, which in turn would increase overall damage to your roof. When you hire a professional roof cleaning company, they do their best to make sure such damages or mishaps do not happen.

What to Watch Out For

Do a bit of legwork, and research prospective companies. Keep these things in mind before hiring a roof cleaning service:

1.  Experience and expertise are the #1 priority.

Make sure the contractors are who they say they are. Verify experience in the industry, special expertise, and past jobs. Take a look into their previous customer service. Start with a company’s website, and look for client testimonials.

You can also speak to your family, friends, and colleagues and take their referrals. After all, word of mouth is free publicity. If somebody close to you is a satisfied customer and recommends a roof cleaning company, you can probably count on their recommendation for a great experience.

2.  Check for Licensing and Insurance.

Unfortunately, not all businesses in this world are trustworthy and honest. Some companies, including roof cleaning companies, operate without proper licensing or insurance.

It is always better to avoid such companies, as it can cause more harm than good.
Roof cleaning is a risky job, and accidents can happen anywhere. You may find yourself responsible for the safety of the individuals working on your property. If a worker gets injured on your property, and there is not proper insurance coverage, you may be accountable for their medical expenses. It is not worth it to cut costs by hiring an unlicensed, uninsured company to work on your roof. It could end up costing you more than you ever wanted to spend.

3.  Start with an assessment, then a quote.

Different types of roofs require alternative cleaning methods. It is always better to ask the roof cleaning company to assess the roof and provide you with their recommendations for further service.

Get assessments and quotes from at least three different roof cleaning companies before making your final decision. This way, you can make the best choice regarding pricing and service.

4.  Check out the Reviews.

With just a little bit of research, you can check out a company’s customer satisfaction. A quick Google search should yield results on sites such as Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google itself. Alternatively, you can ask the roof cleaning company for client testimonials. Be wary of reviews that are suspiciously good, or extremely bad. They may not be a legitimate review from an actual customer!

5.  Ask about a warranty.

It is advisable to discuss the warranty before you sign an agreement with a roof service company. With a warranty comes peace of mind.

If your Orlando, Lake Mary, Sanford, or Central Florida home is in need of roof cleaning contractors, call The Paint Manager, a licensed and insured roof cleaning service and professional painter. We can help make your roof look brand new, once more.

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