Vivilon Application Instructions by William Rice

Before applying a primer or topcoat of Vivilon to any surface, it is important to make sure that surface is clean and dry. What does clean and dry mean? It means you have removed any biological, chemical or mechanical contamination which would interfere with Vivilon's adhesion or appearance. How can you achieve this required level of cleanliness? Although this may appear to be rather thorough and somewhat intimidating tutorial, the following is presented to make certain you at least have the basics of what is required for surface preparation prior to the application of any of our products. Obviously, spraying of non-porous surfaces should be done on the same day as cleaning. Porous surfaces need to wait until the water from the cleaning is evaporated.

You SHOULD DO ONLY THE STEPS THAT ARE REQUIRED TO REMOVE THE CONTAMINATION from the surface. For example, if there is NO BIOLOGICAL CONTAMINAION PRESENT, you can SKIP the cleaning steps for it's removal. The steps for getting a surface clean are as follows:

BIOLOGICAL: If there is any existing mold, mildew, fungus or algae growth on the surface, or if this has been a problem in the past, the surface should be brushed thoroughly with a 50-50 solution of water and commercial swimming pool liquid chlorine (10% sodium hypochlorite) or a straight solution of regular clorox bleach. Alternatively, you may prefer to use a safer and possibly more effective product provided by a peroxide bleaching mixture. These usually have "Oxy" in the products name. But, we like to use a solution of pure sodium percarbonate and water mixed according to manufacturer's recommendation. This makes sure you are getting the product in a full strength form. If you have a good chemical supplier, they can supply you with the sodium percarbonate in bulk at a very inexpensive price. If not, Home Depot or Lowe's should have the product under some oxy-cleaner label at a more retail price.

The advantage of sodium percarbonate is that it is not hazardous to people, plants, or pets. When diluted in water, it becomes hydrogen peroxide. Allow the mixture to set on the surface 5-15 minutes (depending on the temperature and wind conditions), brush it to get some agitation cleaning and then rinse thoroughly with a hose or pressure washer. Make sure you use the cleaner within an hour of mixing. Otherwise, its bleaching effects may have dissipated.

CHEMICAL: TO CLEAN boats, buses, cars, trucks, trailers, campers, RV's, motorcycles, ATV's, Jet Ski's and similar type units, which are RELATIVELY EASY TO HAND CLEAN, we recommend a product from the Presta line of reconditioning products called "SCUFF STUFF" or an equally good offering from Sherwin Williams, “USP 90” liquid scuffing agent. It combines the alkalinity, butyl based solvent and a bit of pumice to give you all the cleaning you should need in one product. Scuff Stuff comes as a viscuous liquid paste in One Quart bottles for smaller jobs and a 6.6 lb Tub for larger jobs. The best price we have found for the Tub including Free Shipping is click here. Scuff Stuff is easily applied by a nylon pad (a 3M Scotch brand product called a DOODLEBUG pad # 8242 Blue Medium Course OR #8440 White Fine Delicate is recommended) in a "wax-on" and "wax-off" procedure, a la The Karate Kid. The Doolebug pads can be bought on-line. Simply Google "Scotch brand Doodlebug scrub pads" to find several vendors who sell them readily.Prices vary from $3 for 1 to $12 for a pack of five.

FOR LARGER SURFACES NOT EASILY CLEANED BY HAND ( Buildings, houses, storage silos, water towers, etc.) Read THE FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS: The surface should be cleaned with a concentrated industrial strength degreaser. Ideally, this degreaser/cleaner should have three essential elements listed on the ingredients label.

• FIRST, either ethylene or propylene glycol. This gives the cleaner the ability to dissolve carbonacious contaminants like oils, greases, waxes, etc.

• SECOND, some form of alkalinity, either sodium hydroxide, sodium metasilicate, or even simple trisodium phosphate. This gives it the power to "dissolve" oxidation.

• THIRD, either a non-foaming, "Free Rinsing" or low foaming surfactant. Cleaners with this type of surfactant are referred to as "free-rinsing". It simply means that they easily rinse off instead of continually re-foaming. This is a critical ingredient. Because if a surfactant (short for surface active agent) doesn't get rinsed off, the solution that makes a cleaner slippery remains to cause adhesion problems for ANY coating, even ours. One product that seems to meet these criteria and has the extra advantage of being available through Home Depot, is the ZEP product, Purple Industrial Degreaser. We offer this product's name only as a convenience NOT an absolute recommendation. For a Vivilon job to turn out the way we both want it to, it has to be done right. Surface preparation with the right cleaners is critical.

MECHANICAL: A mechanical cleaning will serve to improve the finished appearance and promote the desired adhesion of Vivilon to the surface.

THEREFOR, After applying the degreaser, it is strongly recommended to use a brush AND/OR pressure washing equipment for mechanical agitation of the cleaner. To be really clean BOTH Chemical & Mechanical cleaning are necessary. Following these procedures will give you the best surface clean profile and assure good adhesion of your coating.

FOR HAND CLEANING SURFACES, ALWAYS work on a wet surface, scrub with light to moderate pressure, and always in a circular motion (like an orbital buffer). If you must apply a back and forth motion or extra pressure to work a difficult stain, finish up with the circular cleaning for several inches around that area to blend it into your surrounding work area. Once again, when finished scrubbing, RINSE THOROUGHLY.

If you are applying to any LARGER SURFACES BY the DEGREASING AND BRUSHING and/or Pressure washing method, spray the degreaser/cleaner onto a wet surface using moderate brushing pressure and/or pressure washing to create the needed agitation to produce good chemical and mechanical cleaning. This agitation is important because it greatly increases the efficiency of the cleaning process. Ideally, the brush should be stroked forward and back at least twice. Depending on weather conditions, relative humidity, ambient temperature, and winds, allow approximately two minutes dwell time of the cleaner before rinsing. DO NOT ALLOW this cleaner or any other cleaner to be left to dry on the surface. Remember, as the carrier (whether water or solvent) that the active cleaning agent is mixed into evaporates, the concentration of that active cleaning agent increases. A product that was perfectly safe at a lower concentration can quickly increase in strength (by evoporation) to the point where permanent etching occurs as the carrier evaporates. This is not meant to alarm you, simply to remind you that any industrial strength cleaner formulated for professional (as opposed to consumer) use, must be treated with the appropriate respect and be used only as directed. Once again, after cleaning RINSE THOROUGHLY.

RUST & TREE SAP: If there is some light rust on the surface, it can be removed by the application of a dilute solution of a phosphoric, oxalic or similar acid, obtainable from your janitorial chemical supplier or from the Lowe's- Home Depot source if one is not available. USE AS DIRECTED. Follow up the acid treatment with an alkaline solution to neutralize the acid. A simple dilution of TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) you can buy once again, at Lowe’s or Home Depot will work fine. Read and follow carefully the health and safety information provided in the MSDS sheets supplied by your vendor. If tree sap is your problem, soak the area with either odorless (Rule 66) or regular mineral spirits applied to the entire area that has the sap. Let the sap dissolve, then use your regular cleaner to remove the residue.

WHEN IS A SURFACE CLEAN ENOUGH? There are two basic tests for Non-Porous surfaces. First, check to see that water sheets off and doesn't bead up anywhere. Water beading is a sure sign of surface contamination that needs to be cleaned again. To check for whether all chalked paint and oxidation have been removed, wipe a clean, dry white cloth across the cleaned surface after it's dry. If very little or no discoloration is seen on the cloth, the surface is sufficiently cleaned. The combination of these two tests is the simplest way to check for adequate surface preparation. For Porous surfaces (brick, stucco, and concrete), you simply need to be sure you have followed the cleaning guidelines outlined above and have no areas of water beading. Of course, some surfaces need a little extra special care. See the special applications section below.

WHAT IS "DRY"? On non-porous surfaces, when it is dry to the touch, it is ready to go. On porous surfaces, allow to dry 1-3 days until completely dry. If you are unsure whether the surface is dry, water content can be checked with a hand held moisture tester. These are available from a number of sources.  However, a very reliable supplier of this and other testing equipment is Paul N. Gardner Company. A call to their toll free number (800-762-2478) will get you a copy of their catalog (all 1362 pages). A less scientific way to check is tape (air tight) a sheet of clear plastic over a 1-2 square foot area overnight. If there is any moisture evident on the inside of the sheet the next morning, you will know it is not yet dry enough.

FINAL PREPARATON AFTER HAND CLEANING of a car, truck, boat, RV, trailer, camper, airplane or similar. Just before you get ready to spray, clean the surface with a lint free cloth and alcohol. Use anhydrous (means free of water) 99% isopropyl alcohol if you can get it; or, just plain rubbing alcohol (90% alcohol) from the drug store will do. Some people use acetone as a cleaner for this step. DON'T. Acetone not only evaporates way too fast but leaves an oily finish you definitely do not want. Alcohol is slower evaporating and leaves a clean finish that is ready to spray.

If you have followed these directions, you have a surface that is chemically, mechanically and biologically clean, dry and ready for coating.

A FINAL WORD. If you think any of the above sounds like "too much work", maybe you should use another product, one that claims a properly prepared surface is NOT necessary to their products performance. Just be prepared for the consequences! To the extent that you cut a few corners on surface preparation, ANY coating you then apply will not look as good, last as long, or perform as well as its chemistry allows. Vivilon is formulated to give superior results when properly applied to a clean, dry, well-prepared surface. We believe there is simply no substitute for doing things right the first time. If you have any questions that are not answered by the above, contact us BEFORE applying Vivilon to any surface. We are here to help. Let us!

SPECIAL APPLICATIONS: CONCRETE. In the case of concrete, you should also add an acid etch cleaning to the surface preparation process. This is done after biological cleaning (if necessary) and before chemical cleaning. The etching insures the pores of the concrete are open, any concrete dust is removed, and you have thus optimized the adhesion between the Vivilon and the surface. A good starting formula for an acid etching cleaner is: (1) part muriatic acid (available at pool supply and most chain hardware stores) to (3) parts water, brush it onto the concrete vigorously until you have worked the acid wash solution into the pores of the concrete, then let stand for at least 15 minutes before you water rinse. Feel the concrete with your hand. If it is not at least as rough as 220-grit sandpaper, repeat the acid cleaning process until it is. When complete, NEUTRALIZE the surface with an alkaline mixture. The TSP solution mentioned above will work fine. Rinse this again THOROUGHLY.

BRICK. Brick is one of the most difficult surfaces to clean effectively and in a safe manner. We recommend a mild acid like oxalic. Consult your local janitorial chemicals distributor for product and application methods. This should remove all evidence of efflorescence (the white, chalky material that appears on brick because of water bleaching out the brick's material to the surface). If you have any questions about any material, application procedure, or readiness to be coated with Vivilon material, call us BEFORE you apply the Vivilon.