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.
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:
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
• 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 cleaning will serve to improve the finished
appearance and promote the desired adhesion of Vivilon to
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,
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
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
If you have followed
these directions, you have a surface that is chemically,
mechanically and biologically clean, dry and ready for
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!
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.