Cape Ann Marine Protective Coatings provides a line of cleaners and
finishes that protect your Teak from the effects of weather, pollution and age.
Teak Doctor's Teak Care Guide
Before you dive in, take a few moments to get a good, close look at the teak and it's condition. An inspection of the surface of the teak will help to determine what products have been used on the teak in the past and what is needed to bring it back to great looks and good protection.
Teak directly exposed to weather will undergo a process called oxidation. Oxidation causes the wood to undergo a chemical and physical change. The extent of this process will vary with the length of exposure and the elements of exposure.
After a short exposure period, the teak will change to a gray or a light silver color, which is caused partially degraded cellulose fibers and micro-organisms. If the weathering persists, fibers are lost from the surface of the wood. The formation of the silvery gray sheen on some teak is also the result of a warm climate.
- Gray teak usually denotes oxidation frequently occurring 2 to 3 weeks after the application of some products
- Dark brown to black coloration is a weathering condition that results in mildew, due to certain excess amounts of oils or solvents that will complicate penetration, resulting in a short cosmetic life before producing mildew.
- Dark brown spots indicate a previous product contained resins or varnish that have penetrated into the grain, sanding along will not accomplish 100% removal - a chemical remover should also be used to remove the balance of the residual varnish. Check the rinse water - white suds will indicate all of the varnish has been removed, light brown to black indicates additional chemical cleaning is required.
- Dark brown rinse water indicates that the organic oils have gone through the chemical aging process to mildew.
Identify what oils and/or preservatives have previously been used. Oils mixed with solvents (resins, polyresins and urethane) all belong to the varnish family and will require a harsh alkaline and acid cleaning to strip the teak surface of its accumulated residue.
Silicon type oils require special solvents for cleaning before applying a non-silicone type oil. All silicone must be removed before another oil can be used.
Mixing products from different manufacturers can create a serious problem because they may be incompatible.
The effectiveness of oil or any other preservative is influenced by its ability to penetrate the wood. Our research has shown that optimum protection can be gained from oils containing no resins, varnishes, silicones, polycarbons or urethanes.
After you have identified what was used on the teak in the past, you can progress with cleaning it. You can clean your teak even if you don't know what has been used previously, but it is best to find out what was used before.
Cleaning requires matching the right products that can be utilized to remove the previous product, oxidation or mildew.
The use of two-part cleaners through the years has given teak a new look, but with many negative results.
- Damage to gelcoat and brightwork
- Dulling of aluminum and chrome
- Burning of your skin
- Removal of soft grain
- Altering natural teak oils
The suggested method of cleaning uses a balanced pH and wetting agent detergent system. Wetting agents have the ability to suspend the accumulated oils and foreign matter that has oxidized on the surface, making removal easy. This combination does not harm your hands or other parts of the boat. In some cases, cleaning is as easy as hosing off the accumulated grime after applying the cleaner.
The best choice for a cleaner then is a one-step application that doesnot contain caustics or acids. We suggest our own One-Step Teak Cleaner as a mild but effective cleaner for your teak.
After you have completed the inspection and thorough cleaning of the teak, you are ready to apply a product to protect and preserve the teak. We use water-based acrylic teak protection as opposed to solvent-based oil products because there are no organic oils to mildew and they last longer (12 months plus). They are easy to apply, easy to rinse, easy to recoat and environmentally safe.
Results of a test of finishes by Practical Sailor. Teak Fix is
on the center panel.
Use a foam brush, paint brush, cotton cloth or pad to apply a thin coat to the teak surface. Although careful cleaning is important, the teak may be treated dry or slightly damp. Allow 30 to 60 minutes for complete drying of the surface. Climate conditions such as heat and humidity will effect the drying time.
After the first coat is dry, apply a second coat in the same manner. Using a build up of two thin coats will provide a better, longer lasting finish than attempting to apply a thick coat in one application. Thin coats will dry thoroughly, as thicker coats may not.
Teak Fix is guaranteed not to peel, fade, chip or otherwise deteriorate in its cosmetic appearance for at least 12 months from the time of proper application.
Teak Fix is a state-of-the-art water based acrylic polymer treatment for teak that has been tested under severe tropical conditions. Teak Fix outlasts other water-based coatings and does not require as frequent recoating as other brands.
Cape Ann Marine Protective Coatings
Copyright© 1997, Marine Protective Coatings of Cape Ann.