+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Borate to keep algae off deck. Where can I get it?

    Hi,
    On an episode of ATOH, Tom helps a homeowner clean and stain a deck. After cleaning, and prior to staining, he recommends spraying a water/borate solution onto the deck to prevent algae from coming back. On the show it appears to be a thick viscous liquid (maybe a gel). I've called a bunch of hardware stores and also checked Home Depot and cant find this borate.

    Does anyone know where you can buy this liquid borate?

    Thanks in advance.
    Gregg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,974

    Default Re: Borate to keep algae off deck. Where can I get it?

    I did not see this episode, but TOH has used Sodium Borate solutions on a number of their projects. Two of the most common trade names are "Boracare" and "Timbor". Boracare is sold as a liquid that is diluted at either 2:1 or 50/50 with water, but it is not a gel. It is mostly ethylene glycol (antifreeze without the anticorrosive additives) and a Sodium borate.

    Timbor is a lot cheaper. It is a powder that can be mixed with antifreeze or with water. The antifreeze helps it penetrate into the wood better and it also will stops mold. mildew and algae. In fact it can be used without a sodium borate and sometimes is on wooden boats. The water or antifreeze must be heated up to get the powder to dissolve in it, boiling for water, 280F for antifreeze. Do this outdoors, especially if using antifreeze.

    Both the sodium borates and the antifreeze are water soluble so they must be protected by something that waterproofs the wood. You need a waterproofing outdoor stain, not just any stain.

    You can make your own sodium borate solution from common household products, Boric Acid and Borax. You mix a three cups of common laundry borax (20 Mule Team) with two cups of roach powder (99% boric acid) for each gallon of water or water antifreeze solution. The water:antifreeze solution can be 1:1 or 2:1. This would be the equivalent of the after dilution ratio of Boracare.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Borate to keep algae off deck. Where can I get it?

    Quote Originally Posted by keith3267 View Post
    Both the sodium borates and the antifreeze are water soluble so they must be protected by something that waterproofs the wood. You need a waterproofing outdoor stain, not just any stain.

    You can make your own sodium borate solution from common household products, Boric Acid and Borax. You mix a three cups of common laundry borax (20 Mule Team) with two cups of roach powder (99% boric acid) for each gallon of water or water antifreeze solution. The water:antifreeze solution can be 1:1 or 2:1. This would be the equivalent of the after dilution ratio of Boracare.
    Thanks! This last solution sounds like the easiest to get all the ingredients for. Would the antifreeze still have to be boiled to get the Borax and roach powder to dissolve? Sounds nasty. I'm not sure if I can get my charcoal grill to get up to 280F

    As far as stain I was planning to go with a Cabot semi-solid decking stain. Funny, in this ATOH episode he doesn't mention what kind of stain to use but he does say to add 1/2 pint of spar varnish to each gallon of stain. I'm not sure if that Cabot stain is water proof.

    My deck faces north so it seems to be ripe for algae.
    Last edited by galbre; 06-25-2012 at 02:28 PM. Reason: update

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Borate to keep algae off deck. Where can I get it?

    I just got off the phone with a phone rep from Cabot. She claims their semi-solid decking stains are waterproof. However, she didnt recommend adding varnish to the stain as it will "turn into tar" in her words.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,974

    Default Re: Borate to keep algae off deck. Where can I get it?

    Yes, the antifreeze has to be heated to 280F. I use a cheap camping stove. Antifreeze is very toxic.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    3,155

    Default Re: Borate to keep algae off deck. Where can I get it?

    Think about the ground under the deck - you don't want to go polluting the soil. Anti freeze migrates well in soil and can kill lots of things.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •