Monday, July 30, 2018

A Tale Of Two Tread Plates

A year later

Some of you out there may recall an experiment I started a year ago - using benzalconium chloride (BAC) as a teak treatment.  Well, here are the two tread plates after a year of exposure and neglect.

Clearly, the BAC made a huge difference - the untreated plate on the left still has algae and lichen growing in the low spots and pores in the wood.  The treated tread plate on the right is free of these pests, except at the very top, where I probably didn't get a full dose of BAC applied.


This was so successful that I just completed spraying our teak rub rails with BAC - these are being fully colonized by the same characters, especially where the rain water from the deck scuppers drains on them - in those places, the lichen has completely covered the wood.  In fact, the coverage is so complete there that I will probably have to reapply BAC, since most of what I applied probably never made it thru to the wood.

Where you can easily obtain BAC?  See my first post on this handy material.



Drew Frye said...


I have a collection of wood samples buried in a compost heap, which I have treated with many concoctions and many coatings. The only early result (2 years) is that epoxy is not doing as well as good varnish (more prone to pealing). Also the borax/glycol blend is working well. I wish I had tried BAC.

Drew Frye said...


Halberg Rassey recommends Boracol, which is nothing more than ethylene gylcol with borax and boric acid cooked in (there are many recipes on-line). I've tested this and it works very well. The down side is that is takes days to dry, and I don't know how that would go in a damp climate.

Boracol (or the home-brew equivalent) can make highly effective pressure treated lumber if multiple coats are allowed to soak in over a few weeks. It then takes weeks to dry. But at that point to you can varnish over it. A valid way to protect less rot resistant woods.

I've never trialed BAC.

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