White Powder (Calcium Sulfate) on Cypress Wood
Noticing a white powder on your Cypress? Our research shows that the white powder comes from inside the cypress wood, normally through knots, splits or checks in the wood. This white powder is calcium sulfate and comes from the kiln drying process used by mills that utilize boilers as a heat source.
During the drying process, the calcium sulfate forms on the inside of the pipes as scale and due to the heat and moisture, is suspended in the heated air of the kiln and settles onto (and into) the wood. The wood itself, being mostly wet at that stage, has open pores where the calcium sulfate laden air settles. We know it is
not present in all boards and is not visible to us during our finishing process.
This naturally occurring issue has always presented itself on exterior porch applications. Because the calcium sulfate is hygroscopic, when condensation forms on the boards in the mornings, it migrates out through the knots, splits and checks found in cypress via the condensation. We found, with the help of a research chemist, that applying an acidic solution to the calcium sulfate will remove the "white powder".
How to Remove the White Powder
You will need some White Vinegar, clean water and a clean sponge.
Soak the sponge in an undiluted solution of White Vinegar. Hold the sponge on the area affected to thoroughly saturate the area. Try not to wipe the vinegar on as this may potentially “spread” the calcium sulfate.
After each application, rinse the sponge thoroughly in water. Then dip the sponge back in the vinegar before reapplying to the ceiling.
White Vinegar will not harm the finish on your Synergy product.
Safe Handling and Usage Guidelines
Please note that vinegar has acidic properties. Wear goggles and use rubber gloves while doing the above procedure. Synergy is not responsible for any injury or similar as a result of using this process to clean the calcium sulfate from the surface.
For any other information you might need, please call 866-791-6714 or email us.
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