Olympic Paint

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HARPSWELL, MAINE -- I was sold OLYMPIC DECK CLEANER by a LOWES, associate,at the Lowes store in Brunswick,Maine. I was told, by the Lowes salesman that the product was the best they have to clean my new cedar decks.
I applied the OLYMPIC DECK CLEANER to my decks, carefully following the directions. The results were horrifying. Fibre came out of the cedar, as a gray goo, and a thick gray surface mixed with the wood fibres formed, adheering to the decks.
PPG's tech. dept. claims the only final remedy is to sand the decks down to bare wood! They claim I should not have used the OLYMPIC DECK CLEANER on cedar but rather their deck brightner for cedar & redwood. I was not informed of that product and now find that product was not stocked at Lowes, at the time of the purchase. The fact that PPG, DID NOT PUT ANY CAVEAT, WHAT-SO-EVER, PERTAINING TO THE USE OF THEIR "OLYMPIC DECK CLEANER" ON CEDAR, ON THEIR PRODUCT'S LABEL and the fact that LOWES, recommended the product for the cedar application has created a consumer's nightmare! Neither PPG, or LOWES, is willing to step up and take any responsibility. The lowest estimate to sand & refinish the decks is $5,600., with no quarantee the job will be totally effective. Some contractors say the cedar decks should be replaced at a cost of over $30,000.
This experience is extremely time intensive and upsetting to my family and me. We have been trying to get some resolution from PPG & LOWES for 2 months. They just keep us jumping through their hoops and now say all they (PPG) will do is pay $1,000. and supply materials to finish the deck! This after asking us to try their remedys and get a large number of estimates. Lowes, claims it is PPG'S Problem. Our decks look awful and this is the time of year we need to use them most.
The OLYMPIC regional rep. has inspected the damage and has accepted responsibility for PPG. He also claims he has trained the people at the Lowes store, where I bought the deck cleaner, In the proper use of the Olympic products; especially the Deck Cleaner and the Deck Brightener. He gives special attention to cedar applications, in his regular training.
I was sold the wrong product by a store that knew the it was the wrong product!!
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User Replies:
Anonymous on 06/17/2008:
You didn't try it on a small test patch before applying it to the entire deck?
madconsumer on 06/17/2008:
it is your responsibility to test a patch before doing the entire area. this is your own fault.

if the deck was new, why were you cleaning it? were you trying to seal it?

I know on many products I have looked at, it states on them the type of wood they can be used on.

I suspect the grey goo was an old finish, and it is normal for wood fibers to be released and or raised. after the best cleaning, it is common to sand the surface before a new coating is applied.

I dought your deck is ruined. and 30k is far reaching. you as the comsumer have responsibility here.
Slimjim on 06/17/2008:
I don't think you can blame Lowes on this, not legally anyway. If this product does not warn against cedar applications, an associate will always win the argument he didn't know. Let's face it, he obviously didn't as why would he sabotage your deck. You may actually want to consider suing the manufacturer here. You have their own admission of guilt as a start.
Anonymous on 06/17/2008:
Yeah and then file a class action suit, see how far that gets you too huh.
Slimjim on 06/17/2008:
Rick, there is no purpose in being rude and senselessly belittling to the poster who seems to have a very legitimate complaint. If you don't have something constructive to say available, perhaps.....
jktshff1 on 06/17/2008:
Looked at this a couple of times.
I wonder if this could be a "synthetic" cedar that looks like real cedar. Something like one of the composites that they are using today. That would explain the "gray ooze.
CrazyRedHead on 06/18/2008:
I agree with testing it on a small patch. A messed up small patch would be a lot easier to fix and replace than the entire deck. I know it is to late this time but remember it for the next time you are going to clean anything.
Jeff on 06/19/2013:
I have had the same problem on my 6 month old deck that we were prepping to seal we did test and found it to be fine but the areas of the deck that are exposed to the sun all day turned gray with the goo and fibers. don't use this product
Russ on 08/06/2013:
I just had the same experience on a new cedar deck. The tech support at Olympic said I left the cleaner on too long (about 15 minutes) and the "frosting" (their word) appeared. Instructions state 5-10 minutes but there is no warning that additional time will result in this mess. They said to sand the deck but a sander barely touched the goo so I scrubbed it first and then sanded it. About 10 hours of work because of this product. Evidently this happens a lot so why not put a warning on the label?
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