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Miranda, Editor/Writer/College English Professor
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 53
Experience:  B.A., A.S., editor (10+ years) and English professor (3 years)
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My contractor failed to cover my front bed of various bushes

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My contractor failed to cover my front bed of various bushes and plants before staining my deck! It's an transparent, oil based stain. Some areas are worse than others. My concern obviously is the oil smothering the leaves and everything dies! Should I be trying to rinse it off with water or something else to save them or will they survive being left alone? Also, is the contractor liable for paying me for their deaths if that occurs? I'm upset!!


I'm Miranda, and I'll be happy to help you with your question.


Generally, oil-based stains are not removable with water. It usually takes mineral spirits, turpentine, or paint thinners to remove those products, which would probably kill the plants anyway. Therefore, rinsing the affected plants off with water probably won't work.


My suggestion would be to try pruning the plants back as best as you can. Don't prune them too far, but enough to at least remove some of the stain. This is probably your plants' best chance for survival. However, unfortunately, there is no guarantee that it will work. Your plants will probably stand a better chance if they are older perennials that have been in the ground for a few years because the roots will be more durable.


As for the contractor, I would say that they are definitely liable if the plants die, unless there was something specifically stated in a contract that they weren't responsible for such things. Take plenty of photos of the damaged plants, especially if they die, and then call your contractor and complain. A reputable contractor will most likely apologize and be willing to give you some sort of discount on their service or replace your plants entirely.


I hope that answered your question. If you have further questions, please ask. It's been my pleasure helping you. Please remember to rate my service positively, as rating me is the only way I receive credit for my work.

Miranda and 42 other General Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
sorry I didn't respond sooner! I have had issues with the site saying it was down, and I didn't think the question actually went, through! Anyway, thank you! I pretty much figured what you stated was the truth. I just wanted to make sure! Thank you for backing me! I'm a subscriber so I guess you get the credits from the company. Not sure how that works, but figure you do?

Thank you and God bless! Joey
I'm glad I could help. Thank you for your positive rating, and I wish you the best of luck with your plants. :)
Miranda and 42 other General Specialists are ready to help you