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The ins and outs of pressure washing a deck

The changing seasons can impact patios and decks with winter being the worst offender. Leaves, snow, rain, ice and huge changes in temperature can cause your decking to look faded and worn. Pressure washing is one option for revitalizing your worn out decking. 

Maintaining your decking takes a little planning and a lot of elbow grease. Depending on the material it may need a little or a lot of maintenance. Cleaning your deck is important for its appearance but also for longevity. A well maintained patio space gets more use and enjoyment. 

Method for pressuring washing a deck

Pressuring washing is one of the best options for cleaning and restoring a deck to its former beauty. Pressure washing is a pretty simply process but there are ways you can damage your decking if not done properly and there are safety concerns you will need to take into consideration. 

Depending on the type of pressure washer you are using you will need to hook up your machine to the water supply or hose and electricity. Some pressure washers use gas so you won’t need to plug them in it instead fill them with gas. The water should be flowing before the machine is started 

After preparing the machine it’s time to adjust the pressure. Some pressure washers can create a psi (pressure per square inch) of more than 4,000 pounds. Wood decking does not need nearly that great of force to clean and can actually be permanently damaged with such high pressure. Concrete can withstand a greater psi than wood but 4,000 psi is likely still excessive 

When using a pressure washer you will need to keep a safe distance from the surface that is being cleaned. If the pressure washer is too close it can cause etching. Depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations and the material being cleaned,  a distance of three to six inches is ideal for cleaning surfaces without causing damage. Being too far away can also lead to an ineffective clean. 

Personal safety is important when pressure washing. Eyewear is very important for keeping things out of your eyes, pressure washing can knock debris loose which can lead to things getting into your eyes if they are not properly protected. Waterproof, non-slip shoes are also a good safety measure to prevent slips and falls. Closed toed shoes keep feet safe from the pressure washer and any blow back. 

Stain prep

Wood decking should be pressure washed prior to staining. This is a great way to remove old finish, mold, mildew, grime and other gunk that may be on the decking. This preparation method can help stain stick better and last longer. The stain can absorb more evenly after cleaning. If you pressure wash before staining you will want to give. The wood plenty of them to dry wait 48 hours from pressure washing before you apply stain. This ensure a better application with less risk for complications 

Why pressure wash

Pressure washing should be part of your routine maintenance. Decking looks better after being washed and can help to brighten up the wood. UV exposure can cause the wood to gray, pressure washing is a great option for eliminating some of this graying. Pressure washing can also help eliminate any accumulation of mold, mildew, grime or other build up. Pressure washing helps to protect your deck from harmful contaminants that may build up over time. Ideally decking should be pressure washed every six months. 

Deck stain can last longer with regular pressure washing as well. The stain can become faded and worn when not washed and cared for regularly, it’s easier to spot damage and premature wearing on freshly washed decking. Spotting damage early is a vital part of preventative maintenance. 

If you are interested in pressure washing your deck but don’t want to perform the task yourself Dean’s can help. Dean’s windowing cleaning offers professional pressure washing services. They offer pressure washing services for all areas of your home or business including the outside of a building, patios, sidewalks, decks and fencing. Professional pressure washers often have higher powered machines, professional grade cleaning products and more. A professional is a great resource for pressure washing your deck. If you are ready to talk to deans about your pressure washing project we would love to hear from you.

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