Believe it or not, spring is just around the corner! This means it is time to start thinking about getting your deck and yard ready for plenty of warm weather fun. If winter weather has been tough on your home, you may be wondering the best way to get your deck looking it’s best without spending a lot of money. Fortunately, pressure washing a deck is an affordable way to revitalize the wood for the coming season.
As a homeowner, you can choose to do it yourself or enlist the help of deck staining or pressure washing professionals. The important thing to keep in mind is that, if done correctly, pressure washing can breathe new life into your deck. However, if you aren’t careful to follow specific guidelines, it can quickly ruin your deck, leading to costly repairs.
Considering trying it on your own? In this post, we share our top five tips on how to pressure wash your deck so you can decide if it’s time for a DIY or time to call in the professionals!
1. Prepare your workspace
When it comes to pressure washing a deck, you may be tempted to dive straight in. However, before you begin, it is important to prepare the area you plan to treat. Spending a little bit of time prepping will save you from costly damage in the long run. As you prepare the deck, be sure to:
- Cover light fixtures, electrical components, and foliage
- Clear the deck completely
- Clean off any debris which has accumulated
- Ensure all doors and windows adjacent to the deck are shut
- Thoroughly review the owner’s manual that came with your pressure washer
2. Choose the correct pressure + spray tip
After preparing your work area, it is time to choose the correct spray tip and pressure setting for your pressure washing needs. When choosing a spray tip, select one that has a 40-to-60-degree range. If you are experienced at pressure washing, you could also use a rotating tip, but be sure to exercise caution.
The goal when pressure washing is to use the lowest pressure that you can, while still effectively cleaning the surface. You should use a pressure of 550 to 600 pounds per square inch for softer woods, such as pine and cedar. Meanwhile, harder woods can be safely cleaned with higher pressure. No matter what type of wood you are pressure washing, be sure to never use more than 1,200 pounds per square inch!
After choosing your desired pressure and tip, we suggest testing a small area to ensure the wood can tolerate your settings.
3. Apply your cleaner
Now that you have prepped your deck and chosen the correct pressure and spray nozzle, it is time for the fun part — using your pressure washer!
To start, evenly apply your cleaning formula of choice across all boards. We suggest using long strokes and working from the bottom to the top. For tight areas, use a scrub brush to apply the formula. This ensures smooth coverage even in the hardest-to-reach corners of your deck.
After you have applied cleaner to all boards, follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding how long to leave the cleaner on the deck’s surface. As you do this, keep in mind that you should never let the cleaner dry on the deck’s surface.
4. Rinse it clean
Once your cleaner has been applied to every nook and cranny of your deck, it’s time to pressure wash it clean! As you do this, be sure to move with the grain of the wood and using sweeping motions that overlap. As you continue this process move from the top to the bottom of the deck to minimize streaking and ensure you are holding the nozzle approximately two feet away from the deck’s surface.
If you need to move the nozzle closer to see results you can, but remember that spraying the wood at a distance less than six inches can result in damage.
Once you have completely finished pressure washing your deck, be sure to carry out the manufacturer’s direction for releasing the water pressure and removing any remaining liquid from the machine’s pump.
5. Be patient
If you plan to apply a wood stain or sealant to lock in the results, be sure to wait at least 48 hours before you apply it in order to achieve the optimum results.
And there you have it, our insider’s guide on how to pressure wash your deck. As you can see, pressure washing your deck is a quick way to get your outdoor area looking its best. However, for less experienced homeowners, it is often a job best left to the professionals. If you are ready to hire a professional powerwasher, we can provide you with a firm quote and get the job done quickly and effectively!
Contact us today for a free estimate on pressure washing your deck.