How to Pressure Wash a Deck; Easiest way to clean your wood deck. Learn how simple it is to pressure wash a deck with this easy to follow guide.
If you have a wood deck, it might look weathered and dingy over time, especially if it's been left to weather the elements without being cleaned or sealed. Pressure washing a deck can remove flaking paint, mold growth and other surface buildups. Pressure washing a deck is recommended once or twice a year.
Cleaning your deck with a pressure washer can restore its original color and shine, and help seal it to protect against any further damage. You should always clean your deck before sealing it so that you don't end up trapping dirt and debris under the sealant.
Additionally, pressure washing is one of the most efficient ways to clean a large surface area like a deck. So, whether you plan on reselling your home this summer or just want to enjoy seasonal barbecues out back without feeling grimy as soon as you sit down, here are the steps for cleaning your deck with a pressure washer.
Pressure washing a deck—one of the best home improvement investments you can make—can be tricky. That's because most pressure washers shoot unrelenting streams or sprays of water. All that power can come with a price: damage to the deck. I have some tips to help you pressure-wash your deck without causing damage.
How to Pressure Wash a Deck:
Remove everything on your deck.
The first step to pressure washing your deck is to remove everything that isn't bolted down. This includes any furniture, plants, garbage, toys and dog poop.
If you have a pet that leaves behind a lot of hair or another kind of mess on the deck (like mud or dirt), it's best to get in there and clean it up yourself before you start working. Not only will this save time later on when you're trying to power wash away those stains but also prevent damage from being done by the water pressure itself!
Sweep the deck and check for any nails and screws that may be sticking up.
- Sweep the deck to remove debris before pressure washing. You can do this with a broom or leaf blower, but I highly recommend using a leaf blower for this step if you have one. Also look for any rotting, avoid pressure cleaning any decaying wood planks.
- Check for any nails or screws that may be sticking up. You don't want to get them on your power washer and risk gouging your wood.
Get a pressure washer suitable for the job.
Make sure you have a pressure washer that can handle the job. If you don't own one, it's best to rent one. You might be able to borrow one from a friend or neighbor, but if this is not an option, there are many places in your area where you can rent them as well.
Consider renting or borrowing a pressure washer to save time and money while doing the work yourself! In order to ensure a clean deck you will want to use a 25-degree nozzle and an electric pressure washer. You will also want to ensure your pressure washer is suitable for either soft woods, composite decking or harder woods. Read up on your manual!
Test the Pressure Washer on Your Deck.
Test the pressure washer on a small area of your deck to ensure that it isn't too strong and won't damage your wood.
Be sure to test the pressure washer on a small area of your deck first, so you can determine whether you need to adjust the spray settings. If you don't test it out and then set the pressure too high, it could damage your wood.
- Don't spray too close to the wood—you don't want to damage it by getting water stuck in its surface or cracks. Make sure that the nozzle is pointed away from any furniture or other items that might be underneath where you're working, as well.
- Don't spray too far away from your deck—if you're not careful about keeping up with cleaning as you go along, dirt can build up between cleanings and cause grime spots in addition to unsightly stains on decks made of cedar or pine boards (as opposed to composite materials like vinyl). The extra time spent cleaning these spots will be worth it when they're gone!
- Alternate directions every few minutes—this will help prevent build-up over time while also keeping dirt dispersed evenly across both sides of each board instead of concentrating solely at one end where one direction would always face downward towards ground level regardless if there were any soil buildup during previous sessions without frequent reversals back-and-forth across each individual plank before moving forward again with another pass through all four sides around all corners next time round until finished trimming off excess paint residue
Spray in One Direction and Overlap.
Work your way over the entire deck, spraying in one direction and overlapping each spray. Start by holding the wand firm and moving it around the deck in a sweeping motion with the grain of the wood. Spray in one direction and overlapping each spray to ensure even coverage.
Check for spots that need more scrubbing
After you're done and the surface is dry, check for spots that need more scrubbing or were missed during the pressure wash. If there are any areas that still look dirty, take your brush out again and give it another go.
Check to see if there are any areas that need a second round of pressure washing to get them cleaner. Depending on how dirty your deck was before you started, this could be anywhere from none to a lot! If necessary, keep going until you're satisfied with how clean it looks.
If some spots were missed during your first pass at applying water pressure, go back over them with your sprayer nozzle set to "stream" instead of "mist." This will give you more concentrated streams of water which can help dislodge dirt when scrubbing stubborn stains away from wood surfaces like decks or patio furniture!
If you have super tough stains, you may need to go in with a soap compatible with your wood fibers or a specific deck cleaner/detergent. Always wear gloves and safety goggles when handling any deck-cleaning solution.
Apply a Sealer.
Once your deck is clean and dry, apply a sealer if you want to protect it from damage and weathering. Typically, you will want to apply a sealer to your deck. Sealers are typically made of some type of oil or wax that creates a barrier between the wood and all elements. They protect your deck from water damage, UV rays, mold and mildew. A good quality sealer will also last for years before needing reapplied, saving time and money in the long run.
Pressure washing will help you clean a deck before sealing it for long-term protection
Pressure washing is a good way to clean your deck before sealing it. Pressure washers remove dirt and grime from the surface of a deck, as well as mold and mildew from the wood itself.
They can also remove any old paint or stain from your deck's surface, but this isn't always a good thing—if you're not careful about what kind of pressure washing equipment you use (or how you use it), you may find yourself with an unsightly mess on your hands after all that hard work!
A pressure washer is a great tool to have on hand for such big jobs, and doing some research beforehand will ensure that you know how to operate it safely and effectively. Once your deck is clean and dry, don’t forget to apply a sealer! It might be the only thing standing between your deck and years of wear and tear from weathering!
We hope you find the above tips useful in helping you tackle this dirty cleaning job. It may seem daunting at first, but if you take your time and prepare properly, it’s not nearly as bad as it sounds.
I hope you enjoyed this post on how to pressure wash a deck.
Until next time,
More Backyard Maintenance Posts:
- BEFORE AND AFTER: QUICK BACKYARD SHED MAKEOVER
- HOW TO KEEP RABBITS OUT OF YOUR VEGETABLE GARDEN
- 9 TIPS FOR STYLING YOUR DECK THIS SUMMER
- OUR BACKYARD PLAYSET MAKEOVER
How to Pressure Wash a Deck; Easiest way to clean your wood deck. Learn how easy it is to pressure wash a deck with this easy to follow guide.