How to Use a Pressure Washer to Clean Decking.
Sweep the deck thoroughly, rent or buy a pressure washer, set up the pressure washer, put on your safety equipment, test the pressure on an inconspicuous area, work with the grain of the wood, use sweeping motions, and begin washing the area closest to the property and work your way outwards, and then wait for the deck to dry.
Pressure in the Table of Contents Cleaning a Deck or Patio
If you find that a garden hose is no longer sufficient to clean your filthy deck, it may be time to consider making an investment in some power equipment. This may be something that you have been putting off for some time.
If you want to breathe new life into your aging deck without breaking the bank or wasting a lot of work, pressure washing is the way to go.
However, I would ask that you continue with extreme care, spend some time becoming acquainted with the apparatus and that you prioritize safety above all else at all times.
When using a pressure washer, it is best to begin in areas where it won’t matter if you damage them; for example, a deck’s invisible corner is an ideal place to begin in this situation.
Let’s go even further into this topic now that the most important hazards have been brought to your attention.
Should I Buy or Rent?
The first thing that has to be decided is whether to buy or rent a pressure washer. If you want to rent one, the expenses are manageable and often begin at around $40 per day.
Having said that, considering that pressure washers start at about one hundred dollars and are extremely affordable, it would be in your best interest to get one if your deck is going to remain in place and/or you have a number of other chores around the home that would benefit from using one.
Using Your Pressure Washer To Clean Decking pressure washer being used on decking
When you have received your pressure washer and have had sufficient time to get familiar with its operation, you should make the decision about the pressure setting that you will use and the nozzle (or spray tip) that you will need.
Although it may seem appealing to make use of a high-pressure setting such as 2,000 PSI (pounds per square inch), the fact of the matter is that wood does not really need that level of pressure.
In point of fact, you need to keep with 500 to 600 PSI if the softwood that was used in the construction of your deck was pine or cedar.
Although hardwoods are able to withstand somewhat higher pressures, you should still limit yourself to no more than 1,200 PSI when working with them.
You should use either a fan tip with a spread of 40 to 60 degrees or a rotating tip for your nozzle. However, the revolving tip necessitates that you use it with caution and care, so be sure to keep that in mind as you do so. It doesn’t matter how thick the wood is on your deck; you should still begin with 500 to 600 PSI, and then gradually increase the pressure from there.
Because the properties of each species of wood are distinct, it is prudent to begin with a low PSI and gradually increase it until you arrive at the ideal value for you. Be careful to maintain a distance of at least six inches from the surface of the deck at all times while you are spraying. If you spray closer than that, it may cause the wood to get harmed or damaged.
How to Make the Most of Your Pressure Washer
Because pressure washers are responsible for hundreds of accidents each year, taking the necessary precautions before washing your deck is just as vital as actually doing the cleaning itself. Check read our post for further advice on how to be safe.
Make sure you are protected by wearing goggles, long trousers, and shoes with sturdy soles. When working with a pressure washer, always remember to take off any jewelry and avoid wearing loose clothes.
First and foremost, you should never deviate from the directions provided by the manufacturer in any manner, shape, or form since the manufacturer is the one who is most knowledgeable about your pressure washer.
By adhering to a few basic guidelines, the vast majority of the incidents that take place each year might have been prevented.
The next step is to prepare the deck itself, which entails brushing any dirt that may be present off of it and removing anything that may be sitting on the deck, including any furniture or other items that may be easily broken.
Before you begin working with your pressure washer, you will want to make sure that your deck is clear and clean.
If you want to use a deck cleaner at this point, you may put the cleaner right into the pressure washer, and it will assist to release some of the filth, grime, and debris that are adhered to the surface. Whether you use a deck cleaner or not, you should feel free to also add some cleaning detergent to the mixture.
When you clean your deck, you should begin at the house and work your way outward, cleaning the boards until they are spotless. Always work in the direction of the grain, spray in a lengthwise direction (perpendicular to the boards themselves), and slightly overlap each area as you go.
After all, after you’re done, you don’t want there to be any bare places in the wood. When utilizing the pressure washer, you should move your arm in a sweeping manner rather than a rotating one. To get more uniformity in the work, move your arm laterally back and forth between your shoulders.
directing spray on wooden decking
It is important to keep in mind that the wand should be around two feet away from the surface of the deck even though the closest it should reach to the surface of the deck is six inches.
When you need to remove debris that has been caught on the deck, you may get a bit closer, but keep in mind that you should never get too near or you will risk damaging the wood.
You should also think about using a firm brush to massage the cleaner between rails and into tight corners. Additionally, you should never allow the detergent dry in order to avoid staining.
When you are through cleaning, just switch off the pressure washer and let the deck air dry before using it again.
When it comes to cleaning the deck, the ideal time to do it is always on a hot summer day since that is when the water dries the quickest. If the wood is allowed to dry at an abnormally slow rate, there is a greater chance that moisture may enter the wood, causing it to distort.
You should only wash your deck on days that are warmer and drier than average since there is a chance that it might become slippery, even if it is unlikely to happen.
Stainer or Brightener
If you are considering going the additional mile and staining your deck, doing so may completely change the look of your outdoor area. You may use a deck cleaner that contains sodium hydroxide to clean the wood on your deck if it is discolored, has any form of mold or mildew on it, or has any other type of mold or mildew on it.
The vast majority of the time, the product will be marketed as a brightener for wooden decks, and it will be created expressly for use in pressure washers. You will just need to verify that the pressure washer brand that you have purchased has a mechanism that allows cleaning chemicals to be ingested.
Obviously, the directions provided by the manufacturer should be strictly adhered to whenever you are preparing the solution. After you have applied the whitening and stripping solution, it is imperative that you next thoroughly rinse it with plain water.
These products also have a tendency to make the wood fibers a little bit on the rough side, which means that after you use them and before you re-stain or seal your wood, you should sand the deck completely first. This is because after using these products, the wood fibers tend to become a little bit on the rough side.
Keep in mind that these strippers and brighteners are often harmful to plants; thus, before you begin working, you should make sure that all of your plants and shrubs are covered with plastic so that none of the solutions will get on them.
Putting Sand on Your Deck
Before you start using your sandpaper, you need to make a decision on whether you need to spot sand or sand the whole deck. Keep in mind that the elevated wood fibers might generate splinters and that this problem most often occurs on handrails and other regions with comparable characteristics. It is imperative that you sand your deck prior to restaining or sealing the deck because of this reason.
Before you begin sanding the deck, the first thing you are going to want to do is to make sure that the surface has fully dried up. The use of the appropriate sandpaper is the second step that has to be taken before you can proceed.
Sanding not only brings the rough edges of the wood fiber to a smooth finish, but it also opens up the pores in the wood, allowing the stain or sealer to penetrate the wood in an even and uniform way.
Sandpaper with a very fine grain should never be used since it has the potential to close the pores in the wood instead of opening them. When smoothing out the handrail, use sandpaper with a grain no finer than 100, and work in small, circular motions. Sandpaper with a grit range of 60–80 should be used on the surface of the deck itself.
You have the option of sanding by hand or using a powered sander with a sanding pad that is 5 inches in diameter. The second option, of course, is going to be considerably less difficult for you to deal with.
Are You Prepared to Begin the Process?
Using your pressure washer to clean your deck may be a pleasant activity, but only if you observe all of the safety measures. While you’re on the job, you need to watch out for your own safety. The vast majority of authorities advise giving your deck an annual cleaning using a power washer.
Because of this, it will always be in pristine shape for you to enjoy for the duration of the time that you own it. When you consider how quickly and effectively a pressure washer can clean surfaces, it is easy to understand that the amount of money you will get back from purchasing one is substantial.
If you have never worked in a similar capacity before, it is essential that you pay close attention to all of the pointers that are provided in this article. This will ensure that everything runs well once you get started.
The majority of homes can get by just fine with a basic electric pressure washer that has a capacity of up to around 2,300 PSI on average. This is more than enough force and pressure to get your wooden deck spotlessly clean, particularly if you remember to use the appropriate nozzle, maintain a distance of between six inches and two feet from the deck itself, and keep the pressure at no more than 1,200 PSI (or lower for softwoods).
However, in order to prevent becoming a statistic and harming yourself while using your pressure washer, it is important to operate it in accordance with the advice given by the manufacturer and to dress appropriately.
Words of Conclusiveness Pressure washing your deck may be a rewarding experience and can make it seem much better than it did before. It is not difficult to operate a pressure washer once you have been used to doing so; thus, having one in your possession is always a good idea, particularly after you become aware of all the things that can be done with it.