Guide To Pressure Washing a Deck
Cleaning wood can have an astonishing effect and will really brighten up your home and garden. Lots of people leave cleaning their decks for a very long time and are often faced with years of grime, dirt, and debris when they try to tackle the task.
Whether you want to wash your deck because you are trying to sell your home and want to add some value or you simply want to make it usable again, using a pressure washer will bring it back to life. This article is going to tell you how you can pressure wash your deck without causing any damage.
Important Things To Consider
Before we get into how to pressure wash your deck, there are some things you need to know about this part of your home. Decks can be very expensive to build and maintain, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth it. They can actually increase the value of your home as they create more living space. This is only the case for well-maintained decks, so you really need to look after this part of your home just like you would with any other room.
You should aim to clean and retreat your deck on a regular basis at around every 2-3 years. If you do not take care of your deck, it will look weathered and will have a lot of stains and damage which will be harder to remove the longer you leave it. Even though using a pressure washer is a great way to clean your deck, it is not something that can be done all the time.
You need to check whether your deck is ready to be treated with a pressure washer. You can determine whether your deck is ready to be pressure washed by dripping some water onto the wood. If the water soaks into the wood, then it is time for you to start pressure washing the deck. If beads of water form on the surface instead, then you are okay to leave your deck for the time being.
Treating Decks With Stain
It is very important that you treat your deck regularly to protect it from stains and weather damage. One of the best ways to treat this part of your home is by using a stain.
There are 4 different kinds of stains that you can use on decks:
- Clear or transparent stains, which offer the greatest UV protection
- Toner, which will bring out the look of the grain
- Semi-transparent, which may mask the grain
- Solid stains, which will cover the deck totally
Once you have found the best stain for your deck, you can get to work treating the wood and keeping it protected.
When cleaning the deck, there are 3 main steps involved:
- Preparing the wood
- Pressure cleaning the deck
- Staining the wood for protection
How To Pressure Wash A Deck
Pressure washing a deck may be something that you leave until you have reached the very end of your chores list but doesn’t have to be that complicated. It is very important that you perform this task thoroughly to offer the best protection to the deck. As this is something that only needs to be done every couple of years or so, you need to make sure you do a good job so the protection will last.
To make the process easier, we have written a step-by-step guide on how to pressure wash a deck. Before doing anything to your deck, it is recommended for you to give it a quick rinse clean to remove any large debris or stains. This can be done using a couple of buckets of water.
The deck should be left to dry before moving on to the following steps:
- Prepare the wood for cleaning and the stain using sandpaper over the surface. The aim is to make sure the wood is smooth and there are no obvious damage marks, as these will show up when the stain has been painted on.
- Brush away any dust and remaining debris, so you have a blank canvas. Any remaining debris will be removed by the pressure washer, so this doesn’t have to be too precise
- It is now time for you to use your pressure washer. It is recommended for you to use the 40-degree nozzle to apply a light mist of water to the wood’s surface
- Once this light mist has been applied to the wood, it is now time to get out the wood stripper and wood brightener as they will be needed for these next steps. You should choose products based on the kind of wood your deck is made out of
- Apply your chosen wood stripper to the deck
- The wood will now be wet and covered with the stripping product. Let this sit on the wood for around 15 minutes, but make sure that it does not dry
- Rinse away this product using the pressure washer on a light spray setting
- This is the time for you to use a wood brightener. Apply this in a similar manner to the wood stripper and allow it to sit for around 15 minutes
- You can use a brush to improve the application of the wood brightener, making sure that all stubborn spots are covered evenly
- For the final rinse, you should use your pressure washer with a 25-degree nozzle. Take your time removing the remaining brightener product and any other stains or debris that are left on the deck
- Make sure you cover all areas of the deck, including paneling and railings
How To Stain A Deck
Now that your deck has been stripped and cleaned, it is time to get out the wood stain.
This will provide a layer of protection against weather and other damage.
- Take some time to cover everything near the deck that you do not want to get stained
- Use a paint roller to apply the stainer evenly. You can use a paintbrush for any tight spots
- Make sure to do around 2 layers of stain for the best coverage
- Allow the deck to dry for 24 hours
Once your deck has been cleaned with a pressure washer and protected with a wood stain, you can get back to using it and enjoy some quality family time outdoors.