A power washing is typically done as a part of maintenance, whether it is a part of cleaning or refinishing. Where some may reach for a chemical deck brightener, it will not do the job of a deep-cleaning like pressure washing can. However, it is vital to understand that improperly done, pressure washing can cause costly damage to the deck’s surfaces. A power washer, or pressure washer, is powerful enough to etch brick. Pressure, temperature and technique all work together to ensure a thorough, but safe clean. Where it is better left in the hands of professionals, we know that many homeowners will attempt to do it themselves, which is why we at Big Moose Pressure Cleaning would like to offer a few tips on how to pressure clean the deck to help you avoid the damage that potentially occur.
Use Proper Setting & Nozzle for Deck Cleaning
Pressure needs to be low, but effective. Softer woods, like pine or cedar, should have pressure around 500 psi to 600 psi (pounds per square inch). The harder woods can endure higher pressures, but never exceed 1,200 psi. Be sure to use a fan tip with a 40- to 60-degree spread; if you use caution, a rotating tip is also suitable. In an inconspicuous area, test the pressure’s effectiveness, such as a stair tread. If the pressure is too high and the wood gets etched, the plank of wood is easier replaced on the stair tread than a board on the main deck.
Pressure Washer Technique & Safety Tips
As mentioned, start out with 500 to 600 psi in an inconspicuous area, and slowly increase the pressure increments until it is effectively cleaning without etching or causing other damage. Be sure the nozzle is a couple feet away from the surface and then lower the wand no closer to about 12 inches above the surface until you find an effective distance. Using a sweeping motion of the wand, clean the deck. You will have a tendency to pivot with your arm as you sweep but doing so will result in an inconsistent distance between the spray tip and the deck surface. By moving your arm laterally back and forth, you can better maintain a consistent distance. From the house outward, clean the deck. Consciously work with the wood grain by feathering the spray parallel and lengthwise to the deck boards and make sure you slightly overlap. You do not want any hot spots or cleaned seams as you go.
Wash Deck Before & After Sanding
Know that when wood gets wet, soft wood or hard wood, the fibers will raise, creating a rougher surface. This is especially common on handrails, where the raised fibers can lead to splinters. If this was just a minor issue, a little sanding once it us dry can help touch up the unruly fibers. However, if the goal was to refinish the deck, you will need to completely sand down the entire deck. Sanding will not only smooth away the rough fibers, but it will open up the wood’s pores, so the wood soaks up the sealer or stain nicely.
Pressure Cleaning, Power Washing & More in McDonough, Barnesville, Fayetteville, Covington, Locust Grove, Griffin, Stockbridge & Social Circle Georgia
Where pressure washing entails more than what people may think, you will not only save time, but money as well allowing the experts of Big Moose Pressure Cleaning getting the deck pressure cleaned. Call us today to get started!