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Tips to Pressure Wash Your Deck



You consider yourself a pretty good DIYer in the local Essex County area and don’t believe any task as too much of a challenge. It’s that time of year where you want to clean up your deck and get it lounging ready for your family and friends. So, you go to your local rental store in the Essex county area and get a pressure washer and think this is going to be a breeze, right? Not necessarily. How do you put together this darn thing? Are you going to ruin your deck with this power washer? Are there any safety precautions you should take? We want to help you get your deck sparkling clean without power washing it to smithereens. Follow these tips to achieve a clean deck and a new DIY skill that you can impress all your friends with.

Step 1) Take Precaution.

A pressure washer is powerful enough to etch brick and causes thousands of injuries a year. It is recommended that you avoid wearing loose clothing and jewelry. Instead, wear long pants, sturdy footwear and safety goggles for good measure. Never touch the power washer spray and don’t point it at kids, pets and plants.


Step 2) Clean Up Your Work Site.

Remove all items from your deck including furniture, plants, anything fragile, toys or grills. Sweep away loose debris such as leaves and excess dirt. This will make it easier to clean the imbedded dirt and tough stains when you are pressure washing your deck. Cover exterior lights, vents and close your windows.


Step 3) Apply a Deck Cleaner.

Cleaners come in all sorts of colors and shapes. Some are bleaches and some are detergents. Determine which cleaner is best for the type of wood your deck is made from. Fill the power washer’s soap dispenser with the cleaner and following the manufacturer’s instructions. Attach the appropriate soap dispensing nozzle onto the tip of the power washer wand. Turn on your machine and disperse the cleaner all over your deck using long, overlapping strokes.


Step 4) Scrub Your Deck.

This is supposed to be your power washer’s job, right? Yes and no. It depends on how dirty your deck is and if there are any mildew, tree sap or embedded grime. If there is none of that, you can probably skip this step. It is advised to use a stiff synthetic bristle brush instead of a natural one because many cleaning solutions will deteriorate natural brushes when pressure washing your deck. The brush should be capable of reaching in corners and tight spaces. You may need to invest in multiple sized brushes to clean different areas properly. In order to prevent streaking, don’t let the detergent dry.


Step 5) Power Wash the Deck.

Now, you’re ready for pressure washing your deck. Switch the nozzle to a wide angle (40-60 degree) nozzle. Anything stronger will damage the wood. Start spraying about 2 feet from the wood, moving with the grain of the wood in wide sweeping motions. Overlap each spray stroke to conceal the sweep marks. When you’re finished, turn the machine off and pull the trigger to release leftover pressure and drain the water line.


Step 6) Reapply a Protective Wood Stain (optional).

If you do decide to sand and stain your deck, let your deck dry for 24-48 hours. You should sand the deck first with a 60 to 80 grit sandpaper or an orbital sander. Sweep away all wood dust and follow the directions for whatever stain you choose.

That wasn’t so bad right? No pressure washer injuries, no chipped wood, and now your deck is beautiful and clean for all those relaxing summer days. A power washer can be your best friend when it comes to outside chores and can significantly reduce your clean up time. Now, you’re a skilled pressure washer user and no task is too big for this Essex County DIYer!

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