Maintaining the look and longevity of your deck is crucial, and one of the most effective ways to achieve this is through regular pressure washing. This annual maintenance routine not only keeps your deck looking its best but also prevents the build-up of dirt, mold, and algae, which can degrade its quality over time.
In this blog post, we will guide you step-by-step on how to properly pressure wash your deck, ensuring it remains a beautiful and safe space for you and your family to enjoy.
Gather the Necessary Supplies
Before we dive into the process, it’s important to gather all the supplies you’ll need for pressure washing your deck. Having everything on hand will streamline the process and make it more efficient. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Pressure washer: This is the main tool you’ll be using. You can either rent or hire a professional pressure washing service.
- Deck cleaner: This can be purchased at the same place as the pressure washer. Make sure to pick a solution that’s safe for the type of wood your deck is made of.
- Stiff bristle brush: This is to scrub off any stubborn grime that the pressure washer can’t handle.
- Protective gear: Safety is key, so ensure you have gloves, safety glasses, and sturdy footwear.
- Plastic sheets: These are to protect areas of your home that could be damaged by the pressure washing.
Set Up Your Pressure Washer and Connect the Hose and Extension Cord
Once you have your supplies, it’s time to set up your pressure washer for use:
- Place Pressure Washer on a Level Surface: To ensure optimal performance and safety, position your pressure washer on flat and stable ground.
- Connect Hose to the Pressure Washer: Locate the water inlet on the washer and attach your garden hose. Make sure it’s securely fastened.
- Connect High-Pressure Hose and Gun: Attach the high-pressure hose to the appropriate outlet on the washer, and the other end to the gun. Ensure both connections are tight.
- Connect Power Source: If your pressure washer is electric, plug the extension cord into an outlet. For gas washers, ensure the tank is adequately filled.
- Attach the Spray Wand: Depending on the model, you may need to attach a specific wand or nozzle to the gun. This may vary based on the type of cleaning you’re doing.
- Turn On Water Supply: Before starting the pressure washer, turn on your water supply to prevent damage to the pump.
- Test the Equipment: Finally, do a quick test run to ensure everything is working properly before you begin cleaning your deck.
Make Sure to Keep a Safe Distance from the Deck Surface When Using the Pressure Washer
The importance of safety cannot be overstated when pressure washing your deck. Always maintain a safe distance between the nozzle of the pressure washer and the surface of the deck. The high-pressure water jet is powerful and can splinter wood if used too close. A good rule of thumb is to stay at least 12 inches away from the deck surface.
Remember, you’re not just cleaning the surface, but also protecting it and yourself. Start with a low-pressure setting and gradually increase as needed, ensuring effective cleaning without damaging your deck.
Start with an Area That Is Not Visible from the House (In Case There Are Any Issues)
Begin your pressure washing in an inconspicuous area. This could be a hidden corner or a spot under a piece of furniture. This helps you fine-tune your washer’s settings and technique, ensuring you won’t unintentionally damage the more visible areas. It also gives you a chance to see how the deck material responds to the cleaning solution. Once you’re confident with your setup and the results, proceed with cleaning the rest of the deck.
Applying even, sweeping strokes, work your way across the deck systematically to avoid missing any spots. Allow the deck to dry thoroughly before moving any furniture back into place or continuing with further maintenance.
Work in Small Sections at a Time Going over Each Board with the Pressure Washer
Working in small sections allows for a more thorough cleaning and prevents you from re-soiling areas you’ve already cleaned. Start at one end of a board, maintaining the recommended distance, and slowly move the pressure washer’s spray along the grain of the wood to the other end.
Be sure to overlap your strokes slightly to avoid leaving streaks or missed spots. Once you’ve finished a section, move on to the next, methodically working your way across the entire deck. Remember to give each board a final rinse with plain water to remove any residual soap before it has a chance to dry.
Use a Long-Handled Brush to Scrub Stubborn Dirt or Grime Buildup
Even with a pressure washer, some dirt or grime might prove stubborn. In such cases, a long-handled brush comes in handy. Dip the brush in a mixture of warm water and a mild detergent, and scrub the surface of the deck. Pay attention to areas between the boards and around nails or screws where dirt tends to accumulate.
Use firm, even strokes, scrubbing in the direction of the wood grain to avoid damaging the surface. Rinse the area thoroughly with clean water after scrubbing to ensure all the loosened grime is washed away. Remember to handle the brush with care to avoid splintering the wood or causing other types of damage.
Kendall Roof and Exterior Cleaning should be your one-stop destination if you need residential & commercial pressure washing services in the Maryland region. We are a team of professionals who understand the necessity of having a clean exterior for every home. We focus on providing safe, reliable, and cost-effective exterior cleaning services. You can reach us at 4107265650 or fill out our contact form to know more.