Weather, particularly in the wintertime, can have a detrimental effect on the condition of your patio deck. Snow, ice, rain and inconsistent temperatures can cause it to lose its luster. You might be asking yourself if pressure washing is a good idea to restore its original look. To keep your deck looking great and allow you to get more use out of it requires proper cleaning techniques. This not only enhances its appearance but also increases its longevity.
Pressure Wash Your Deck Correctly
An effective and safe way to clean your deck and bring back its original state is pressure washing. While using a power washer isn't difficult, it does require some technique and safety considerations.
How to Start Pressure Washing
It is essential to ensure that the water supply and electricity (for electric machines) are securely fastened before you start up the machine. This is particularly important if you are using a gas-powered machine, as the risk of a fire hazard is higher. Furthermore, it is important to make sure that the water is running to the machine before you start it. If the water is not running through the machine before it is turned on, it can cause serious damage to the machine, making it inoperable. This can be a costly mistake, and so it is wise to double-check that the water is running before you begin. Additionally, it is important to ensure that all safety precautions are taken and that you have read the instructions for the machine thoroughly before starting it up. Following these simple steps will ensure that you use your machine safely and that it operates properly.
The Right Amount of Pressure
Using a pressure washer with too much pressure can cause permanent damage to your deck. A pressure washer with up to 4,000 pounds of pressure per square inch (PSI) is capable of some serious cleaning power, but it is important to be mindful of the material that is being cleaned. While this much pressure can be incredibly effective for cleaning concrete, it can cause deep gouges and permanent damage to wood decks. Applying too much pressure can cause wood fibers to splinter and weaken, leading to a decrease in structural integrity.
The ideal PSI for cleaning a deck is around 1,500 pounds of pressure. This amount of pressure is strong enough to remove dirt, grime, and other debris from the wood surface without causing any permanent damage. It is important to be mindful of the pressure setting when using a pressure washer, as it can be the difference between a clean deck and one that is permanently damaged.
Safety Measures to Follow
It is essential to keep a certain distance from the surface being pressure washed. Being too close can cause damage to the deck, while not being close enough can result in an inadequate cleaning. Generally, manufacturers advise a range of 3-6 inches away from the surface you are washing depending on the pressure used (PSI). For safety reasons, it is necessary to wear protective eyewear since high-pressure water may cause dirt and debris to be sprayed back at you. Additionally, wearing waterproof and non-slip shoes will protect your feet and reduce the possibility of slipping on a wet surface while cleaning.
Is it Necessary to Pressure Wash Before Staining?
It is recommended to pressure wash your deck before applying a new stain, as this will give you a cleaner surface and make the stain last longer. This process will remove any dirt, mold, mildew, and discoloration from the sun that has built up on the wood. Wait for at least 48 hours for the wood to dry after power washing; if it does not get much sun exposure, give it an extra day.
Is it Necessary to Pressure Wash a Deck at All?
Regular pressure washing of your deck can enhance its overall appearance. Prolonged exposure to the sun causes the wood on decks to become gray, but a pressure wash periodically can restore its original color and clear away any dirt, mold, or mildew that has built up. Pressure washing before the mold has had a chance to set into the wood can help prevent needing to replace boards as often. Cleaning your deck at least once or twice annually will keep it in great condition. Additionally, this process not only improves the look of your deck or porch but also prolongs the life of sealants on it and prevents mold from developing. Although using a pressure washer is not difficult, it is an effective yet powerful tool which should be operated with caution and skill for best results.
Hire a Professional to Pressure Wash your Exterior
Pressure washing can be beneficial for multiple parts of your home, such as the patio deck, roof, and pathways. If it is too difficult to keep up with all of these areas or you would rather have a professional do it for you, Capt Clean Window Cleaning and More is an excellent option. They have plenty of experience helping homeowners maintain their decks and other aspects of their homes in great condition.
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