Periodic deck cleaning is useful to make this outdoor space neat and welcoming to anyone visiting your home. Deck cleaning is also part of routine maintenance that will prolong it. Chemical solutions may not be effective enough to clean out your deck as they may damage the wooden surface. This is why you need a powerful solution like a power washer that will not only clean out grime and surface dirt but also take care of your wooden deck. If you are not sure about pressure washing your deck with the machine, it’s better to hire a professional cleaner to do the job for you. Power washers use water released at high pressure and poor handling of the machine can etch your deck surface or expose you to injuries.
A power washer is used for power washing and comes in many varieties to suit different applications. The per square inch (PSI) ratings and nozzle tips also vary for different cleaning needs. Since most decks are made out of soft or hard wood, you need to identify your deck material before settling on a power washer. If your wooden deck floor is made from soft wood like pine or cedar, you need a low pressure washer set at 500-600 pounds psi. For hardwood flooring like oak or mahogany, 1200-1500 pounds psi would be effective if pressure at 600 psi doesn’t work. Pressure exceeding 1500 pounds psi would easily damage any wooden deck and should be avoided.
Here is a guide on proper cleaning of the deck that your cleaning professional will use:
Step 1 – Assembly of cleaning materials
Before any cleaning begins, it’s always advisable to have everything ready. Things you need to get ready include a dust broom, power washer, water, soap solution, cleaning brushes, goggles, gloves and gumboots.
Step 2 – Preparation of work area
Remove any furniture and potted plants from the deck space before any cleaning begins.
Next, sweep away debris and dust with a broom to make power washing efficient.
Step 3 – Power washing
Cleaning should begin from the far end near your house and work your way outwards. If you have any stains on your deck surface, first use a soap solution and cleaning brush to get rid of them before power washing. Set up the power washer and turn on the water to begin cleaning. Adjust your jet pressure to 600 psi. This can only be increased if the pressure doesn’t remove much dirt as needed. Consider a fan tip size of 40-60 degrees which is ideal for deck cleaning. A fan is the water that comes out of the tip and its size is measured in degrees. Zero degrees would only be a stream of water that cannot loosen embedded dirt. Lower the washer’s wand at least 12” from the deck board and move back and forth in a sweeping motion.
It’s good to maintain the same distance off the floor and pay attention to the deck’s edges.
Step 4 – Finishing
After you are through with cleaning, put all the tools away and allow the floor to dry. Any finishing or sanding needed to smooth out raised wood grains should be done when wood is completely dry. A professional contractor can help you with this expertise to protect your deck.
- Test the pressure of your power washer on a piece of wood similar to your deck material, otherwise you will etch the finish or surface of your deck and incur the cost of replacing it.
- Use soft brushes to clean hard to reach areas like between rails.
- Never direct a washer’s jet on anyone or on objects. The high pressure can be very damaging and can tear the skin.
- Always work out from corners. If you lock yourself on corners while cleaning, the pressure from the water may hurl debris at high speeds on your face and if you have no facial protection, you could get hurt.
Do you need help with a pressure washing job? Contact us today at (214) 390-4557 and get a free quote!