Pressure Washing and Deck Cleaning 101 – Part 1

Here at All Pro Washing, we’re going to show you how to pressure wash your deck. This is a 2 part series starting today with part 1. First thing you want to do is assess the situation. The downstairs of my deck is actually in bad shape. That will be pretty easy to clean up. Then we’re actually going to go and do the upstairs which is quite a bit more worn.
deck cleaning
Now, what you want to make sure you do is, you want to make sure that you start at the top and work your way down. You also want to make sure that you clear anything out that could get messed up from debris. We’re not going to be using chemicals today, but if you use chemicals it’s even more important to get the stuff cleaned out from underneath the deck. Today what we’re going to be using is we’re going to actually be using a vortex pressure washer. It’s called the prosumer plus.
deck pressure washing
And basically this unit is a prosumer unit which means that it’s not quite professional-grade, but it certainly could do some big jobs. And, it’s definitely on the high end of what you would call a consumer grade. So, it’s definitely do anything you need to do at the home. What we have on this machine is a couple things; one we have a triplex plunger pump. And, this triplex plunger pump allows you to rebuild. It’s one of the things with a lot of pressure washers where the pumps are pretty much so disposable. And, if they go bad, you can’t rebuild it. But this one is rebuildable. It also has a lot of other options on it with a cooling hose underneath.
patio pressure washing
That cooling hose actually allows you to go in a bypass mode without overheating the pump. One thing when you’re getting started with any of the vortex pressure washers that have the oil on the top which is for the pump oil is that it usually comes with a red shipping cap. This is a vented cap. And the other one is a non-vented cap. When you ship it, nothing leaks out. But you want to make sure you remove the red cap and put in the permanent cap.
deck power washing
It’s well marked that’s something to get started. The other thing you’ll want to do is make sure you check your oil and you have a good full ol. And then make sure you have clean gas and then from there you hook up the hose and make sure that you have a good water flow.
patio power washing
It’s also very important that when you are going to pressure wash that you wear the right clothes, because it’s tempting on a warm day to throw on your flip-flops and walk out with some shorts on. But, this pressure washer can put out 2,750 psi and three gallons per minute. Now those are numbers that we can talk a little bit more about later. The important thing is that that can really do damage to your skin if you for the one gets loose or if it starts banging around and you get a slice across your foot. Having the right shoes on and having the right pants and being also very keen with protective glasses, in case something flies back hitch in the eye is all important. So when you’re getting started, the key is that you have to have water to the machine.
deck power washing
That’s always a clean water scenario where you want to have the best water flow you possibly can. Vortex actually builds their pumps in a way that there’s straight shots with why filters on the bottom. And this fly filter allows you to clean that out in case debris gets in there. Many times in the spring, people will have dirty garden hoses and they hook them up to a pressure washer and that will get debris into your pressure washer really quick. And it’s difficult to get that out once it’s in there. There are screens built-in and a white belt in order to make this work. The other thing that’s really important is to have enough pressure. So if you have low water pressure or if you’re running off a well, usually you’ll be okay but you want to make sure that you look at your manual and have enough pressure flowing through there. Usually if the garden hose, when you hold it up if it’s squirting outward and not just dribbling down, you’re going to be okay. But make sure you have enough pressure. So the pressure washer always has clean fresh water flowing through it. Next you want to make sure that you hook up the Quick Connect.

When you hook up your Quick Connect, what’s really important is that it locks into place. So it’s nice and tight. If it’s not tight and what ends up happening many times it’ll just pop off. So now that we’ve got it hooked up we’ll turn on the water and make sure we have good flow. Now that our water is turned on we can definitely take a look to see if we have flow. The best way to do that without a tip on is actually just pull the trigger and you can see that there’s good flow out of out of the one.

Another question I get many times is how much pressure and flow do I really need to clean my deck properly. And the reality is is the only problem need about 1,500 pounds of pressure to do a good job on the deck. (The same applies to any roof cleaning if you have been able to check out All Pro Washing’s website.) However, if you start with a small electric unit or a small gas unit that only has low flow, what it does is it actually creates a lot of pressure in a very focused area. But you can’t move enough dirt. So you will be cleaning a very small area at a time it will be like using a pen to paint a wall versus using a roller. What’s very important to understand is that you have to have a good combination of pressure and flow. And that’s really where the difference comes in. We’re going to be using a tool but actually, because we have enough flow along with the pressure that we have it’s going to make this job much much quicker. It’s important to understand that you have pressure and flow and the more flow you have the better ability to have to clean faster. The next thing you need to do is determine which tip you’re going to use. And with this unit that comes with 4 different tips.

Tips really regulate your pressure. A lot of people don’t realize that, but the tip is actually what creates the pressure and regulates it at the actual end of the wand. Here we have a 0-degree tip. 0-degree tip is actually one that you would use here, the red one for blasting. It’s a straight on tip and there’s no fan to it. Then you go out and you come out from there different degree angles. This one is your 15-degree tip for heavy cleaning and closed rin. And then the higher you go to here the 25 and then to the 40-degree tip, the wider swath you’re going to be able to cut and clean, but also the less pressure actually going to have at the point of contact. For pressure washing the deck I would start with a 25-degree tip. And if you have light cleaning you might move up to the 40. But for the most part you’re going to be a 25. And if you have something real stubborn you might actually move down to the 15. So we’re going to take the tip out and we’re actually going to insert it into the end of the one. You want to make sure that it clicks in nice and solid and that it’s fastened. Because these will shoot when you turn on the pressure washer if it’s not locked into place.

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If you need help with pressure washing your deck, patio or driveway, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today by checking out our website

Pressure Washing and Deck Cleaning 101 – Part 2
How to strip paint with a pressure washer

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