The Ultimate Guide to Pressure Washing Your Deck

Pressure washing a deck is a popular method to renew its appearance, remove stubborn dirt, and prepare it for staining. However, if done incorrectly, it can cause more harm than good. In this guide, we’ll answer the most frequently asked questions about pressure washing a deck to ensure you get the best results.

Why Should I Pressure Wash My Deck?

Pressure washing your deck is an excellent way to maintain its appearance and integrity. A deep clean effectively removes accumulated dirt, grime, and unwanted substances like mold and algae. This not only restores the deck’s original look but also ensures safety by eliminating slippery surfaces. Additionally, if you’re considering staining or sealing your deck, pressure washing is a crucial preparatory step, ensuring that the surface is primed for the stain to adhere properly.

Beyond the immediate benefits, there are long-term advantages to consider. Regular pressure washing can extend the life of your deck, preventing rot and decay. This proactive maintenance approach is not only cost-effective, saving you from potential repair bills in the future, but it’s also eco-friendly, especially when using environmentally-friendly cleaning solutions. Plus, it’s a time-saver, offering a quicker alternative to manual scrubbing. All in all, it’s a worthwhile investment in your deck’s longevity and beauty.

Choosing the Right Power Washer

When it comes to cleaning a deck, many homeowners opt for a power washer with a pressure range between 1,300 to 2,400 psi, akin to the pressure used for car washing. However, experts from HGTV suggest starting with the gentlest pressure that effectively cleans your deck. For softer woods like cedar or pine, a range of 500 to 600 psi is ideal, while pressure-treated wood can handle up to 1200 to 1500 psi.

You can rent a 2000 psi machine, available at places like Home Depot for around $38 per day. For optimal results, use a broad nozzle, typically 15 or 18 degrees, which are usually color-coded green or yellow.

Both techniques have their merits and potential drawbacks. Power washing offers a swift cleaning process, but the heated water can potentially damage fragile or aging wood. On the other hand, pressure washing is gentler on delicate surfaces, but it might struggle with stubborn dirt or mold. If you’re uncertain about the best method for your deck, it’s always a good idea to seek advice from a professional to ensure the longevity and appearance of your deck.

How to Prepare Your Deck for Power Washing

Before power washing your deck, we need to make sure we surface ready. 

Declutter the Area: Before you start with the pressure washing, clear the area of any obstacles. This includes toys, tools, or furniture. Not only does this prevent potential tripping hazards, but it also ensures that hoses move freely without any hindrance.

Protecting the Environment: Your garden and home fixtures need protection during this process. Drape nearby plants with protective covers to shield them from the water and cleaning agents. Similarly, safeguard electrical outlets and delicate lighting fixtures to avoid any water damage.

Cleaning Basics: A clean surface ensures a smoother pressure washing experience. Use a sturdy broom to sweep away any loose debris from the deck or fence. This simple step can prevent clogs and ensure a more effective cleaning.

Securing the Home: It’s a small but crucial step – ensure all nearby windows and doors are securely closed. This prevents any inadvertent water seepage or damage inside your home.

Positioning the Pressure Washer: Your pressure washer needs a stable base. Position it on a flat surface, away from the direct spray area. This ensures it remains undisturbed and safe during the entire cleaning process.

Mind the Wind: The direction of the wind can influence your cleaning. Being observant of its direction helps in controlling the spray, ensuring water or cleaning agents don’t drift to unwanted areas.

Consult the Manual: Your pressure washer’s user manual is an invaluable guide. It provides insights into selecting the right spray pattern and nozzle tip. Remember, the settings for dispensing cleaning solutions differ from high-pressure rinsing. Adjusting these correctly can make a world of difference in your cleaning outcome.

How to Clean the Deck 


Safety and Initial Setup: Before diving into the cleaning process, prioritize your safety. Equip yourself with safety glasses, gloves, and closed-toe shoes to shield against any unexpected splashes or flying debris. As you set up, consult your pressure washer’s user manual to ensure you’re using the recommended settings for the appropriate surfaces. This step is crucial to prevent unintentional damage to your deck.

Selecting and Testing the Nozzle: The nozzle choice can make a significant difference. Begin with a wider nozzle, often color-coded as green or yellow, to provide a gentler spray. Once equipped, it’s wise to test the pressure on a small, hidden section of the deck. This trial run ensures the pressure setting is just right and won’t cause any harm to the wood.

The Cleaning Process: When you’re ready to start, maintain a consistent 12-18 inch distance between the nozzle and the deck surface. For optimal results, always move the pressure washer wand in the direction of the wood grain. This technique not only effectively lifts and removes dirt but also minimizes the risk of causing splinters. As you clean, use long, even strokes, ensuring each pass slightly overlaps the previous one. This method guarantees a thorough and uniform clean without missing any spots.

Rinsing and Drying: After you’ve covered the entire deck, it’s time to rinse. Switch to a wider nozzle or reduce the pressure and give the deck a comprehensive rinse, ensuring any loosened dirt or residual cleaning solution is washed away. Once done, patience is key. Allow the deck to dry completely, which can take anywhere from 24-48 hours depending on weather conditions, before walking on it or placing furniture back.

Post-Cleaning Inspection: With the deck dry, take a moment to inspect it. Look out for any stubborn stains or areas that might need additional attention. In some cases, a second round of cleaning with a specialized deck cleaner followed by pressure washing might be necessary to address these spots.

Not Comfortable Power Washing? Consider a Pro

If you need help with washing your deck, JD Powerwashing can help! 

Contact us today to learn more about our House Washing Services or to book an appointment!

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Frequently Asked
Power Washing Questions

Power washing is a versatile cleaning service and works for different types of surfaces. It can remove the grime and stains from a deck and patio, restore the look of your concrete walkways, or brick exteriors, both materials are strong and durable meaning they can perfectly handle the highest settings of pressure washing. This service is also recommended for the roof and sidings, as well as to remove the stains from driveways. Pressure washing will leave your house looking brand new.

You should thoroughly clean the exterior of your house with pressure washing in Las Vegas NV at least once a year, however, you can also do it every few months depending on the weather where you live, the traffic, and the air pollutant of your area. Don’t wait too long to get a professional pressure washing cleaning or you could face some costly repairs.

The price of pressure washing depends on how many areas you want us to clean and how dirty they are. We can create a customizable pressure cleaning plan for you free of charge, so contact us now to get a personalized quote.

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