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Pressure Washing Wood or Composite Decks, and What To Know

Pressure Washing Wood or Composite Decks, and What To Know

Posted by Jeff Sherwood on Aug 17th 2022

When the time comes to wash your wood deck, or are tasked to clean a client's deck, you must have the specific equipment and professional experience to get the best clean possible. Using a softwash approach with the appropriate chemistry is one of the best ways to bring a wood deck back to its former glory.

A pressure washer is a powerful machine that uses pressurized water to remove debris and buildup from most surfaces. Luckily, all you need for a deep clean is a pressure washer and a method to apply your chemicals. Here are some tips about pressure washing your wood deck and what to know.

Preparation for Pressure Washing
When it comes to pressure washing your deck and what to know, it’s vital to have the necessary equipment to achieve the perfect clean.
Some supplies include:
• Pressure washer with a wide fan tip
• Pressure washer detergent
• Garden hose
• Eye and hearing protection
• Gloves
• Deck brush
• Tape

When setting up your pressure washer, the pounds per square inch required will vary based on the the type of wood. If you work with cedar or pine, 500 to 600 psi (pounds per square inch) is ideal. If you work with harder woods, a higher PSI will work. Pressure can be increased or reduced by tip selection, adjusting your unloader, or adding a ball valve to your pressure washing hose . Be sure to stay below 1,200 PSI to prevent damage. Otherwise, maintain a 40 to 60-degree angle while working with a fan tip. Once your pressure washer is prepped and ready to go, you can move forward with washing the deck.

How To Properly Pressure Wash Your Deck
After you’ve put on your PPE, removed obstacles, covered electrical components, and closed any open windows, pre-soak the wood and the surrounding area. This will allow the pores of the wood to fill up with water rather than the chemical solution, optimizing effective surface cleaning. Now start by applying the appropriate wood cleaner formulation using a low-pressure soap nozzle in combination with a downstream injector, x-jet, or a pump sprayer. Apply from the bottom to the top of the deck. Use a utility brush to scrub the solution (as needed) in corners, stubborn stains, and between deck balusters.

Based on manufacturer instructions, leave the detergent on the surface for a designated dwell time. From there, rinse from top to bottom in overlapping passes with the pressure washer to prevent leaving streaks. If the cleaning solution you have chosen requires a two-step process, apply the second chemical in like fashion and repeat the process. When completed, be sure to thoroughally rinse off any plants or surfaces that may have been impacted by runoff or overspray. Allow the deck to dry for 48 hours before applying stain or sealer.

Safety Tips You Need To Know
One of the first tips is you must follow the manufacturer’s instructions. It will help you with the necessary safety and care tips for your pressure washer. Knowing how to turn it on and off properly while working on a stable surface will prevent injuries. It will provide good balance and solid footing. Make sure to stay aware of where you direct the sprayer and never leave the spray gun unattended while the pressure washer continues to run.

Clients will depend on you for an industrial-grade clean. Grime and debris can build up on wood decks and any exterior surface. That’s why we at Clean Pro Supply offer high-quality commercial pressure washing chemicals for any job.