How to Pressure Wash a Deck: A Simple Guide

A wood deck is one of the most sought-after features on a home. Not only does it provide a place to socialize and enjoy the outdoors, but it can also increase the financial value of your house. But a wood deck only offers enjoyment and value if you keep it maintained over time.

One of the first things a homeowner asks about maintenance is how to pressure wash a deck. While some people hire a pro to take care of deck power washing, it’s a task you can easily do yourself. Just follow this simple guide to keep your deck in top shape.

How to Pressure Wash a Deck Yourself

If you’ve never used a power washer, it can seem a little intimidating at first. A power washer includes an air compressor that is powered by electricity or gasoline. The air compressor powers a spray hose connected to a water source like a faucet outside your house.

The power washer increases the water pressure that flows through the spray hose nozzle at very high pressure. The pressure is usually between 500 and 3,000psi, depending on the model and type of power washer you use. A pressure of 1,500 is usually the maximum required to power wash your deck.

When you spray a wood deck with pressure or power washer, you can remove dirt and grime a scrub brush never can. Be careful, though. Setting the pressure too high, or pointing the sprayer too close to the wood can cause severe damage.

Start with the lowest pressure setting and gradually increase the pressure if necessary. If you’ve never used a power washer, read the usage instructions carefully. Wear appropriate safety gear and be aware of all the warnings listed with your pressure washer.

How Often Should I Pressure Wash My Deck?

Cleaning a wood deck is part of regular home maintenance, but you should only expect power washing a deck every couple of years. Never pressure wash a deck more than once per year. If you’re planning on painting, staining, or sealing your wood deck, let it dry for a day or two after pressure washing.

Should I Buy or Rent a Pressure Washer?

If you expect to power wash your deck every couple of years, and you have no other need for a pressure washer, it’s probably best to rent one. You can pick them up at local hardware or DIY store for $50-$100 per day.

Pressure washers can be convenient to have, though. They are also great at low-pressure settings for cleaning your home’s vinyl siding or washing your car. At higher pressure, you can deep clean patios, porches, and sidewalks. Purchasing a power washer will cost between $100 and $300 for an electric model or $300 to $600 for a gasoline-powered unit.

Power Washing Like a Pro

Following this simple guide, you’ll know how to pressure wash a deck. You will also take care of an essential part of your home that will be a favorite place for you and your family for years to come. Deck power washing is one of the best ways to preserve your investment, and it can be a rewarding job when you see the results.

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