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Power washing a wood deck obviously isn’t rocket science. But without some caution, the cleaner can easily cause more damage then imaginable. The truth of the matter is that pressure washers were never really intended for use on wood surfaces. These high pressure machines are really designed for hard surfaces so the operator has to take great care when using on a deck. I know the guy at the rental company or the sales man at the local home store said cleaning a deck is a cinch, but actually it is much easier to become a “wood engraver” then you might think.

I know what I’m talking about after having to attempt to correct the workmanship of many DIY’ers over the years. So please accept this warning so you don’t have to rent a floor sander next weekend to remove the traces of your cleaning effort. Be sure to wear old clothes and safety glasses. You are going to get wet and you will get sprayed with the cleaning solution regardless of how careful you are. In many positions on your deck surface, such as in corners, the spray has no where to go except right in your face.

Having said that, pressure washing a deck can produce excellent results if you take your time and use the machine in the proper way. The first step is setting up your machine. You attach a 3/4 inch water hose to your machine. Now attach the high pressure hose with the spray wand. At this point, turn you water on. Do not attempt to start your machine until the water is connected since this can do damage to the pump section of your machine.

When starting many gas powered machines you might find it easier to start if you squeeze the trigger until the water flows through your machine. Take a few minutes and be sure your overspray will not damage any plants or outdoor furniture, etc. To prevent any damage from your cleaning solution, just cover with waterproof tarps at this point. Just remember, all that water and cleaning solution has to go somewhere. You don’t want to go out the next morning to find spotted plants or house siding.

There are literally dozens of Deck Sealing Guys on the market today. Some are simple detergents, while others contain bleaches and specific chemicals which react with certain wood types. I would strongly suggest against using household bleach. Stick with the commercial deck cleaning products to minimize the danger to your surrounding areas and plantings. Many of the larger deck stain manufacturers have their own deck cleaning products. Which ever product you chose, be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. You will find that most instructions will not include any directions or suggestions of using a pressure washer. They are well aware of the dangers I mention above.

I’ve used pressure washers to power wash decks for decades now. They are most effective when used properly. If you are going to use a pressure washer, just remember the job of the machine is to remove the cleaning chemicals and the dirt. The additional benefit is that the pressure washer will use less water then a simple hose and nozzle The first step is to simply rinse off the entire deck with water at low pressure. After doing this, I mix the cleaner in a 5 gallon bucket and use the pressure washer to spray the decking with the chemical.

I use an old broom or a commercial deck brush to further spread the cleaner around the surfaces to be clean. You don’t really have to scrub, just spread the cleaner at this point. Follow the instructions and allow the cleaner to set or dwell on the surface for the specified time. Do not allow the solution to dry on one section of the deck while scrubbing another. This will lessen the effect of the cleaner. On very dirty decks, you might even spray a second application of the cleaning solution and scrub the surface a second time. Remember; do not allow the solution to dry on the deck.

Published at: Recent Health Articleshttp://recenthealtharticles.org

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