Should You Power Wash A Deck? Problem Solved!

Cleaning your deck improves its appearance plus controls all the unwanted growths, making the space safer for relaxation and entertainment. If you are planning to clean your deck, the first thing you might think of is a pressure wash.

There is no doubt that it is a much faster technique, but it can have many disadvantages too. So, a question arises, should you power wash a deck?

You shall never pressure wash a deck as it can destroy the surface of the wood. The stream of water is powerful enough to weaken and erode the wood fibers. It can also lead to other problems such as deck splintering or taking chips off the composite materials. If no other cleaning method works, you can think of pressure washing.

It can sometimes be a hassle to clear up all the stains and buildups from your deck surface. Let’s find out why or not power washing can help us deal with this recurring situation.

Is It A Good Idea To Power Wash A Deck?

A deck is an excellent spot for spending some pleasant time with family and friends. But, as you make more and more use of your favorite outdoor space, it tends to look old and worn out due to the buildup of dirt and residue on its surface. In addition, the changing weather also brings many unwanted elements such as fallen leaves, mildew formation, etc.

Is It A Good Idea To Power Wash A Deck?

Together, they all ruin the appearance of your deck. Thus, you might feel tempted to deep clean every nook and corner of your outdoor space. Pressure washing can seem like an easy and quick way to remove all the stubborn stains. But, you must know that it can do more harm than good and cause damage to your deck.

Also Read: How To Protect Your Deck From The Weather?

When water from the power wash hits the wood, it can lead to corrosion and breakage. Thus, it is never recommendable to opt for pressure washing to clean your deck. Nevertheless, if you feel like no other cleaning technique is working well, you can consider the power wash option.

The Downside Of Power Washing A Deck:

As many people use wooden decks, they are quite prone to damage by power washing. Because when the pressure of the power washer gets exerted on the timber deck boards, it can lead to cracking and splintering and weaken the timber fibers. Similarly, if your deck is already splitting apart in different places, the power wash will further worsen the problem. And, you will have no other option than to repair it all.

Composite decks are usually more resistant to damage than wooden ones. But still, it is not preferable to clean them with power washing. The high pressure can scar the board, and in the worst cases, the power washer might take the chip out of the composite material. Moreover, if you accidentally damage your composite deck by pressure washing, it cannot be covered in the warranty. As an outcome, you will have to pay all the extra repair costs from your pocket to fix the deck.

When Is It Okay To Power Wash A Deck?

Pressure washers are generally very powerful and not as straightforward to use as you might think. Thus, it is necessary to opt for this cleaning method only at times when others do not work well. Unless you don’t see any severe grime and buildup on your deck, you can apply some cleaning solution and wash it away with a hose.

When Is It Okay To Power Wash A Deck?

However, if you live in an area exposed to extreme weather, you might need to take the help of power washing more often. As in hot summers or heavy winters, there is a high chance of mold buildup and staining from dirt. So, if it is difficult to get rid of it and it is not coming loose, it might be the time for a power wash.

Besides, when you plan to pressure wash your wood or composite decks, you must consult a professional who has experience with the process. If you try to do it by yourself, you might end up causing irreparable damage to your deck. Also, always ensure that the power washer is in a low-pressure setting, so the harm to the deck is minimal.

Also Read: Can You Install Trex Decking In The Winter

Does Deck Need A Power Wash Before Staining?

Many people think of power washing as a fast and efficient way to get the deck ready for staining. Cleaning the outdoor space before applying any coat is always better because it clears all the dust, dirt, mildew, grease, and stains accumulated on the deck surface. When it is not clean, staining it can become challenging. And, after some time, it will begin to peel off.

Power washing is helpful, but it is not a necessary step. You can instead go for other cleaning options that are safer in comparison. Secondly, if you want the stain to last long, you should use a good deck cleaner and brightener to attain the best results.

Alternative Way To Clean A Deck Without Power Wash:

Cleaning your deck is the right way to keep it in a brand new state for many years. The good news is that you can maintain your deck nice and clean without a power washer. All you want is a high-quality cleaning solution, a bristle brush, a broom, and a hose, and you are all set to start.

Alternative Way To Clean A Deck Without Power Wash:

Ideally, you can practice cleaning your decks every two weeks. However, if you struggle with fallen leaves constantly, you may need to sweep them off more often. If the wet leaves remain on the deck surface for long, it will be hard to clean the residue. Also, avoid scrubbing the surface vigorously as it can scratch or splinter it. Lastly, rinse it off with a hose and let it dry, and that is all you need to do.

Also Read: Should A Deck Be Level Or Sloped?

Final Thoughts:

Power washing may sound like the best solution for your deck cleaning routine, but it is not advisable. It is quicker than scrubbing by hand and easily removes stains and impurities. But, the high-pressure water can erode the wood. It is wiser to use basic cleaning techniques to prevent unwanted damage and repair costs. In some cases where nothing else works, power wash can be an option, but you should hire a professional for this task.

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