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Cleaning Deck

I was told that using a pressure washer to clean the wood on a deck is not a good idea. It will push the dirt, etc. into the wood and the stain will just cover it. I should use a cleaner etc first than scrub it. It was information from Home Depot staff. ANy truth to this ?

Re: Cleaning Deck

You don't need to get a pressure washer. Get a deck brush and a good mild cleaner like simple green. Wet the wood and dilute some detergent in a bucket of water. Scrub the deck with the solution and hose it off with the garden hose.

Re: Cleaning Deck

Thanks for the information. Can I than stain the wood after it dries, or do I need to treat the wood further before staining.

Re: Cleaning Deck

Decks are one of the things that I will use a PW to clean. (I won't use one to clean wood siding) It will remove the dirt, not push it into the wood. Pay peanuts, get monkeys. :)

However, you have to be careful PWing the deck. Too much pressure and/or too narrow of a nozzle and you can easily damage/fray the wood. Don't use a PW in excess of 25oo psi. (1200 psi is adequate..if that 1200 psi rating isn't inflated by the manufacturer of the PW) Use a 15 or 20 degree nozzle and don't get the nozzle too close to the surface. Never use a zero degree tip.

(One exception in my book would be decks comprised of redwood or similar. Too soft and too easily damaged by a PW)

Keep your rate/speed of travel uniform and overlap the passes a bit. If you see fraying of the fibers, back off a few more inches. Maintain a uniform distance from the wood to the tip at all times to get a uniform result.

I like to soak the area up ahead of myself so that the dirt is loose when I get there to do the actual cleaning. Things proceed much faster this way.

Allow to dry throughly before you stain. Depending upon the weather, this might be four days or two weeks. Proceed accordingly.

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