Imagine entertaining all your friends and family, your freshly cleaned Deck glistening in the afternoon sunshine. All of a sudden, your most annoying brother-in-law rather unexpectedly comments, your deck really looks great, filling your heart with pride and a greater sense of accomplishment. Validating your entire spring-cleaning efforts, use a pressure washer to clean a wood deck. As you continue reading, you will learn how to save time, save money on your water bill, clean like a professional and fill your heart with pride and joy.
1. What You Will Need
- Water Hose, you will need a water hose that is at least five-eighths of an inch OD (inside diameter), free of holes, cuts, leaky gaskets and bent or damaged fittings.
Using a pressure washer does save water, but a damaged leaking garden hose negates your water savings, not to mention creates an additional mess.
- Pressure Washer, selecting a model that makes sense to you may not be the best overall choice. For a power washer to work efficiently there are two basic pieces of information you need to understand.
The first is PSI (pounds per square inch) that measures the working force of the water. This force breaks up and loosens the dirt away from the surface.
The second and equally important bit of information to understand, GPM (gallons of water per minute) used to wash away the dirt.
In short, pressure washers that supply 1500 PSI and two GPM clean a lot more efficiently and quicker than a unit, that only supplies 1500 PSI and one GPM. My personal favourite combination of PSI and GPM is, 3000 PSI with three GPM and equipped with interchangeable nozzles that provide greater cleaning flexibility.
- Protective Clothing, resist the temptation to wear your swimsuit, short pants and flip-flops when using pressure washers. Long Pants and Shirt must be worn for safety sake, debris will bounce off the house and any surface it meets, so remember, when it hits your exposed skin it will, As it has been said, leave a mark.
- Safety Glasses, wear good fitting safety glasses or goggles that wrap around your face and protect your eyes from flying objects.
- Sound Suppressors, regardless of the model a pressure washer makes a lot of noise. Protect your hearing and use earplugs or muffs.
- Sturdy Shoes, consider this little under appreciated fun fact, the stream of high-pressure water coming out of the nozzle will cut through a piece of wood when held too close to it. Protect your feet wear a sturdy pair of shoes, sandals are cool but provide no protection from flying dirt and debris.
2. How to Clean a Wood Deck
Set – Up, start by hooking up your garden hose to the water faucet on the outside of your house. Make sure the strainer and gasket are in good condition before hooking up the hose.
Next, run the water supply hose to the power washer making sure you do not get any kinks in the hose that will restrict the water flow.
With the garden hose hooked up and ran to your wood deck, before hooking up the hose to the inlet side of the pump, turn the water on and let it run for a minute or two to flush out any dirt or debris that is in the hose. Shut it off and hook it up to the fitting on the pressure washer pump.
Hook up the high-pressure hose and wand assembly, turn the water on and let the water run long enough to get all the air out of the hoses and pump.
Before Cleaning Your Wood Deck, start by removing everything from the area to be cleaned, the barbeque grill, patio furniture, container plantings and other decorative items.
Cover any plants or other items that you cannot move. Use lightweight plastic tarps or drop cloths to protect them from cleaning chemicals and the high-pressure water spray.
Pre – treat heavily soiled areas using the soap attachment with a cleaning solution will be helpful in cleaning built up grease and grime under the barbeque grill, but will not remove the stains that are left behind. Do Not Allow the soap to dry before washing it off the stains using the high-pressure washer.
Washing a Deck, hold the 15-degree nozzle in the end of the wand 12 inches away from the deck surface. Work along the length of each deck board maintaining the 12-inch distance between the deck and the end of the nozzle. Holding the nozzle to close will result in damage to the wooden decking, splintering is the most common.
Give The Deck Time to Completely Dry, 48 hours or more in some areas will be required, depending on the humidity. Remove the tarps covering the plants.
3. Finishing Touches
- Apply the stain or sealer and allow it to fully dry.
- Set – up your patio furniture and decorations, now is the time to experiment with that new arrangement you have wanted to try.
- Send out the invitations to your next Outdoor party and enjoy the well-deserved accolades from your friends and family.
If you feel you need professional help, be sure to contact us as we offer Professional Pressure Washing Services in the Metro Vancouver area, both for homes and commercial buildings.