Power Washing the Deck: What Not to Do!
Wood is a hard material, right? Many homeowners think it’s perfectly okay to power wash the deck with a pressure washer until they realize they’ve left splinters everywhere. Ouch! This mistake can be rectified, but it will likely be pretty costly. Make sure you read through the horror stories online so you know what not to do if you decide to power wash your deck without calling us.
Don’t Overestimate the Material
Like we said; wood is a hard and durable material, that’s why we use it to build things. A lot of people mistake that type of strength with being able to withstand anything. Unfortunately that is not the case, especially with pressurized water. Water is a very damaging element where wood is concerned, but when you add pressure, it can be catastrophic.
The pressure used to wash wood is much less than you would use to power wash the sidewalk, for example. You don’t have to worry about the sidewalk splitting or splintering under the pressure the same way you do with wood. The type of wood is also a factor in the amount of pressure you use.
Don’t Work Against the Grain
Always follow the grain of the wood when you’re power washing the deck. Going against the grain or in weird designs will cause the wood to splinter. No one wants to deal with splintering deck boards when you’re staining, painting, or walking on your deck later.
Don’t Use a High Pressure Setting
Hard woods like oak or maple can withstand roughly 1200-1500 psi of pressure, but softer woods like pine or cedar should never be power washed with more than 600 psi. Make sure you know the type of wood on your deck before you begin washing it.
Don’t Hold the Nozzle too Close to the Wood
The objective is to use as much pressure as it takes to clean the wood at about a foot away from the surface. You’re sabotaging your own project when you allow the nozzle to get too close to the surface, because that further-increases the amount of pressure that is hitting the wood.
Choose the Correct Tip
The pressure washing tip you use will depend greatly on the type of wood you’re cleaning, whether you’re using cleaning agents, and a few other factors. Do your homework before you begin so you’re sure you’ve chosen the correct tip.
Power Washing the Deck in Charlotte
Dave Mac’s Power Washing Service is located in Charlotte, NC. We provide professional power washing services to homeowners and business owners throughout the greater Charlotte area. Give us a call at 704-321-0123 if you’re in the Charlotte area and would like to schedule an appointment for a consultation.