Power Washing Your NJ Deck
There’s a good chance you’ll be outside enjoying this holiday weekend enjoying time with friends and family. While you’re getting your grill prepped for your cookout you might also consider seeing if your deck couldn’t use a little extra care before company arrives.
Power washing should be a part of your regular home maintenance. Not only does it keep your deck looking beautiful, but it also quickly removes dirt set deep into the wood’s surface. You do need to be careful when using a power washer on your deck though as too high a pressure may etch the wood.
Tips Safely and Successfully Power Wash Your Deck
- Clear everything off your deck before starting to save yourself time and avoid missed spots.
- Set your power washer to its fan tip setting. You’ll want to avoid spraying a single jet of water, since this might cause damage to your deck’s surface.
- Keep the pressure low to start. Set your sprayer’s pressure to 600 psi and increase the pressure only to what is necessary to clean the wood.
- Test along a small length of wood like a stair tread in case you set the pressure to high and cause damage. A stair tread is relatively easy to replace compared to a full-length deck board.
- Start where your deck adjoins to your home and board-by-board work your way outwards. Always spray in the direction of the wood grain with the sprayer no closer than 12 inches from the deck’s surface.
- Avoid visible cleaning edges by overlapping your spray path slightly with the one before.
- Never point a power washer at your home’s windows or at a person.
Immediately after power washing your deck you may want to hold off on returning your washer to the shed or the store you’re renting it from. Wet wood looks very different from dry wood and can disguise imperfections or spots that didn’t get quite as clean as others. Allow your deck to dry fully, then check to see if you need to touch up any sections before calling your job finished. If you need something to pass the time while you wait, your sidewalks would almost certainly benefit from a quick power washing.
A Note on Raised Wood Fibers
There is a possibility as you clean your deck that you will notice some raised wood fibers. As your deck dries these spots will be rougher than others. Rough spots on handrails or floorboards can lead to splinters, so take a few minutes to spot sand these areas.
With a little bit of care and a couple free hours you could have a clean and refreshed deck to enjoy with friends and family over the holiday weekend. Just remember to keep the power washer’s pressure low to protect your deck’s surface and practice proper safety around people and windows, and this bit of deck maintenance will be a breeze.