Avoid These Common Mistakes When Pressure Washing a Deck

Even the best cared for decks suffer from a buildup of grit, grime, and debris throughout the year. Many homeowners will attempt to give their deck a beautiful look by pressure washing, but can quickly find that it isn’t as simple as it seems. Proper pressure washing requires both skill and the right equipment. Before you start a DIY deck cleaning project, read on to discover the most common mistakes homeowners should avoid when pressure washing a wood deck:

Using too much pressure

One of the quickest ways to do damage to your deck is by blasting it with a high-pressure power washer. Using too much pressure can scar the wood, leaving unsightly marks. Damage to the wood that weakens it in spots could eventually lead to structural damage.

It takes practice and skill to understand how to properly hold the hose of the pressure washer and how to apply it to a surface. If you hit wood at a close range with too much pressure, you could be left with an ugly result. A professional power washer knows just the right amount of pressure to apply and how to control the hose when carefully cleaning a wood deck.

Improper techniques

Using a pressure washer isn’t as easy as it may look, and it requires skill. If you’ve never used a power washer, you’ll likely find it difficult to maintain the right strokes and spraying distance with the hose.

The feathering strokes used when going over each area have to be steady in order to produce a consistently clean result for the entire deck. A professional service tech knows just how to handle a commercial pressure washer, and will ensure that the entire deck is cleaned evenly.

Using the wrong cleanser, or none at all

In order for the pressure washer to work correctly, it needs to be used with the right cleanser. Using the wrong soap won’t give you the best results, and it could actually damage the wood grain. Some cleaning chemicals are too strong, while others are too weak to be effective.

The same is true of using only water with a pressure washer. Using only water is a waste of time and effort, and you’ll end up spreading mold spores and grime around the deck and surrounding area. For tough stains and buildup, you have to allow the soap to sit on the surface and soak in for a few minutes before washing it away.

Not allowing the wood to dry

It is so important to allow the wood to dry fully before applying any type of sealant or treatment to the deck. If moisture gets trapped in the wood, it can weaken it over time and lead to mold growth. The deck needs several days of dry weather after pressure washing in order to fully dry out.

Should I Pressure Wash My Deck?

Regularly pressure washing a wood deck is the best way to remove buildup and prepare it for sealing. By hiring a professional service with the right equipment and skills, you can avoid making these common pressure washing mistakes when cleaning your deck.


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