How to Correctly Pressure Wash a Deck
Cleaning with pressure washing is an ideal choice for home exteriors, decks, garages, patios, and outdoor living areas. Long Island, New York, features stunning decks for sunning, viewing the gardens, and taking in the ocean views. Knowing the correct way to pressure wash your deck provides benefits that include easier cleaning of the deck and faster cleaning when unexpected guests drop by to spend part of their day enjoying the spectacular view.
It takes time and practice to complete the pressure washing job with minimal disruptions, and although having a clean deck is desirable, there are many other things you’d rather do with your time. That’s why you might want to hire a professional Long Island power washing company.
If you decide that you like doing the job yourself, at least some of the time, the burden of Long Island pressure washing will fall on you Regardless of whether you live in Nassau County or Suffolk County, you’ll need the following tools to do a bang-up cleaning job without banging up your deck:
A pressure washer with a rotating tip or fan tip
Plastic to protect other areas from spray
Random orbit sander for touching up damaged areas
Deck stripper or brightener
Your preferred tip for the power washer
Swabbing the Deck
Swabbing the deck takes on a new meaning when referring to your porch or external structure meant for relaxing, entertaining, barbecuing, and enjoying the outdoors while the kids play. Cleaning with pressure washing is one of those activities that you don’t really enjoy but find necessary if you want to enjoy having a sparkling clean deck. The standard processes for cleaning your deck properly include the following best practices:
Remove All Deck Items It might seem like removing everything on your deck wastes time, but it’s necessary to remove items to ensure their safety and reach all the nooks and crannies. That means removing furniture, rugs, cushions, potted plants, and miscellaneous stuff that always accumulates like sports equipment, toys, and miscellaneous deck debris.
Apply a Deck Brightener Deck brighteners work so much better when you’re not scrubbing by hand. Apply an even coat to work with the pressure washer to restore the wood’s natural appearance and appeal. You should mix the solution to the strength recommended by the washer manufacturer. Using a pressure washer runs the risk of roughing the wood’s fibers, so make sure you have a sander or sandpaper to sand the deck after washing it.
Wash the Deck Follow the pressure washer manufacturer’s instructions as to the proper way to use the machine. It’s important to remember that pressure washers are powerful enough to etch brick, so take care not to use more than the recommended pressure setting. You should also avoid placing the pressure tip too close to the deck’s surface. Concentrate your efforts between the boards where dirt and grime collect. The recommended way to operate your machine is to engage the trigger while holding the wand at least 2 feet away from the wood. You should clean in a sweeping pattern while trying to maintain a standard distance from the wood’s surface.
Sanding After Washing Sanding the area makes sense for smoothing away splinters and eroded fibers. Pay particular care to your handrails where raised fibers can generate splinters that can cause severe injuries to the hands of your guests. Make sure that the deck is completely dry before sanding. It’s best to avoid very fine sandpaper because it can cause clogging of the wood’s pores. Clogged pores of the wood prevent stains and finishes from applying smoothly. 100-grit sandpaper or coarser is recommended. Every cleaning doesn’t require sanding if you can get by with spot sanding a few areas, but your decks need regular sanding and refinishing to maintain their beauty and the strength of the wood.
Sealing the Deal You should apply sealer after washing your deck to protect it from rain, water, and other forces of nature. A sealer should be left to dry for an hour or more, and then you’ll be ready to start returning your stuff. It’s important to use some discretion at this point to trash unnecessary junk, shake off the dust from rugs and clean your furniture to restore a pristine appearance.
Tips from the Pros on Deck Maintenance
If you live in Nassau County or Suffolk County, the peer pressure to maintain your home and grounds can often become intense. Your landscaping, deck maintenance, and exterior home’s appearance are more than idle gossip. In some cases, they have the backing of homeowners' associations and legal enforcement. The following tips for maintaining your deck might come in handy:
Never Assume Pressure-treated Wood Requires No Maintenance Many homeowners know that pressure-treated wood is resistant to rot and insect infestations, but the wood can still be damaged by water and the sun. Your deck needs to be cleaned and sealed to maintain its beautiful appearance and sound structure.
Check for Damage Your deck can be damaged by heavy use by chair and table legs, natural fibers like bamboo and jute are woven into rugs, accidental falls and spills, and the growth of mold and mildew. You can protect your deck by using plastic outdoor furniture or slip-on or nail-on pads for furniture legs.
Don’t Use Chlorine Bleach on Deck Wood Chlorine bleach added to a cleaning solution for routine mopping can strip the wood or its beautiful natural color as well as damaging the wood’s cellular structure. Oxygen bleach makes a good alternative that doesn’t strip away color, but you shouldn’t use oxygen bleach on redwood.
Sand Your Deck Before Sealing It Many amateurs make mistakes when cleaning their decks themselves. You should try to sand and seal the deck after every pressure washing. 80-grit sandpaper is a good choice, and sealing after sanding protects the deck from warping, cracking, and cupping. A clear sealer is recommended because tinted sealers lose their ability to protect the wood if you receive lots of foot traffic.
Never Rely on Paint to Seal Your Deck Painting your deck looks nice after the initial application, but it seldom maintains a beautiful appearance for long. Heavy traffic and damage from the elements make the paint look worn and tacky in short order. If you decide to remove the paint, that’s quite a chore that requires a stripper or sander machine. Synthetic sealants are recommended because oil-based finishes support the growth of mold and mildew. Using a semi-transparent synthetic sealer is recommended because it allows the natural beauty of the wood grain to become a focal point, protects the deck from sun damage, and brightens the natural colors of the wood.
Clean the Deck Regularly Rain, snow, wind, and the sun produce some damage to wood decks regardless of sealer choice or using pressure-treated wood. You should clean your deck at regular intervals to prevent debris from further damaging the wood.
Replace Damaged Deck Boards Despite regular maintenance, a board in your deck might need replacing because of severe damage. You can use a claw hammer to remove the damaged board, and you can replace it with a board cut to fit. Sand and stain the board before nailing it into place. Try to match the wood and color, but don’t worry if you can’t get an exact match. The older, more weathered boards will always look a bit different. If there are many boards that need replacing, it’s best to replace the whole floor of your deck.
Prevent Water Damage You should sweep or mop up any water puddles and don’t forget to remove any accumulation of snow and ice. If the snow is too much to handle with a broom, use a plastic shovel to prevent wood damage.
Long Island Pressure Washing Services
There are plenty of times when even the handiest homeowner doesn’t have the energy to maintain an outdoor deck with loving attention. That’s when Above All services become an excellent alternative way to provide expert deck cleaning services like pressure cleaning, sanding, and refinishing. The company provides the highest caliber of customer service, attention to detail, and cleaning expertise to any home or commercial cleaning, repair, or maintenance issue.
Above All enjoys certifications by PWNA, OSHA 30 Safety, MTA Track Safety Certified, F9 Authorized Applicators, Spray Wash Pro Academy, and the Better Business Bureau. When you need a power washing service on the Island, All Above becomes the favored choice of discriminating homeowners. The company’s services include roof and gutter cleaning, power washing on any outdoor area, wood, metal, and paving stone restoration, playground sanitation, rust and battery removal, tennis and basketball court cleaning, and commercial truck fleet cleaning, and gas station cleaning
Pressure Cleaning Near Me
If you live in Nassau County, Suffolk County, or other areas of Long Island, New York, you don’t need to look far to find pressure cleaning near me. Just contact aboveallpressurecleaning.com for Long Island power washing services.