Can My Wooden Deck Get Damaged If I Power Wash It?

Do not, ever, use a pressure washer on your beautiful decking. It is a shame that a large proportion of people actually are not aware of this. They are blinded by the pressure washing companies that come knocking on the door. Naturally, the fact that young, good looking college children often work for these companies doesn’t help either. However, you have to remember that they are companies and companies are about making money. If that can be done by providing what is at heart a poor service, they will. So, next time you see 1 of the trucks that advertise your deck, siding, patios, roofs or siding can be cleaned, do not take note of the phone number and simply move away. Older decks are particularly susceptible to damage from pressure washing. 1 of the biggest issues is that both commercial companies and private individuals set the pressure on their washers much too high. However, low pressure can damage decks to the same extent as high pressure.

The surface of anything that is exposed to a pressure washer is immediately cleaned of various loose material. What you will be left with, however, is gaps with splinters. The problem with these gaps is that they were held together by some of the dirt. As soon as this is removed, they can open up and face the full attack of the elements, the sun and rain in particular. Furthermore, by pressure washing, the wood’s natural oils get taken out too. Even if you use a sealant on your decking, the natural oil will not be replaced. Wood will also start to warp and cup when it dries too quickly. As soon as the wood starts to expand, it will begin to loosen the nails, allowing water to go through it.

So how do you clean your deck? Try to opt for a gentle cleaner, which you should be able to find in various stores. Only purchase a cleaner that does not contain an caustic lye or acid. Stay away from any products that warns against contact with kids, pets or water features as well. Some good companies make both cleansers and sealants and if these are free from toxins, you may as well go for that. You can use an oxygen cleanser for a deep clean. Oxygen cleaners work wit pecarbonate, which is completely safe for wood. Furthermore, it is not dangerous for kids, pets or plants. After you have cleaned your deck, you should always seal it. If you forget, your deck will be exposed to harmful UV rays. Always pick a sealant that protects against both water and UV damage.