Cleaning the deck? Not so fun… Pressure washing the deck? Oodles of fun:)
Pressure washing your deck before staining is a great way to prepare the wood for stain, in addition to the satisfying clean you get.
If you have a deck then, chances are you already know how hard it is to maintain, but it’s worth it. I think we’ve all been on those ash grey decks that haven’t been taken care of. Some woods age better than others, but age takes it’s toll on all of us. Just like a nice manicured lawn make our homes feel like home, a well maintained deck helps make our Sunday BBQ’s the best on the block!
So here we go, how to pressure wash a deck before staining in 6 easy steps.
Pressure washers take the back breaking out the cleaning equation. We love ’em. And typically they do better work than a chemical based solution (better for mother nature too). But if you fail to use your power washer properly then it just might damage your deck.
It has both the capacity to carve and to clean. We want to leave the carving to those guys with the chain saws at the county fair. With high pressure and/or setting the nozzle too close to the wood, then it will etch the wood and do some permanent damage. Not structural, of course, but you’ll see it, and probably notice it every time you use your deck there after.
So use your pressure washer with care and don’t get in a hurry (the fan tip will probably be your safest choice).
It is not compulsory to pressure wash your deck before staining, but it will make for a better stain job in the long run.
Table of Contents
What is Staining a Deck?
Stain is a coating that both protects the wood and brings out the woods dramatic natural colors and textures.
Your deck honestly faces a lot of stress, whether from the blazing sun to the beating rain to freezing drops in temperature. Wood is beautiful, but only for as long as you take care of it and stain is a great way to do that.
Staining a deck will enhance the beauty of deck on your house and protect it from damage and thus extend the life of your deck.
Three primary ingredients: pigment, solvent, and binder are consisting of a commercial wood stain.
These components work for whether the stain is oil or water based, offer a variety of wood color, both darkening of wood and offering highlights of the grain and natural patterns.
Paint or stain is personal decision of course. With paint your essentially hiding the wood (guess which my preference is;) and stain is more of compliment. While you can later paint over stain (but do your research first), you can’t stain over paint. Not unless you trade in your pressure washer for a sandblaster and a lot elbow grease.
The Necessity of Cleaning Before Staining
It doesn’t matter whether your deck is brand-new or fully fresh or older and damaged, you really should clean your deck before staining on it.
Cleaning helps your stain to find a better finish and less stain encrusted crud you have to clean up later. New or old, either way it’s best to clean your wood before staining.
Older decks, of course, should be cleaned even more thoroughly as they accumulate dirt and fungi and algae and dust and ect… If you use a finish before and the woods ready, you’re very likely to regret it later.
Advantages of Pressure Washers
- It saves you valuable time. Manual washing and scrubbing is the pits.
- Pressure washing improves curb appeal.
- The operating procedure is easy and human-friendly.
- Easily clean the tough grim, dirt, grease from any kinds of outwards or external appearance.
- Requires less water and solvents than manual washing, so it is an environment-friendly process.
- Takes very little space to store it after washing.
- Protects your home from harmful fungi, algae, bacteria etc.
If your still in the market for Power Washer, check out: Great Pressure Washers To Own
The Cost to Pressure Wash Deck
Money. We all need it. We all want to spend it wisely..
Cost depends on its size, condition, type ect… But on average, the cost to power wash your deck as estimated on each square feet varies from $0.25 – $0.45 USD. But cost depends on buying a pressure washer or hiring one temporarily on a daily or hourly basis. You can clean a deck of about 500 sq.ft. with pressure washing, in about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. This will probably cost between $35 to $70 a day if you choose to rent a power washer
Required water for a regular pressure washer per minute will probably be less than 2 gallons a minute. Less than a garden hose actually, check our our comparison here.
You may decide to use a sealant after removing any mold or mildew. This will cost about $17-$50 per 5 gallons for 300 sq.ft.
How to Pressure Wash a Deck Before Staining
So if you just buy a pressure washer and go to town cleaning with it, you might start to notice that your nice flat wooden board will turn into a shape that looks like a seashell. This,unfortunately is a permanent condition.
A pressure washer is the source of a great deal of power. That’s why we love ’em – right? But it’s easy get injured or do damage if your not paying attention to what your doing or you get in a hurry. Taking your time could very well save you time in the long run, not to mention money, and health.
1. Safety Measures. The first step is always to avoid serious injuries. Wear a goggles or some form of eye protection. Closed-toe shoes for your piggies. Always keep all body parts out the direct spray. Do not point the nozzle at any person or pet.
Short pants, loose clothing, and jewelry should probably be avoided.
When using a gas power washer, don’t forget the engine gets hot after a time, so be careful when you move it.
2. The Site Should be Prepared, remove all loose debris that is adjacent to the deck. To prevent tripping and tangling hoses you have to remove all related obstacles. Prepare your work area so you can focus on the cleaning job and not be distracted irritating obstacles that slow your work flow . Wind is another distraction at times, so pay attention to the weather.
3. A Cleaner Has to be Applied Wisely. Firstly, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to set up. Check out the washer’s manual option to fix a proper spray pattern for your wooden deck. Now use low-pressure soap-dispensing nozzle and add the solution in the required manner. Then power up the machine and spray solution from top to bottom of the deck.
Read Also: Pressure washer detergent for cleaning deck
4. Use a Utility Brush and Rotating Scrub Brush, for typical places and tight corner, use a utility brush to bleach the solution. Utility brush should be synthetic in form and a long-handled. Long handle will help to reach all stubborn dirty place. And a rotating scrub brush is used to remove heavy spots and dirt.
5. Start Rinsing With the Conventional Widest Nozzle, move with the perfect angle with the trigger. A 40 degree to 60-degree tip size is the standard degree of angle from where the water emerges. You have to concern about the pressure you supplied. If you wash with high pressure it will etch the wood surface. The damage is permanent and you cannot overcome it. Use 500-600 psi(pounds per square inch) for softwood, and 1200 psi or less than that for harder wood. Maintain the nozzle 6 feet away from the deck surface.
Read Also: The pressure washer nozzle mystery
6. After Successfully Cleaning the Deck power off the Machine and chose an appropriate and your desired wood stain for further beautify it.
Your deck is probably your favorite place to pass leisure time and to recreation purpose. It’s a neat and clean environment may refresh your mind. To maintain it, regular washing is necessary.
When you clean it and unconditionally you get injured, then it will useless. So be careful using the pressure washer.
- After buying one read through the indicators supplied by the manufacturer because each machine is different.
- Always wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from the chemical. Enclosed running shoes, musk, long pants have to wear for protection.
- Don’t use a gas pressure washer in confined areas it has the possibility to take carbon monoxide by breath excreted from combustion engines.
- Kids not allowed when cleaning operation is running.
- If you want to hire a professional cleaner, make sure whether they are well trained or not.
Before I Let You Go!
Restaining a deck is great. Washing the deck is not exactly so easy with manual scrubbing, but using pressure washer is definitely worth the time, money and effort.
In this article, I have tried my best with my personal experience to give you basic information on how to pressure wash a deck before staining. I hope if you follow my instructions, there will be no need to waste your valuable time and money.
And if you wash the deck yourself rather than a professional deck cleaner, then you have to be careful using it. This was just a brief guide, and I hope you guys enjoyed reading it.