Composite decking, usually made up of a combination of wood and plastic, is known for its durability and strength. This decking material is often touted as maintenance-free, but while composite decks do pose far less risks for natural wear and tear than natural wood, some maintenance is still required. It is generally safe to power wash your composite deck, especially using lower water pressure. The same durability that keeps your deck from rotting or splintering will keep it safe from possible damage during cleaning. If you don’t own and don’t wish to rent a power washing tool, sometimes simple soap and water can do the trick. The main concerns with composite decking are mold and mildew, inevitable after constant exposure to the elements, but these are relatively simple to clean off.
As mentioned above, decking made from natural wood is susceptible to damage from high-pressure cleaning tools. Improper power washing techniques can splinter or scar wood, removing the top layer of the boards themselves along with the pesky stains! We recommend either using a very low water pressure (and a lot of patience) if you choose to power wash your wooden deck. If you’re still worried about damage, consider hiring a professional power washing company to get the job done. These businesses have special detergents and stripping agents and can advise you which is best for your situation.
Make sure you aren’t power washing your deck unless you’re planning to restain or paint the wood soon. After the wood is cleaned, it needs to undergo a neutralization process (or at the very least, plenty of time to dry out completely) before a stain or sealer can be applied. In the meantime, be prepared to have a “naked” deck for a little while until you’re ready to paint again. Don’t worry– chances are, if it’s time for a cleaning, it’s probably also time to apply a fresh coat of stain or paint to restore your wooden deck’s original beauty.
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