Is it Safe to Power Wash My Deck?
If your deck has lost its luster, fear not– a simple cleaning can work wonders! Anything built to withstand the elements day after day is going to show some wear and tear, but with proper maintenance, your backyard deck can remain just as beautiful as the day it was installed for years to come. You do, however, want to make sure you’re treating the materials correctly, as improper techniques will do more harm than good. One of the most straightforward and effective methods of cleaning your deck is by using a power or pressure washing tool, but is it safe to power wash your deck? Read on to see if your particular project is fit for power washing.

Composite Decks

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.

Wooden Decks

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.

Ready for a New Deck or Fence?

Turn your project into the vision of your dreams by choosing us for your new deck! Our experts will explain all your options and answer any of your questions. We work closely with each client to make sure we’re meeting, and exceeding, expectations. We service Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia residents, so contact us today through our quick online form here or give us a call at 301-898-8031 for a free estimate. We look forward to working with you!