An outdoor deck doesn’t take too long to get totally filthy, especially if the weather outside is frightful. Even if you barely use your deck, you’ll probably notice that after a year of blustery wind and harsh rainfall, your pristine deck is looking the worse for wear. So how do you take care of it without damaging it further? Hiring Renew Crew power washing services is a good start. However, if you want to clean your deck thoroughly, you can’t expect to do it without a few basic pressure washing tips. Before you attempt to use a power washer to get your deck back to normal, here are some things to be aware of.
Figure Out the Right Setting
Before you attack your deck with a high-setting wash, take a minute to go through the settings of your pressure washer and see what works best. If you’re a beginner, you don’t want to take chances with a high setting, especially if you’re using a hot water pressure washer. Not only could using a too-powerful setting damage your wood deck, it could also be dangerous for you, especially if you’re not wearing the right protective gear. For best (and safest) results, start on a low setting until you get comfortable working the machine. Then, when you’re ready, you can experiment with different spray nozzles and higher settings. Whatever you do, don’t use the washer if you don’t feel like you’re fully in control of the instrument.
Go With the Grain
When cleaning wood, you might imagine that it’s enough to spray at will. However, the best way to really make sure dirt is erased is to clean with the grain. This might take a while to figure out since each floorboard potentially has a different grain direction. That’s why being careful and precise makes all the difference. Just aiming your power washer at the center of your deck floor and waving it around won’t just create the potential for damage and over-soaked wood. It could fail to get your deck clean even after all the work. Instead of spraying randomly, start at the corner of your deck where the wood is dirtiest. Go slow and steady and work with the grain until you reach the center.
Hot or Cold Water?
Another concern when using a pressure washer is figuring out which water temperature is best. For heavy-duty grime and grease, hot water might be a priority, especially if you’re washing a tougher surface with a thicker protective coating, such as a vinyl home siding. However, if you’re washing a wood deck, you want to exercise caution. Start with cold water and go slowly and gently. The force of even the lowest setting should be a good start, and if it’s not living up to your expectation, you can always crank up the setting. Warm water might be good for greasy, grimy corners, but always exercise caution and be careful not to use too-hot water on your deck. As always, make safety your priority when using a pressure washer.