Deck cleaning techniques

LgFri

New member
So what are some tips for pressure washing decks? I'm fairly confident with it comes to driveways and siding, but I'm a little nervous to do my first deck for a paying customer. Case in point: The deck on my house is probably more than 20 years old. It was built before I owned the home. Non-treated boards, no stain or other coatings that I could tell. I used some deck wash detergent, 5 gallons mixed sprayed over probably only 400 sq. ft including a small section of fence. I stayed under 1200 psi, with a 25° nozzle. The manufacture of the deck wash suggested going in a sweeping motion against the grain, but I've read a lot that says with the grain. I basically did a half dozen boards alternating between with and against. I got a lot of marks where I apparently didn't feather good enough going with the grain, yet against the grain looks great. I had enough room I could have done the entire board with one pass, which may have solved the problem with the marks. Another problem was that I seemed to have some residue left over. I went over some of the boards several times and still seemed to push detergent out. If anyone is willing to lend some advice, I would greatly appreciate it. I tried to get a couple before and after pics, but the attachment feature wouldn't cooperate with me.
 

Ralph Q

New member
go with the grain, try to do the whole length of the board without stopping. If you have to stop, slowly lift up and feather in. It is easy to leave stop marks. I would use a 40 degree nozzle also. Never go against the grain. That is wrong advice.
 

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I use my house wash tip. 2510 for 4 gpm. 2520 for 8. Go with the grain. Sometimes its hard to go the whole length of the board so try to feather nicely, but if you use enough cleaner, you'll rarely/barely see the stop marks, and the brightener typically blends it

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LgFri

New member
Thanks for the tips. I only did half of my deck before, so I am going to give it another go and see if I can get a better technique down.
 

junker1

Roundtable Host 2009
if the deck is hot , been in the sun for a while and dried out wet it down first. that will keep the cleaning agent on top and not let it get sucked into the wood. That may be the reason for it not rinsing out quickly.
 

Ralph Q

New member
if the deck is hot , been in the sun for a while and dried out wet it down first. that will keep the cleaning agent on top and not let it get sucked into the wood. That may be the reason for it not rinsing out quickly.
Great point. keeping the wood wet helps in a lot of ways. There is a sweet spot that happens with the right amount of dwell time, the dirt and the spent fibers let go and everything becomes a lot easier to clean and rinse. I always find that I get about a third of the deck in and all of a sudden you can move a lot faster with less pressure.
 
if the deck is hot , been in the sun for a while and dried out wet it down first. that will keep the cleaning agent on top and not let it get sucked into the wood. That may be the reason for it not rinsing out quickly.
+1

Definitely pre-wet the deck

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WASH-IT H.B.

New member
Pre soak is important.. Wash with the grain as everyone has said and lift the gun at the end of a run. I always wash toward the dirty decking. That helps to keep the un-cleaned deck wet and pre-soaked.
 

LgFri

New member
Good advice! I didn't think about pre-wetting the deck. I know that it stated to dry after I put down the detergent, but I kept misting it as I went along. I read somewhere that early morning or late afternoons were best time to do decks. I sure wouldn't do any more at 1pm, like when I did mine.
 
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