Power washing a deck or fence?

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chrispozsa

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I know some companies advertise power washing services for wood fences and decks, but I've also heard this is something that should never be done due to the material degradation high pressure water can cause in wood. I'm curious what your thoughts are - should a wooden deck or wooden fence ever be power washed or would you recommend staining and sealing or bleaching as a better alternative?
 

bud16415

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I pressure wash my pressure treated deck that has a stain on it at least once a summer, and a week or so before re-staining giving it time to dry out. My front porch is white painted wood and I also clean it that way. I do all my vinyl siding and gutters made from aluminum.



Instead of paying for the service I would suggest buying a machine as it is a easy DIY job. They come with different tips and it is important to use a tip that works best with what you are cleaning. They limit pressure for softer surfaces. Also controlling the distance from the tip to the surface limits pressure.



The electric units work fine I had one for years and now I have a gas powered one.

It will pay for itself just in trips to the car wash.
 

Snoonyb

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As said, there is a learning curve, and that curve is defined by the product you are cleaning.
 

joshtatum

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If the pressure is too high it can definitely damage the wood ... I believe that's the main thing to watch out for.
 

Johnboy555

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The pressure is what does the damage. All of the different tips (most washers come with a number of different tips) have the same "pressure" at the tip, but the spray pattern is different. The wider the "fan" gets the less pressure you get at any specific point. So...the wider fan tips will provide much less cleaning power, hence less damage to wood or paint. Never use one of those "rotating" tips on wood or you'll have little circles cut into the wood! Learned the hard way years ago!
 

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