Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How to Clean Your Deck

Pressure washing a deck is a great way to spruce up for your upcoming fourth of July party!

Some may say to sand your deck and re-stain it, but sanding is exhausting, messy, and dusty.

Pressure washing your deck is the cleanest, easiest, and most efficient way to get the fresh new look you desire. A pressure washer can be used to not only strip old stain or paint, but also to remove ground-in dirt, mold, and mildew.

I recommend using at least a mid-sized pressure washer, because having that 2400+ PSI of pressure will make blasting grime a lot easier.

Stripping and Cleaning

1. Use a standard spray tip and spray loose dirt and leaves off of your deck.

2. Change to a chemical tip and spray down your deck liberally with deck and fence cleaning solution. Coat it completely and leave it settle on the wood for a few minutes.

3. Switch to a more narrow spray for heavy cleaning. Move your wand in a stroking motion to loosen the filth. Be sure however not to use the most narrow spray. The zero-degree spray is so powerful you could end up shaving lines into the wood, so steer clear unless you want your deck looking like a zebra.

4. Rinse your deck with a water spray and let it air dry for 48 hours.

Staining Your Deck

1. Protect yourself from looking like a deck. Wear protective clothing over your arms and legs. It may be a good idea to wear clothing over the rest of you as well so the neighbors don't dial the police.

2. Wear protective goggles. And if you're using a solvent-based stain, be sure to wear a mask as well to protect against inhalation of toxic fumes.

3. Use stain that doubles as a sealer. This way it'll stay looking nice longer, and it'll keep the wood protected and help prevent warping. Test it on a small area to be sure it looks the way you want.

4. Pour four gallons of stain into a five-gallon bucket. Mix the stain thoroughly with a long paddle. Then pour some stain into a smaller bucket to use with a paint brush for more detailed areas like the rails and benches. Use the larger bucket for your roller as you stain the deck flooring.

5. Fully saturate the wood with the stain. Any exposed ends need to be coated multiple times until all of the pores are saturated.