It’s that time of year again when we pull out the garden house, squeegees, rakes, etc. and begin to tackle all the debris and dirt accumulated over the winter months. As you make your way around the house with your pressure washer, a question may come to mind….should I pressure wash my deck?
It seems harmless enough. Just point and spray and watch all that dirt and grime run off. And if you turn the pressure up, even more dirt can be tackled.
But then as you are resting on your lawn chair after a good day’s work done, you glance over at your drying deck and notice that there are stains that weren’t there before. Upon taking a better look, you also notice splinters and gaps that you hadn’t noticed previously. It appears as though a whole “can of worms” has been opened so to speak. You will now need to take the necessary steps to deal with the results of your pressure washed deck.
Here are just a few of the potential damages caused by pressure washing your deck:
- It removes loose material and leaves dangerous splinters and gaps. Those gaps open up further letting in more damaging sun and water.
- It removes the natural oils in the wood that are not replaced with sealants.
- It causes wood to dry quickly causing cupping and warping.
- It loosens nails as the wood expands.
- It can cause water to enter the house.
Take heart, there are other methods you can apply when cleaning your deck. Do a little research and you will discover that there are various gentle cleaners available. It’s always best to choose something that doesn’t have caustic lye and is safe to use around children and pets. “Oxygen” cleaners with the active ingredient “sodium percarbonate” are really good and won’t damage the wood.
It is imperative that you seal your deck after cleaning it. The sun is the biggest culprit when it comes to damaging your deck…more so than rain and snow. Choose a sealant that has UV prohibitors as well as water protection.
Take preventative action by keeping your deck clean and protected. This will ensure that it lasts for many decades.