Morris Pressure Washing in Oklahoma City describes how to use a Pressure Washer to clean a deck & restore wood to it’s original luster, an important step before staining…
Removing grime and mold from the wood’s pores is absolutely necessary to achieve lasting results when it comes to the new stain’s durability and adhesion. Pressure washing is one of the best ways to achieve this goal, however, it can also cause some serious damage if not performed properly. There are a few key points to know before you begin pressure washing your deck which will save you time and money, or at the very least, help you to decide whether or not to hire a contractor for the job. When applied properly the new stain should last 3-4 years before reapplication is necessary.
Removing/Stripping the old stain is necessary for proper bonding of the new stain.
If your deck has a non transparent, paint-like stain then a Stripping component will have to be added to the refinishing process. Lighter, more translucent stains/sealers are less likely to require this stripping chemical application. No matter what type of stain is currently on the deck, if it is flaking or peeling, then a few passes with the pressure washer to disengage the loose stain will be necessary before applying the stripper.
Start out with a wide (about 40 degree) nozzle first at around 1200 psi and test on the least inconspicuous area of the deck. Always point the pressure washer away from the house and “sweep” in the same direction for all passes along the length of the boards. The key to this is holding the nozzle so that the spray is at about a 70 degree angle to the surface while keeping a consistent distance at all times. Do Not hold the nozzle closer to the wood on some spots and then further on others. Hold it close enough to be effective while not damaging the wood.
Read the directions carefully and apply the stripping chemical component of your choice. The stripper is necessary even if all of the stain was removed during the initial pressure washing. This will ensure all of the previous stain’s bonding elements are completely removed from the wood’s pores. Use the same technique as described above to rinse the stripping chemicals and any remnants.
We recommend using a wood cleaner/brightener to do most of the work. It is possible to clean a deck without using chemicals, however, it requires higher pressure and much more precise control/consistency with the nozzle. Pressure washing without chemicals is only recommended for pro’s since the probability of leaving grooves in the wood is much greater at higher pressures. After all of the old stain has been stripped and rinsed a good quality cleaner should be used to neutralize any remaining stripping chemicals and prepare the surface of the wood to take the new stain. Read the directions carefully and pre-soak the deck with with the wood cleaner of your choice. Most wood cleaners recommend using some form of agitation with a medium-hard bristle brush before and/or after letting the product penetrate the surface for a short period of time. Scrubbing should be in a back-and-forth direction which follows the direction of the wood grain.
Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully then follow up with a High Pressure rinse. Use the same technique as described above, this time increasing the pressure to around 1500 to 1800 psi and use a more narrow (25 degree) nozzle. Keep the nozzle approximately 10-12 inches from the surface and stay consistent with that distance along the length of the boards.
By now your deck should look like it was just built or pretty close to it!
Let the deck dry completely for a few days before attempting to re-stain. It’s a good idea to double check the weather forecast before taking on this project or scheduling a contractor to perform the work. So there you have it! For a few bucks and a little elbow grease, you can save yourself some money and take just a little more pride in your home than before…