Pressure wash vs sanding deck

A deck is one of the best additions to your home. Just like other parts of your house, your deck also needs regular maintenance and cleaning for it to be safe and habitable. Pressure wash vs. sanding deck is a hot topic of debate among homeowners. So, which is of these two options is the best choice for your beloved deck, then?

Is it better to sand or pressure wash deck

Both methods for deck surface preparation have their own sets of pros and cons. However, experts suggest that these two methods can work best if you use them together. There are a few things you need to consider to know if it is better to pressure wash or sand deck.

Pressure wash vs sanding deck
  • Assess the wood’s condition.

Start by assessing the condition of your deck’s wood. It will help you determine if you should sand it first before you wash it or vice versa.

  • Identify the specific type of wood used for your deck.

You also need to consider the specific type of wood. The wood type will help you know the best method to clean it. 

Does pressure washing damage decking

Pressure washing is recommended to be the last resort for cleaning your deck. This is because pressure washing may damage your decking. How is it so? 

Once water has hit the wood, this will slightly expand and soak deeper into the wood that can cause it to warp, expand, and break the wood fibers apart. When you pressure wash your decking and apply a sealant before drying the wood, this may seal the moisture in that can result to rot and other issues.

The only time when you might want to consider pressure washing the decking is when it looks grimy and dirty. If you have a dirty deck, you can start first with the simple deck cleaner, a garden hose, and scrubber.

What is the best way to clean wooden decking?

Basic wood deck cleaning is not that complicated. All you will need are a hose, a brittle brush, a broom, and biodegradable cleaning solution. You can also use dish soap on your deck while there are homeowners who use the combination of water and powdered laundry detergent with no bleach.

Remove any outdoor furniture first as well as other accessories and sweep off any debris on your deck. You will frequently need to sweep your deck if leaves fall on it because once these leaves get wet, they may form a residue on the surface of the deck that is difficult to clean. 

After sweeping your deck, use water, a bristle brush, and the cleaning solution to clean it. Test the cleaning solution on a tiny inconspicuous part of the deck to ensure that it won’t create a stain. As you scrub your deck, some elbow grease is needed but you don’t have to scrub too hard to avoid scratching or splintering the decking material.

When you are done scrubbing the deck, use the hose to rinse it off and allow it to dry before you put back the furniture and accessories. With this cleaning routine, your deck will look great and prevent the need to use the pressure washer frequently.

Is it OK to pressure wash a wood deck

Wood decks can be quite vulnerable to pressure washing since the pressure may cause splintering. Pressure washing will only worsen the issue and result to expansion of the split area if there is already a part on your deck where wood already started to split apart.

How long should it take to pressure wash a deck

The pressure is the main concern when it comes to using a pressure washer on your deck. While you can use low-pressure setting that is still effective to help you with the cleaning process, this is actually a task that is best left to the hands of the experts.

For soft woods such as pine and cedar, the recommended setting is around 500-600 psi. This can go as high as 1200-1500 psi for harder woods.

How long to wait before staining deck after pressure washing

The general rule of thumb is to wait for a minimum of 24 hours before staining your deck after pressure washing.

It is important to make sure that the deck is already completely dried up before you apply any form of coating on top. Failure to do so will cause the water to be trapped under the stain that will result to an uneven and blotchy finish. There are also times when black patches can form under the coating.

You will also notice that the stain wears off much faster since it cannot properly penetrate into the deck boards.

Now, if the day is hot and you have finished pressure washing your deck, it might only take 4 hours for it to dry off completely. But, waiting for up to 24 hours will ensure that everything is dry and good.

Should I seal my deck after power washing

Whether or not you should seal your deck after power washing will all depend on its condition and why you pressure washed it in the first place. 

If the deck is in excellent condition and you just pressure washed it to remove dust, mold, or dirt built up, there is no need to seal it after pressure washing. So long as you don’t use excessive pressure, washing will not damage the deck’s surface. 

How often to pressure wash deck

The secret to ensure that your deck stays in tiptop condition for a long time is to always keep it clean. It is time to add washing the deck to your list of regular cleaning routine at home. You can try setting a goal of cleaning the deck every 2 weeks. This is a great way to keep your deck clean and remove any embedded dirt.

But when it comes to professional pressure washing, this is something best done occasionally. Once a year is already enough to pressure wash a deck. Most of the time, you can regularly clean your deck with no need to use a pressure washer.

Pressure wash vs sanding deck

We also recommend you to read the following deep cleaning articles

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