Prepping a wood deck can be fairly easy if you have the proper cleaners. Never pressure wash a deck with just water. This can cause sever damage to the wood. It is okay to use a pressure washer at a low pressure as long as you utilize a deck cleaner. The cleaner will do most of the work making it easier and reducing the chance of any damage to the wood.
How to deck cleaning tips:
- First decide if you should be using a deck cleaner or a stain stripper. Typically a deck cleaner is used if the wood is new, dirty, oxidized gray, of if a previous stain has faded evenly. A stain stripper should be used if the old stain has failed unevenly or peeled. In addition if you decide to change brands it might be best to use a stain stripper.
- There are many different brands of deck cleaners. We suggest using the same brand as the wood stain if possible. See here for a full list of Deck Cleaners
- Remove all furniture off the deck so that it is at least 20 feet away.
- Following the manufacturer instructions, mix the cleaner to the proper ratio. Best to apply the cleaner with a pump sprayer. You can also apply with a bucket and scrub brush.
- Saturate the deck with the cleaner in sections of about 200-300 square feet. Lightly agitate all wood with a stiff broom or scrub brush,
- Lightly pressure wash or heavy scrub all dirt and grime. Make sure to clean with the grain of the wood. Take extreme caution with the pressure washer. If using a pressure washer make sure to use a fan tip, not the red tip!
- Repeat until finished. Make sure that when you are done that you thoroughly rinse all decking, railings, house, etc to remove the loose dirt and grime that may have accumulated.
- Apply a wood brightener to neutralize the deck cleaner and restore the natural pH balance of the wood.
- Let the deck thoroughly dry for 48 hours before applying a deck stain.
If you have any questions on how to clean a deck please ask below. All questions are typically answered within a day.