The older wooden decks get, the more likely they are to become a safety hazard. Split or rotting wood is a clear sign that outdoor patios and decks are no longer safe, and may need to be repaired, or possibly even replaced, which can cost upwards of $9,000.
With about 40 million residential decks in the U.S. that are over 20 years old, odds are that your deck may be heading for such an expensive fate.
Luckily, homeowners can fight the effects of aging by cleaning their outdoor wood decks, but they have to do it properly, otherwise it won’t help. Here a few tips to help.
Prep the Pressure Washer
The fastest and easiest way to clean wooden decks is with pressure washers. Homeowners who don’t have one can either invest in one, or else rent one. These cleaning tools first need to have their reservoirs filled with a deck-specific pressure-washing detergent. Then, homeowners can connect their garden hoses to the pressure washers, as they need a constant stream of water to work properly.
Pressure Wash the Deck
Once they’ve got the right equipment, homeowners are ready to wash their wooden decks. First, they need to attach a 25-degree to 40-degree nozzle to the spray tip, as these nozzles won’t be too powerful and wind up damaging wooden decks. Then, homeowners should turn on their water, and spray along the wood grain, keeping their nozzles a minimum of six inches away from the surface of their wooden decks.
Once the decks are clean, they should be rinsed off to get rid of any chemicals. Homeowners can use their garden hose to do this. Then, homeowners should wait to let their decks dry, which will take about 48 hours. After a couple days, homeowners can move all of their furniture back.