If you have decking or any other form of deck, it should never, under any circumstances, be pressure washed. It is a shame that a lot of people do not know this. They are blinded by the pressure washing companies that come knocking on the door. It is made even more difficult to say no because young, good looking college children tend to work for these companies. You must do all you can to see past this, since companies are out there to make a profit. If that can be done by providing what is at heart a poor service, they will. Next time you see one of the trucks passing by that advertises pressure washing for your deck or other parts of the home, keep driving. Older decks are particularly susceptible to damage from pressure washing. 1 of the reasons for this is because the pressure on the washer is generally set too high (both private users and companies do this), which causes instant damage. However, decks can – and generally will – get damaged under low pressure as well.
The surface of anything that is exposed to a pressure washer is immediately cleaned of various loose material. What you will be left with, however, is gaps with splinters. The problem with these gaps is that they were held together by some of the dirt. As soon as this is removed, they can open up and face the full attack of the elements, the sun and rain in particular. Besides this, a pressure washer will remove all the natural oils that are found in wood. In fact, even the best sealants cannot replace this natural oil. Also, because the wood dries quickly, it will start to cup and warp. When the wood starts to expand, the nails will be loosened and water can even be let into your house if the decking touches.
So how do you clean your deck? Visit the internet and various outdoor stores to look for a gentle cleaner. Make sure they do not contain acid or caustic lye. Also, if the product states it is bad for pets, kids or water features, you don’t want it either. If you can, try to purchase products that have a range of both cleanser and sealants that are free of toxins. For a deep clean, choose an oxygen cleaner. The pecarbonate in these cleansers is safe for wood. It also is not dangerous for pets, kids or the plants in your garden. After you have cleaned your deck, you should always seal it. Forget that bit and the harmful UV rays will really damage your decking. Always pick a sealant that protects against both water and UV damage.