How Much PSI Does It Take To Clean A Deck – A Professional Opinion

How much PSI does it take to clean a deck

How Much PSI Does It Take To Clean A Deck? When we talk about pressure washing decks, driveways, or other concrete surfaces. The main concern homeowners want to know about is how much pressure is required for a particular surface. As the surface varies so the pressure limit also varies. 

Pressure washing is a quick and efficient way to get clear of years of grime and dirt collected on the surface, but more dirt means more pressure and time. 

In this article, we will guide you on how to select the PSI range for different surfaces, especially decks and driveways. This is because decks are entry points of your home and you don’t want to ruin them with high pressure.  

What is PSI stands for?

PSI stands for “pounds per square inch.” PSI is a unit of measurement used to describe the amount of pressure applied to a given area.

In pressure washers, PSI is used to determine the amount of pressure that is being exerted by the water on a surface. That is why you often see it listed as a feature on pressure washers. The higher the PSI, the more pressure the machine can generate.

What PSI of the pressure washer would be ideal?

As stated above, it differs from surface to surface. Below we have discussed the most commonly concerned surfaces one by one. 

If you have no prior experience with pressure washing or high-powered tools, we would suggest you start with the lowest pressure, and from that, you may increase or adjust accordingly. You must be a keen observer in such a scenario. Setting the PSI setting before the actual cleaning is mandatory. If the equipment is not handled carefully, it may provide damage. 

How Much PSI Does It Take To Clean A Deck

Cleaning a wooden deck through pressure washing is a quick and easiest option if done properly otherwise it takes more time and effort still outcomes are not even close to pressure washing results. 

Deciding the PSI range of pressure washers for the deck depends on the type of wood you are looking to clean. 

PSI For Softwood Decks:

if your deck is made up of soft wood like pine and cedar. You do not require to exert high pressure on them. A pressure washer of 500 to 800 PSI is enough to deal with the dirt accumulated on the deck surface. 

PSI For Decks made From Hardwoods:

When you are dealing with hardwood like timber, Ipe or plywood, etc. you should opt for a washer ranging between 1200 to 1500 PSI.

How Much PSI Does It Take To Clean A Deck If You Don’t Know The Wood

If you are unaware of the wood type, start from the lowest pressure, and then you may increase depending on the situation at hand.

Although it sounds easy to just point and shoot the water and get the job done. In reality, it needs much more than this. You have to use the right tool with the appropriate settings to avoid any sort of damage.

If you won’t account for these small points seriously, you might have to face irretrievable and pricey damages.  

Using The Right Tip For Right Pressure On The Wood Deck 

Other than PSI you must also use the right tip, for deck cleaning rotating or fan tip comes in handy, as you have to adjust the pressure frequently.

For further safety measures, you can start from a small testing area where little damage or cracks won’t hurt you.

Testing on hidden areas won’t be as costly as it would be on the center area of your deck.

And lastly keep the distance between the washer and wood at least 10-12 inches, if you are using very low pressure then you may reduce the distance at points very you want to raise a bit of pressure. 

How much PSI is required to clean a driveway?

Driveways are made up of concrete which is a hard surface therefore, they can usually withstand high pressure. While pressure washing the driveway, you will require high pressure with a good sufficient flow of water.

The ideal range of PSI in this scenario will be 2000 to 3000 PSI. when it comes to cleaning driveways you must also consider GPM value. The GPM range should be higher than 2, for better results go with the washers having GPM around 3. 

Usually, driveways have greasy stains of oils, therefore they require more pressure to leave the surface. Higher GPM will ensure more supply of water per minute so your cleaning task will speed up and be done in almost no time.  

 How much PSI is required to clean vinyl sidings?

Vinyl sidings get dull and dusty with time quickly. Especially if you live in dusty areas, they are more likely to gather dust particles. Their color schema also matters, as lighter color siding accumulates more dust than the darker shades. 

For pressure washing vinyl sidings, a pressure washer with 1300 to 1600 PSI will work out for you for easy riddance. Do not put high pressure on siding similar to the deck area. 

How much PSI is required to clean vehicles?

Cleaning vehicles must be done under high observation at low pressure, because the paint may strip off if high-pressure water is sprayed. Keep the PSI range between 1200 to 2000 PSI and GPM between 1.4 to 1.6. Clean them with a green or white nozzle tip. 

How much PSI is required to clean windows and glass?

In cleaning glass or fragile surfaces, along PSI angle of water spray also matters the most.  Direct sheer pressure would cause breakage. 

Choose nozzle tips of wider angle i-e, 45 to 65-degree nozzles; usually comes in green or white color. 1500 PSI pressure washers would be more than enough for window cleaning. 

How much PSI is required to clean pavers?

Although pavers seem quite sturdy and give the vibe of enduring high pressure easily but do not fool by them. High pressure can damage the mortar in between pavers.

In between spaces weeds and other herbs grew up, and dirt accumulates in them forming algae and moss.

Pressure washing can get rid of all this within a few minutes. To clean pavers efficiently without any damage you would require a pressure washer having 1500 to 2000 PSI. 


Pressure washing your deck is a delicate task. With the right pressure and some precautions, you can easily clean your deck for staining or a re-paint. A wooden deck requires 500-1500 PSI of pressure depending on the type and condition of the wood.

When you are pressure washing on multiple surfaces, we would recommend using a washer with 1500 to 2000 PSI, such a washer exerts leveled pressure not too high or too low depending on the nature of your concerned surface.

You can control the pressure with other precautionary measures such as maintaining the distance and choosing the right tip and adequate water supply. 

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Flinn Milan

Flinn Milan is the content director at Washwith. He is responsible for developing helpful content in collaboration with other hard-working team members. Over several years, his content strategy is mainly focused on describing and highlighting every product with its positive and negative points

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