How To Pressure Wash Deck Correctly Without Damaging It?


As a homeowner, you might know that deck adds the third prime contribution to your household’s worth.  

A well-kept deck adds topping to your household beauty and becomes eye-catchy for visitors. With thoughtful touches, you can make it an annual venue for cozy gatherings and can flaunt your home-maintenance skills. 

To keep top-notch your deck area you’ll require to work on its cleaning routine. If you do it rightly with the right tools you can increase the resale worth.

When the dirt piles up on the wood and itch layers of grime into the wood, it cannot sweep away with simply traditional brooming and spraying tactics. Not only they will require more time and effort from your side, the finishing result won’t be as you might expect or which you can flaunt.

In such a scenario, the pressure washer can be your best pal, as long as you know the right way to use it. 

We’ve explained in this blog how to pressure wash a wooden deck without any damage. To keep your deck surface fresh and revived you must follow the procedure explained below with all precautionary tips.

If you won’t keep them considered, you can damage the wood. As handling pressure washing is not a play for kids. 

How To Pressure wash Deck Correctly without damaging It

Pressure washing will save you a lot of time and effort if properly used. But if you’ll go careless it will damage the wood and would become troublesome to recover it in the back position.  

Select the Pressure washer:

Half of your work will be covered only by choosing the right tool for deck cleaning. Pressure washers come in a variety of PSI, and have a huge impact on the performance of the machine.

For cleaning softwood decks, you should opt for gentle pressure of about 500 to 800 PSI. For hardwoods, use a pressure washer up to 1200 to 1500 PSI.

If you hadn’t washed it for a long time, then you might be looking for high pressure; if the wood can handle high pressure, you can take it up to 2000 PSI with wider or rotating nozzles. 

Point to note: 

Most people always get confused between pressure washing and power washing. Both have their pros and cons. You must be aware of their difference. Power washing exerts pressure by heating the water and spraying it on the surface. Although, it is a quick method it can damage fragile wood easily. 

While the pressure washer sprays the normal water at speed. It sprays gently as compared to power washing. Therefore, less prone to damage the wood. And in this article, we are specifically discussing pressure washing, not power washing. 


Prepare the surface for pressure washing

Do not start the process directly by pressure washing, instead sweep the grime or other obstacles from the wood area so they won’t splatter back water on you. You can hurt yourself badly with pressure water. 

Get familiar with the tool working

Before you start, get familiar with pressure washing. Make sure your washer is in working condition. Is it working properly?

Test on any testing area and observe the performance of the washer. By keen observation, you will save the wood from unwanted cracks and splintering.

Also do ensure, that you can easily handle the pressure. If you can’t handle it, quit the washing and seek guidance from a professional helper nearby. 

Cover electrical gadgets and wires; plants and other sensitive objects

The electricity and water combination won’t be a pleasant meetup. Cover all the wires or cord nearby. Try to remove extra electronic tools from the surface and nearby areas. Water works fine with plants but pressurized water will flood them away.

And obviously, you won’t be looking to destroy your garden in the maintenance of the deck area. Cover them properly or at least avoid exerting direct pressure on them. 

In addition to plants and electrical cords look out for:

  • Nearby doors and windows
  • Furniture, grillers, or fire pits
  • Look out for the weather, do not start on a windy day. 
  • Wear safety apparel with glasses and gloves
  • Keep the pets and children indoors. 

Move Forward in a specific pattern

Once you have done all the backup work, it’s time for actual washing. Start with maintaining a proper distance of 10 to 15 inches.

Get to business with a low-pressure setting and increase gradually if required. Spray the water in even strokes with the alignment of wood grains. 

Instead of creating a zig-zag pattern, work in small sections. And do not overstay at one place for a longer pause. Let it breathe then move back to the uncleaned area in flow. 


Do not let water stay in the corner area, try to make the flow of water outside. So, it doesn’t stay on the surface and lets the wood dry properly. After satisfaction, let it dry completely for 2-3 days. Be careful on the newly washed surface as it would be slippery.


If you want to know how much time it will get to pressure wash your deck, click here.

FAQs – Pressure wash deck correctly without damaging it

How often should we treat the wooden deck?

It depends on what type of wood deck you are working on:

For instance:

Natural wooden deck: 

Wooden decks made up of cedar or redwoods should be cleaned thoroughly yearly and then should be treated with refinishing for keeping them fresh and new-like. 

Pressure-treated wooden deck: 

If well-kept, clean and treat them after 2-3 years. If needed opt for refinishing as well.

Composite wooden deck: 

These wooden decks can last longer. Clean them thoroughly after 2-3 years. But if they were well-kept you don’t have to hassle with refinishing.  


Pressure-washing your deck can ease up your cleaning task and gives you result in a brand-new finish if handled properly.

But if you don’t watch out it can trouble you with unwanted results and might possibly in monetary costs.

Stay cautious, and you are good to go with quick, better, and long-lasting results. 

Related Posts:

 How To Pressure Wash A Deck For Staining

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


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