How to Pressure Wash A Deck


Hello, I am Santy, the funder of I have been in cleaning machinery field for more than 5 years now, and the purpose of this article is to share with you the knowledge related to pressure washer from a Chinese supplier's perspective.

Ideally, you should pressure wash your deck at least once a year to keep the deck surface free from the growth of algae, mold, etc., as well as other elements that can damage your deck. Such regular maintenance not only enhances the beauty of your outdoor space, but also prolongs the life of your deck.

However, how to pressure wash a deck?  Before you can pressure wash, you need to know how to do it properly, especially when dealing with fragile wood decks. Taizhou Bison Machinery Co., Ltd. knows this well, and we will provide you with valuable guidance. This article will take a closer look at how to pressure wash a deck, and we’ll walk you through the process step-by-step to ensure you get the best results. With regular pressure cleaning, you can ensure your deck is always in tip-top shape, giving you a beautiful, safe outdoor living space.

Why Pressure Wash Your Deck?

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Before we dive into the how-to’s, it’s essential to understand why pressure washing is beneficial. Over time, decks accumulate dirt, grime, mold, and other unsightly and potentially damaging elements. If left unchecked, these can cause your deck to deteriorate rapidly, leading to costly repairs or replacements.Routine pressure cleaning is a critical step in ensuring your deck always stays clean, safe and looking great. By cleaning regularly, you can not only effectively eliminate the build-up of dirt, leaves and other debris between the planks, but also prevent slip hazards and deck rot problems. Trapped leaves and debris not only increase the risk of slipping on the deck, but also absorb moisture, causing rot that can prematurely compromise the deck’s lifespan.

Pressure washing offers an efficient and effective solution for deck maintenance. It removes stubborn dirt and stains, restores the original color of the deck, and helps to prevent rot and decay by eliminating mold and mildew. Moreover, regular pressure washing can significantly extend the lifespan of your deck, making it a worthwhile investment for every homeowner.

How many PSI Do I Need to Pressure Wash a Deck?

pressure wash deck

When power washing a deck, the PSI (pounds per square inch) required to pressure wash the deck also varies with the type of deck material and the level of cleaning required. As a manufacturer that has been pressure cleaning for over a decade, Bison offers you some general guidelines for pressure cleaning decks below:

1. Wood decks: For most wood decks, a pressure washer with a PSI range of 1,500 to 2,500 will suffice. Softwood is generally fragile, so when pressure washing a softwood deck, keep the pressure between 1,000 and 1,200 PSI. Pressure above this range may damage or weaken the wood and may cause raised grain. Hardwood floors can generally withstand more stress. When pressure washing hardwood decks, keep it between 1,200 and 1,500 PSI. Remember, whether you have a soft or hardwood deck, make sure to start with a low PSI and gradually increase the pressure to prevent damage to the deck.

2. Concrete or Composite Deck: If you have a concrete or composite deck, you may need a higher PSI, such as the 2,500 to 3,000 range. These materials can handle higher pressures, but it is still recommended to start with a lower setting and adjust accordingly.

3. Dirt and Stain Level: The level of dirt, stain and grime on your deck will also affect the PSI you should use. For light cleaning, a lower PSI may be sufficient, while more stubborn stains may require a higher pressure.

In addition, the choice of pressure washer nozzle will also affect the effective pressure. The wide-angle nozzle spreads pressure over a larger area for gentler cleaning, while the narrow-angle nozzle focuses pressure on a smaller area for more powerful cleaning.

Regardless of the pressure you use, always test on an inconspicuous area of the deck to ensure that the pressure you are using will clean effectively without damaging it. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for your specific pressure washer model and deck material. If you’re not sure which PSI to use, Contact Bison, seeking advice from Bison Clean’s professional washer experts. This way, you can achieve excellent results while cleaning your deck while keeping it safe and protected.

Safety First: Precautions to Take When Pressure Washing

Safety should always be a priority when using power tools, including pressure washers. Here are some essential safety tips:

  • Protective gear: Always wear safety glasses and gloves to protect yourself from debris and high-pressure water spray.
  • Proper handling: Never point the nozzle at people, animals, or delicate surfaces. The high-pressure water jet can cause injury or damage.
  • Pressure control: Be careful not to over-pressurize the surface you’re cleaning. This can cause serious damage, especially to wooden decks. Start with a low pressure setting and gradually increase it as necessary.
  • Aftercare: Thoroughly rinse the surface after cleaning. This removes any residual dirt or debris that could become embedded in the deck material.

Step-by-Step Guide to Pressure Washing Your Deck

Step 1: Prepare the deck area

Good preparation is the key to success. Before you begin, remove all furniture, plant pots, and other objects on the deck. This gives you easy access to the entire deck surface and prevents damage to your belongings.

Next, use a broom to sweep up loose debris. Large debris can clog a pressure washer or scratch a deck when pushed by a high-pressure water jet.

If your deck is heavily soiled or stained, consider using a deck cleaning solution before pressure washing. This helps loosen and break down stubborn dirt and stains, making them easier to remove.

deck pressure wash

Step 2: Choose the Right Pressure Washer and Accessories


Choose a pressure washer with the correct PSI (pounds per square inch). For most decks, a 1000 to 2000 PSI unit will suffice. Connect the hose and wand to the pressure washer according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Choose a wide angle nozzle (25-40 degrees) to avoid damaging the wood. High-pressure washers are equipped with different nozzles, each designed for a specific task. For most decks, a 25 to 40 degree nozzle is ideal. These nozzles provide a broad spray pattern that can effectively clean large areas without causing damage.

If you are using a deck cleaning solution, attach the soap dispenser nozzle at this stage. This will allow you to spread the solution evenly over the deck. Use a low-pressure nozzle to spray the deck cleaner on the deck. Let the cleaner sit for 10-15 minutes, but don’t let it dry. Rinse the deck thoroughly with a pressure washer.

Step 3: Turn on the pressure washer

Once you’ve connected the appropriate nozzle, you’re ready to turn on your pressure washer. Always start with the low pressure setting, especially if you are new to pressure washing or handling delicate surfaces. You can gradually increase the pressure as needed.

Step 4: Start Pressure Washing

how to pressure washing deck

Now, start pressure washing your deck:

  • start at one end of the deck and work your way up. Make sure to cover and wash the entire deck.
  • Use a sweeping motion to distribute the water evenly. Keep the nozzle moving at all times to avoid concentrated pressure in one place for long periods of time.
  • Hold the pressure washer nozzle 6 to 10 inches from the deck surface. This distance provides optimal cleaning power without the risk of damaging deck materials.

If you use a deck cleaning solution, apply it evenly to the deck before pressure washing. Let it sit for 10 to 20 minutes to allow it to penetrate and break down dirt and stains. Then start high-pressure cleaning.

Step 5: Rinse and dry deck

After you’re done pressure washing, it’s critical to rinse your deck thoroughly. Use a garden hose to rinse the deck, starting from one end and working your way to the other. This will remove any remaining dirt, debris, or cleaning solutions that may stain or damage the deck.

After rinsing, allow the deck to dry completely and inspect the wood for any signs of damage. Check for chips, deformation or cracks. Then change the furniture or use the deck. This usually takes 24 to 48 hours, depending on weather conditions.

Additional Tips for Effective Deck Pressure Washing

pressure washing deck
  • Frequency: If your deck is in good condition, pressure washing once a year is usually sufficient. However, if your deck is heavily soiled or stained, more frequent cleaning may be necessary.
  • Type of deck: Be cautious when pressure washing wooden decks. Too much pressure can damage the wood by causing splintering or gouging. Composite decks, on the other hand, can withstand higher pressure settings.
  • Railings: If your deck has railings, be sure to protect them from the high-pressure water jet. You can do this by adjusting the pressure setting or changing the angle at which you’re spraying.
  • Surface cleaner: If you’re using a surface cleaner attachment, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results.

Remember, at Taizhou Bison Machinery Co., Ltd, we’re here to help. If you have any questions or need further assistance with pressure washing your deck, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Your satisfaction is our priority, and we’re committed to providing you with the highest quality products and services. Happy pressure washing!

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