Pressure Washing Safety: Is it OK to Pressure Wash a Deck & Fence?

Pressure Washing Safety: Is it OK to Pressure Wash a Deck & Fence?

Weathered Deck & Fence Pressure Washing

It doesn’t matter what time of year it is; outdoor cleaning projects will always be around your home. If you have a deck and it’s looking particularly dirty or you’ve noticed mildew buildup on it, it’s time to think about cleaning it.

Many homeowners feel like pressure washing is the top choice for deck cleaning. But is it OK to pressure wash a deck?

You’ll find the answer to that question and more in this article. Please take a minute and learn when it’s OK to pressure wash decks and when it isn’t.

Is it OK to Pressure Wash a Deck Made of Wood?

In the last two years, around 14 percent of homeowners built or upgraded decks, spending an average of $7,710 on a new deck. Whether you’re one of the new deck owners or you’ve had a deck for several years, in time, your deck will need a deep cleaning.

Two deck materials are now popular: wood and a composite made of plastic and wood fiber. Plastic and aluminum are also used to build decks.

You’ve likely heard the rumor that you can’t pressure wash a wood deck, but that’s not true. Done correctly, pressure washing is the ideal way to ensure deck surfaces get sparkling clean. 

Safety Issues Associated with Pressure Washing

Using too much pressure or placing the nozzle tip too close to the wood surface can etch the wood enough to cause the fibers to splinter. Damage to deck surfaces is one thing. Damage to a person operating pressure washing equipment incorrectly is another issue altogether.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are two primary safety concerns when using a pressure washer to wash decks and other outdoor surfaces. They are as follows:

  • Wounds caused by high-pressure spray
  • Injuries caused by thrown objects
  • Electric shock
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning

To minimize safety hazards, it’s best to hire a professional deck cleaning contractor like Optimal Power Washing. 

What About Pressure Washing Fences?

Since the materials used to build fences are similar to those used to construct decks, many homeowners also wonder is it OK to pressure wash a fence.

In short, fence pressure washing, especially wood fences, requires the same precautions as those used when cleaning wood decks—a low-pressure setting and the proper cleaning techniques.

Power Washing Tips for Decks

Although power washing is often the preferred way to deep clean a deck, there are a few precautions to take regardless of the decking material. Here are a few essential tips to ensure you get your deck clean and minimize damage:

  • Use the lowest possible pressure setting
  • Use a fan tip
  • Work from the house outward
  • Work with the grain of the wood
  • Choose the right deck-cleaning solution

Cleaning your deck should be a top-priority home maintenance project. If you ignore it too long, the deck can suffer costly damage resulting in the need to replace it.

Schedule Deck and Fence Power Washing Services Today

While many homeowners enjoy cleaning decks and fences as part of their DIY home maintenance routine, hiring a professional is better. The question isn’t so much is it OK to pressure wash a deck, but perhaps it’s better to ask whether it’s OK to DIY the project. 

Optimal Power Washing has years of experience pressure washing decks and other outdoor surfaces safely and efficiently. Reach out today and request a free quote.

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