You may have read or heard your neighbor say that you shouldn’t pressure wash your deck, because you can damage the wood fibers, or even scar the wood. That is very true! In the wrong hands a pressure washer can cause considerable damage to the integrity of the wood.
The pressure washer is a tool that is powerful enough to etch brick, but in the right hands it can also be gentle enough to wash siding or very soft wood. To avoid damaging deck wood (etching, splintering, fuzzing), incorporate the following pressure washing procedures:
- Use fan tips of at least 30 degrees. White or Green tips are best. Avoid Red or Yellow tips.
- Use moderate pressure on your pressure washer, of no more than 800 psi
- Keep the tip at a consistent distance from the surface at no less than 8 inches, throughout the cleaning stroke
- When changing directions with the wand, ensure the tip is greater than 12 inches from the wood to avoid a “hard stop,” or visible line on the wood
A correct stroke with the grain of the wood takes practice to achieve adequate proficiency to avoid damaging wood. That is why we recommend practicing first on your driveway or an old pallet.