PRESSURE WASHING A DECK
When considering pressure washing a worn-looking wood deck, be clear about your goals. And understand that irreparable damage can quickly occur without the proper tools, techniques, and safety considerations.
Also, be aware that you have options when cleaning a wood deck. For example, a homeowner can often get great results using a soft-wash process. But for a wood deck that needs fresh paint, stain, or sealant, pressure washing will usually be required.
You may wonder if a deck should be pressure washed before applying a new surface – and if so, how? The answer is YES! But there’s a little more than just pressure washing to consider. You’ll want first to remove the old surface from the wood, as doing so allows the new material to adhere better. It’s also beneficial to apply a brightener to restore PH levels in the wood and open up the grain.
In any case, you’ll probably need to dial back the PSI on your pressure washing unit. Too much pressure or low-pressure misapplied can result in damaging the wood. Remember to use the proper nozzle tip and maintain a safe, consistent distance from the surface. Note that ‘furring’ may occur but will correct with a light sanding.
HOW LONG AFTER PRESSURE WASHING CAN YOU PAINT OR STAIN A DECK?
It depends on certain weather conditions, but the consensus is about forty-eight to seventy-two hours before application.
When will I know that my deck is dry enough to stain?
There are two common ways to know that your deck is dry enough for stain. The easiest and most straight-forward method is to wait at least seventy-two hours. If it hasn’t rained and the deck hasn’t been in contact with water whatsoever, you should be good to go. Otherwise, use a moisture meter to measure the actual moisture in the wood. You will find that 12-15% is the ideal reading for applying stain to a recent pressure-washed deck.
Can I stain a wet deck?
Don’t stain a wet deck, as the results will not be optimal. It’s best to let the deck completely dry.
What will happen if I try to apply a stain to a wet deck?
Wood paints are usually pigments mixed in oils, which the wood absorbs. If you apply it on wet surfaces, it won’t be adequately absorbed, and you will end up with an uneven-looking deck. Also, you’ll be sealing water in the wood, which can lead to moss, mold, and mildew problems. Besides, stain applied to wet wood will typically crack and peel as it dries, and you’ll have to start over.
What is the proper temperature to stain a deck?
The preferred weather conditions to stain a deck are dry, warm days, and not too windy or humid. The temperature should be between 50° – 95° Fahrenheit. However, be sure not to apply the stain while the sun is directly over the deck as the paint could dry too quickly and won’t absorb.
- Understand your goals. Decide if a soft-washing or pressure-washing is more appropriate.
- For best results, remove the old paint or stain.
- Allow the clean surface to dry for forty-eight to seventy-two hours before applying the new paint or stain.
- Don’t allow detergent or chemicals to puddle as it can damage and discolor the wood.
- Paint or stain a clean deck on a dry, warm day that isn’t too windy or humid.
- Consider hiring a professional exterior cleaning company like CURB.PRO. Learn more here.
WHEN YOU NEED A HASSLE-FREE GUTTER CLEANING COMPANY
Give us a call at (417) 222-3456. We’ll need your name, street address, telephone number, and email address (if you’d like to receive an estimate via email). If we miss your call, we’ll try and respond within a few hours.