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Using a Pressure Washer to Clean Decks and Patios

Christine Lee
April 27, 2015

If you own your own home, there is no doubt that you take pride in it. Many people spend thousands of dollars to upgrade and remodel their house to turn it into their dream home. This also includes the backyard area. Having a beautiful and relaxing deck and patio is something almost everyone wants, and once you have it, it’s important to make sure you are taking steps to maintain it. Properly cleaning and caring for your deck and patio can extend the life of your investment and prevent costly problems

One way many homeowners think to clean a home deck or patio is with a pressure washer. While it may seem easy enough, there are actually some factors to take into consideration with this method, especially if you have a wooden deck. Here are some ways a pressure washer can ruin your deck:

  • Pressure washers can strip some of the natural oils off of the wood
  • Older decks can have softer wood that can be easily ruined
  • Wood can lift causing splinters and gaps
  • Nails can loosen
  • The wood can warp due to drying too quickly
  • They can cause permanent damage if not done correctly, especially if the water pressure is too high

If you are not sure how your deck will react to a pressure washer, what should you do instead? There are some ‘gentle’ cleaners that can be used on wooden decks, however, it’s important to use a waterproof sealant afterward. If you do not have experience with home decks, it may be best to consult with a professional for a proper opinion. Home decks are a large personal investment to your property, and though you may have to hire a professional for advice on how to care for your deck, it could be more costly in the long run if you use methods that are not appropriate for your deck.