If you have timber decking in your home in Melbourne, cleaning it regularly will maintain its good looks. Washing the deck is a common way of keeping it clean, and a lot of homeowners resort to using power washers to make the job easier.
Essentially, power washers use high-pressure water to clean a deck. When used properly, a power washer with plain water is enough to leave your deck spotless.
But if you’re not careful, power washing can damage the timber on your deck. If the pressure is too high, it could etch out the wood and cause splintering. In turn, it will cost you a fortune in repairs.
When done the right way, though, power washing is a quick and easy way to clean your deck. Follow these tips to get the job done well.
Use an appropriate tip
For deck cleaning, it’s best to use a fan tip that spreads the water by 40 to 60 degrees. Alternatively, you could use a rotating tip, but use it with caution.
Pick the right pressure setting
The pressure you want to use depends on the kind of timber used for your deck. For soft wood, like pine or cedar, 500 to 600 psi should be enough. For harder types of wood, higher pressures are fine. Just don’t go above 1,200 psi.
Test the pressure first
Even if you think the pressure is just right, it’s still a good idea to test the power washer in an inconspicuous area of your deck. Try it first on, say, a stair tread and see if the wood etches. If it does, lower the pressure. And it’s easier to replace a stair tread than a deck board if it gets damaged.
If you find that the cleaning action is not enough, increase the pressure slowly. Just be careful not to set it too high.
Keep the power washer’s tip at a distance from the deck
If you put the tip too close to the deck, the pressure of the flowing water is still high, and this could damage the wood. But if you put the tip about a meter away from the deck before turning it on, you give the water pressure some room to dissipate before hitting the deck. That way, you’ll avoid ruining the timber.
After a while, you can lower the tip, but make sure it’s at least 1/3 of a meter away from the deck. Use a side-to-side sweeping motion to clean the deck, being careful not to move the tip higher or lower.
Need cleaning supplies for your deck? Westall Timber has a variety of cleaning solutions, sealers, and other supplies to keep your timber decking as clean as they can be. Visit our website to see our catalogue.