Here in the Clearwater and Tampa Bay area, we sure do love our outdoor living. With warm weather for most of the year, our backyard living spaces, which often include patios and decks, get a lot of use. That means these surfaces see a lot of foot traffic, not to mention the spills that happen when you cook or eat outside.
Although decks and patios require less maintenance than other areas of your home, you must still pay attention to them as neglecting your outdoor living areas will shorten their lives. Dirt and organic matter can rot the wood in decks. A periodic power wash cleaning can do wonders to keep your outdoor living spaces looking their best while also extending the life of the surface.
How Often Should I Power Wash My Deck?
Dirt and debris build up slowly. Often, you won't recognize that your deck doesn't look anywhere near what it did when you first had it installed. Only when dirt and other undesirable elements begin to build excessively do you begin to notice that it appears dirty and dingy. In addition, that accumulated dirt and organic matter will also work in combination with the elements to break down the wood from which it is made, even if you have treated it.
DPI Pressure Washing recommends that you give your deck a thorough power washing to keep it looking good and to prevent organic matter from building up excessively. The same goes for your patio. You can perform pressure washing on these surfaces at virtually any time of year in Clearwater, but it's always a good idea to do the job before you intend to use the area for an event such as a family barbecue or any of our holiday celebrations.
Preparing the Deck Surface
You'll need to get the work area ready before performing the power wash cleaning. Remove any obstacles such as outdoor furniture, hoses and similar items. Cover plants and nearby landscaping as well as light fixtures and other electrical components. Sweep away loose debris and make sure that nearby doors and windows remain closed.
The Cleaning Process
Perform a test run with the power washer before attempting the entire job. Note the wind direction before starting to avoid becoming soaked with water. Read the instructions provided by the pressure washer manufacturer before attempting to spray an area. Choose a hidden section of the deck instead of a visible floorboard to test the high-pressure spray to ensure that it will not damage the surface. Adjust the distance and the spray pattern accordingly.
Once you have performed a short test run, you can begin applying cleaner to the surface to help further loosen dirt and debris. Always use a wood cleaner recommended by the deck manufacturer. You can either apply the cleaning agent by hand or with the pressure washing wand. If you choose the latter, note that you will use a different setting for applying the cleaner than for washing it off. The idea behind applying cleaner is to let the agent sit so that it will loosen dirt, thus you don't want to blow it away just yet.
When applying the cleaner, work from top to bottom. Don't apply the cleaner on a deck that is hot or in direct sunlight. Use a utility brush to scrub the solution into corners and on areas that have dirt buildup. Allow the cleaner to remain on the surface for the amount of time recommended by the manufacturer, but at the same time, don't allow it to dry.
To power wash the deck surface, choose the lowest possible effective pressure. If your deck is made from soft wood, such as cedar or pine, choose a pressure of 500 psi to 600 psi. Harder woods can tolerate higher pressures but never go above 1,200 psi. Select a fan tip with a spread of 40 to 60 degrees. A rotating tip is also suitable.
Spray off the cleaner by working from top to bottom to prevent streaking. Work with the grain of the wood and use overlapping passes for more thorough cleaning. Let the surface dry for at least 48 hours before applying a stain or a sealer.
Costs for Power Washing Your Deck
If you rent a power washer for the job, expect to spend anywhere from $40 to $100 per day. You will also need to pay for the appropriate cleaner. Other factors that can increase costs associated with power washing your deck include staining and sealing the surface. Although there are no hard rules about how often you should stain and seal the deck surface, a good rule of thumb indicates you should do so about every three years. The factors that determine how often you need to do so include sun exposure and local weather conditions. Note that you'll also have to sand the deck when performing these additional maintenance steps.
Deck maintenance takes time and if you've done all of this on your own once or twice in the past, you're probably wondering how much it would cost to hand over at least part of the job to professionals to cut down on the amount of time you spend on exterior tasks. For an average 500-square-foot deck, DPI Pressure Washing will spend approximately two hours on the job. You can expect to spend somewhere between $164 to $200 for a deck of that size. Of course, other factors can affect your cost such as how much dirt and grime have accumulated on the surface. Expect to pay more for larger deck surfaces and less for smaller ones.
Give Yourself More Time with Professional Power Washing
Why not let DPI Pressure Washing do the job for you? Our professionals will not only do the job in virtually no time at all, they'll also do it more thoroughly than you can on your own. Contact us today at 813-991-7243 for an appointment or visit our convenient quote page to get your free power washing quote for your deck or patio.
"I just wanted to say thank you so much to DPI Pressure Washing. They were quick to respond to my initial inquiry. I received an extremely reasonable estimate the same day! And, the following day my entire screen enclosure and pool deck was pressure washed. It was a dramatic improvement and the job was done quickly. Excellent follow-up and friendly customer service. Highly Recommend! I will always call DPI for my pressure washing needs. Thanks again!"
Ella May + Luna Marie + Amelie Rose Munoz:
We like to help our Dad to promote his pressure washing and window cleaning business in Clearwater and Tampa Bay. Hope you enjoy this blog ;-).
Charlotta Munoz + kids