Is it better to sand or power wash a deck?

Author: Prof. Kacie Fay  |  Last update: Saturday, November 20, 2021

Splintered, cracking, or just plain rough wood should be sanded first, then pressure washed to open the wood's pores and allow penetration of the stain. Deeply grooved wood that has mold, moss and other growing things filling the cracks will need treatment with a deck and siding cleaner.

Should I pressure wash or sand my deck?

DO sand your deck before sealing.

At that point, lightly sand the surface to remove splintery or fuzzy patches caused by pressure-washing the deck. A pole sander with 80-grit sandpaper will suffice; a power sander is overkill. Then seal the deck to protect from cracking, cupping, and warping.

Can I pressure wash my deck instead of sanding?

That being said, sanding is a lot of work. You can get the same clean, fresh surface with a good pressure washing. A pressure washer removes the deteriorated finish and some of the decayed wood fiber leaving a like-new surface after the wood dries.

Does Power washing damage a deck?

A pressure washer is a straightforward machine that can clean very well with only water. However, it can ruin your deck if it's not used properly. ... If you use it with too much jet pressure or place the tip too close to the surface of your deck, you can deeply etch the wood and cause the fibers to splinter.

What is the best way to clean decking?

To avoid damaging your decking, create a gentle cleaning solution with warm water and liquid dish soap. Alternatively, you can use a speciality wood deck cleaner. Saturate the surface and scrub the deck with a stiff-bristled brush or sponge until the cleaning solution starts to lather.

Power washing VS Sanding Deck - See the difference!

Can you power wash decking?

Typically, we'll only recommend pressure washing your deck as a last resort – once all other options have been exhausted. The reason is pressure washing a deck may damage it. ... If you pressure wash and then put a sealant on before the wood is dried it can seal in moisture which will lead to rot and other problems.

How do you clean a wooden deck without a pressure washer?

Mix half a cup of vinegar and a quarter cup of baking soda in a gallon of water. Rinse off the wood deck with a hose and a light spray nozzle, as this will soften the wooden deck fibres to help absorb your deck cleaner. Evenly cover the decking with your cleaning mixture.

Why you shouldn't power wash deck?

Beware Pressure Washing Damage

If you have timber deck boards, a power washer's pressure may cause splintering and damage to the timber fibers. ... Depending on the material, a power washer can also scar boards if the pressure is too high. If the power washing becomes too intense, it can even chip the material.

Is it OK to waterblast a deck?

Be careful. And PLEASE, do not waterblast your deck, no matter what the manufacturers of overpriced cleaning gadgets tell you. Powerful jets of water can damage your decking timber, lifting timber fibres.

How long do you have to wait to stain a deck after power washing?

After a deck has been power washed it will have some retained moisture within the wood. It's important to let the wood dry thoroughly so none of the water that soaked into the wood gets trapped under the stain. In perfect drying conditions, 48 hours is enough for the wood to get to where it needs to be before staining.

What happens if it rains on a freshly sanded deck?

It's important that you make sure there is no chance of rain when you begin to sand. If the wood gets wet after it's been sanded, but not before you've had the chance to stain or paint it, you'll be back to square one — you'll need to wash and sand it all over again.

Can I just power wash my deck before staining?

There is a common misconception that just pressure washing a deck prior to staining is all you need to do in order to prep your deck for stain. Pressure washing can help, but if you want your stain to last, using a good deck cleaner and brightener on the deck prior to pressure washing will provide you the best result.

Should you sand pressure treated wood before staining?

Sanding pressure-treated wood is actually contraindicated because, as Sand & Stain warns, you'll end up partially removing the protective coating created by the pressure treatment, and the wood will look terrible. ... Once the wood has dried completely, it's ready for a coat of transparent or semitransparent stain.

How long does it take to sand a deck with an orbital sander?

In general, it will take you 8 hours to sand a deck that is 25m2, using a belt sander. But there are a few factors that can affect the time it takes to sand your decking.

Do you have to seal deck after power washing?

After completing the deck power washing, wait 24 to 36 hours before applying sealer. If the weather is cool or humid, wait 48 to 72 hours. The deck must be thoroughly dry to ensure deep penetration of the sealer.

What PSI is needed to power wash a deck?

For cleaning a wooden deck, you'll be best served by using the lowest pressure setting that's still effective. For soft woods like cedar or pine, this is usually about 500 to 600 psi. For harder woods, it can go up to 1200 to 1500 psi. Choose the right tip to use as well.

How do you clean grime off a wooden deck?

Like baking soda and vinegar, borate is an all-purpose natural cleaner that is versatile around the house and yard. Using a ratio of one cup of Borax to one gallon of water, address small areas of your deck at a time, scrubbing with a brush to remove algae and mildew.

How clean should deck be before staining?

Before you apply stain, make sure the surface is clean (no dust, dirt, wood fibers or grease), dry and free from mildew. When a surface is not clean, stains and other finishes have trouble sticking and may end up peeling. 1. Thoroughly sweep the deck to remove all leaves and other debris.

Can you use Windex in a pressure washer?

Using Windex in a Pressure Washer

What is this? Using windex to spray the windows you have could be a tedious task. Therefore, if you use a pressure washer with it, you should decrease the time that it takes you to do that. However, use a low pressure on a wide spray pattern.

Is pressure washer good for decking?

Pressure washing is a quick and easy way to clean decking and patios. ... You'll find a wide range of pressure washers at Homebase along with all the washing detergents and accessories you'll need to get your decking or patio looking as good as new without the hard work of manual scrubbing.

How much does it cost to powerwash a deck?

The average cost to power wash a deck ranges from $119 to $244 with most homeowners paying around $0.35 per square foot. To power wash, stain, and seal your deck, expect to spend between $0.50 and $1.50 per sq. ft. or $0.95 per sq.

What is the best homemade deck cleaner?

Add 2 cups of the bleach to two gallons of water. Pour in 1/4 cup of dish detergent and mix well until it suds. Use a broom or another large brush and cover entire deck. Scrub where there is stubborn dirt and grime and then rinse off.
Once a Year Cleaning
  1. Water.
  2. Powdered oxygen bleach.
  3. Liquid Dish Detergent.

Is deck wash necessary?

Is Deck Cleaner Necessary Before Staining My Deck? In short, yes. It is highly recommended to use a deck cleaner when prepping your deck for a new coat of deck stain. Also, recommended but not required is the use of a deck brightener before staining your deck.

How do I naturally clean my wood deck?

To clean your deck, combine 1 cup vinegar with 1-gallon water. Sprinkle baking soda on any mildewed wood and use the vinegar and warm water to scrub over all the boards. Borate is also a natural cleaner and versatile for indoor or outdoor cleaning. Use a ratio of one cup of Borax to one gallon of water.

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