Power Washing and Sealing a Deck | 2-10 Blog

Power wash your deck before you seal it.

 An old deck can be quite an eyesore, but there’s an easy way to get your deck looking like new again: power washing and sealing.

Before sealing your wooden deck, you’ll want to clean it. Power washing your deck is an efficient way to clean and prep your deck for staining, but it’s also easy to damage the wood. Here’s your guide to power washing and sealing a deck the right way.

Preparing your deck and setting up the power washer

 You’ll want to start with a clean slate, which means removing all furniture and other items from your deck. That includes heavy objects, like patio sets and large outdoor planters.

Next, hook your power washer up to a garden hose and turn the water on. The water needs to be cold, so double check — standing water in your hose could be hot from sitting out on the sun, and hot water can damage the wood grain.

You can purchase focused tips, but choosing a tip with a moderate spray angle (such as 25 or 45 degrees) is a safer bet. Your deck will still get clean, but you’re less likely to encounter too-high pressures and the resulting wood damage.

Perfecting your power washing technique

 High pressure streams of water can do some serious damage, so it’s always best to err on the side of caution. You might even want to start with a less visible portion of your deck while you work on your technique. As you spray, keep these technique tips in mind:

  • Keep the tip approximately 4 – 8 inches away from the wood.
  • Spray from the top of the deck down.
  • Always be moving — spending too much time on one spot will gouge the wood.
  • Move the power washer’s tip parallel to the wood grain to avoid streaking.

You’ll see the deck change colors as you work, too.

Applying sealer to your deck

 Once you have a clean deck, wait two full days for it to dry. Then, it’s time to select a sealer.

There are different types available based on what you need most. For example, decks that get a lot of direct sunlight benefit from a UV-blocking pigmented stain. In regions with high moisture levels, waterproofing is more of a concern and a waterproofing sealer will keep your wood deck looking fresh.

If you’re unsure, simply head down to your local home improvement store. The staff there will be able to point you in the right direction. They also have the added bonus of being familiar with deck care specifics based on where you live.

The easiest way to apply sealer is with a roller or sprayer. Sprayers work great for waterproofing sealers, since the liquid is thin. Oil-based stains and any pigmented stains should be applied with a medium to thick napped roller that’s attached to an extension pole. One coat is enough for most decks, though very dry wood will require two coats.

Once the sealer is applied let it dry for the amount of time indicated on the directions, and then get ready to enjoy a deck that looks brand new. And if you really don’t enjoy cleaning and sealing your deck, there’s hope for the future — maybe you’ll have a transparent wooden deck someday!

 Power washing and dealing your deck is an easy project with a big visual payoff, and it just might put you in the mood to protect and maintain other parts of your home. Consider safeguarding your home and its systems and appliances with an affordable Home Warranty Service Agreement. Find out how a Service Agreement can keep you, and your wallet, protected.


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