Power washing is one of the fastest and easiest ways to clean any surface. It’s perfect for people who don’t have a lot of time on their hands. But despite being a quick and reliable method of cleaning, it has its disadvantages too. Using a pressure washer can potentially damage surfaces, including wood, vinyl, and even masonry. One of the few places you may have considered power washing is your patio. But the question is, can you power wash a composite decking?
Power Washing a Composite Decking
There are varying opinions regarding power washing a composite deck. Some say you can, while others say otherwise. So which is which? Composite decking can be power washed. However, incorrectly doing it can lead to some terrible consequences. Because of this, many don’t recommend using a power washer to clean your deck.
What are the possible effects of using a power washer on composite decking? First, the pressure from the power washer can chip the surface of the deck. It can remove the outer, protective layer of the boards. When that happens, your deck may be more susceptible to damage such as moisture damage, mould staining, and chipping. These problems will be harder to remove or fix than not using a power washer at all.
Another reason why you should consider first before using a power washer is because of warranties. Many manufacturers note that the products’ warranty will be void when damaged by pressure washing.
How to Power Wash Composite Decking?
Despite not being a recommended method, you can still safely clean a deck with a power washer. How? Here are the general steps on how to safely do it.
- First, check on the manufacturers’ instructions. Make sure that you won’t be voiding any warranty if you use a power washer. In their manuals, you may find specific instructions on how to use a power wash on the board. You may want to look for guides for what tip and how much pressure to use. In general, you will want to use a wide, fan tip for your power washer. Most guides will advise you to never exceed 1500 PSI on the pressure settings.
- Remove all furniture, rugs, carpets, and plants on your deck. Sweep the deck to remove any dirt and debris. Then, rinse the deck with water. When the deck is wet, apply your preferred deck cleaner product. For composite decking, you can also use a soar and water mixture. Depending on the instructions, you may need to leave the cleaner for the prescribed amount of time. However, do not let it dry out.
- Then, you will want to test it on a hidden spot on your deck. Test it on a board that you the least mind getting ruined. By doing so, you can avoid serious damage in the more notable locations on your deck. It can also tell you whether some settings are off and need readjusting.
- Start rinsing the deck. Start with the area where you first applied the soapy solution or cleaner. Gently make your way through the entire deck. When washing your deck, maintain a good distance from the deck surface to minimize any damage. You will also want to spray along the grain of the boards.
- Dry the deck. Next, check for areas with unremoved stains and spots. You will need to use a soft-bristled brush to manually remove the stains. You may want to avoid using sandpapers or metal brushes as they can graze the deck. Once the deck is all dried and cleaned, replace all the furniture and plants that you removed.
How to Clean Composite Decking Without a Power Washer?
If you are unsure whether you should use a power washer or not, it’s safer that you clean your deck manually. It may take a little effort, but it still is very easy. Here are the steps on how to do it. The process is similar to how you’d wash it with a pressure washer.
First, you will need to remove everything on your deck. Then, you will want to rinse the deck with water. After that, you will need to use a water and soap solution on your deck. With a soft-bristled brush, scrub your composite deck gently. Rinse it off with water when finished.
Remember, whether you’ll be using a power washer or not, make sure to read all the instructions supplied by the manufacturers. It will save you a lot of time and money.