To pressure wash composite decking is one of the fastest and most efficient ways to clean dirty surfaces. It uses the high pressurized water to scrape dirt and debris off on surfaces. However, it’s also precisely why it can also damage any surface. So you may be wondering, should you pressure wash composite decking?
Should Pressure Wash Your Composite Deck?
Pressure washers can easily damage masonry and wood. As you can imagine, no matter how strong composites are, they can ruin composite decking. That is the reason why most manufacturers advise against using power washers. The truth is, some companies even state in their warranties that you will be held accountable for any damage done by using pressure washers. Your warranty will be void if you damage the boards using a power washer.
Does it mean you can’t use pressure washers on composite decks? No. You can still use them to clean your patios. Many still enjoy using it for a fast and efficient method of cleaning their decks, especially for those who own spacious decks. However, you’ll have to be careful not to damage your composite decking. You may also want to check on the boards’ manufacturers regarding the use of power washers.
So the next question is, how do you safely use a power washer on a composite deck?
Using a Power Washer to Clean Your Composite Deck
If you still want to proceed in using a power washer, you’ll have to remember a few things to do it safely. You will want to minimize as much damage as possible. Here is how you can clean your deck with a pressure washer without ruining your deck.
- Check with your manufacturer. We can’t stress this enough. Before using a power washer, make sure you will not void any warranty. Aside from that, you may also find specific instructions on how to use a power washer on their composite decking boards.
- To start cleaning your deck, remove all the furniture, plants, and decorations on your deck. You can also give your deck a fast sweep to remove any loose dirt and debris for faster cleaning.
- Next, set the power washer into the correct settings. You will need to determine what tip and how much pressure to use. In general, you will need to use a wide tip. The maximum recommended pressure setting ranges from 1500-3100 psi depending on the brand. You’ll want to use one with a soap dispenser. Otherwise, you can manually spray the soap or cleaning product on the deck by yourself. You’ll also want to wear protective gear when you use a power washer.
- Next, test the setting on a hidden part of the deck. Doing this will help you avoid any damage on the prominent parts of the deck. It can also tell you if you need to readjust your settings. If your boards have grains, make sure that you go along them to minimize the damage. Make sure to keep a good distance between the power washer and the surface of the deck.
- Make sure to rinse the deck thoroughly. When soap dries on the deck, it can leave a thin film on the deck. Then, leave it to dry for a few minutes.
Cleaning Your Deck Without a Power Washer
If you want to be on the safer side, you can always clean your deck without a power washer. Unless you own a very big deck, manually cleaning a deck is better. So how do you clean a deck without pressure washing it? Here are the steps.
- Remove all the furniture, plants, and decoration from your deck. Make sure to lift them carefully. Never drag them across your patio. Then, rinse your deck with water.
- After rinsing your deck, with a soft-bristled brush, gently apply the deck cleaning product on the boards. Alternatively, you can also use homemade cleaning solutions, such as vinegar and baking soda. Let the cleaning solution sit on the deck but do not let it dry. FOr this reason, it’s best to work in batches.
- Finally, rinse the deck with water until the runoff is clear. Make sure to check for leftover stains and dirt and brush them again if necessary. Let it dry before placing the furniture and plants.