deck cleaning &sealing - Knowledgebase Question

chesapeake, Vi
Avatar for cmbrady34
Question by cmbrady34
August 22, 2010
My wood deck needs to be cleaned and sealed.I need suggestions on how to pressurewash it and seal it.

Answer from NGA
August 22, 2010
You can hand scrub the deck or you can use a power washer to clean it before sealing the wood. Debris that clogs the spaces between deck boards traps moisture, encouraging mildew and rot. Blast out the debris, using a powerful nozzle on a garden hose, and then push out remaining debris with a putty knife or something similar. Then thoroughly scrub the surface with a sudsy mixture of water and laundry detergent, using a stiff fiber brush on a long handle. Work in small areas and rinse periodically. This may be all it takes to return much of the wood's natural tone.

For a large deck, you can rent a power washer that delivers 1,200 psi of pressure or less to blast and rinse the decking. It should have a nozzle that fans an arc of about 25 to 40 degrees. Wearing safety goggles, hold the nozzle about 6 inches above the deck's surface and spray slowly in line with the wood grain, overlapping your path. Be careful: The powerful spray can erode soft wood grain. After washing, allow the deck to dry for several clear days before applying a finish.

Choose a sealer without pigment if you simply want to seal the deck, or choose a sealer with pigment if you want to change the color of your deck. Be sure to apply according to label directions.

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