Wood is beautiful. It is also durable, stable and easy to work with. It’s no wonder it’s really the only material used to construct decks. And, we can’t forget about the rustically gorgeous log homes- a house built totally from timber! But whether you live in a house made completely of logs, or just enjoy natural wood by way of a deck- the eye-catching material is still susceptible to damage. But proper care will ensure that homes and decks still shine like new.
According to Cleaner Times Magazine, it is estimated that one out of every three homes has a deck. That’s a lot of wood to upkeep! (Hence the growth pressure washing contractors specializing in deck restoration!) Over time many things can happen to a deck’s surface. The sun can cause damage like cracking, as can the freeze/thaw effect found in colder states. Damp wood can eventually cause fungus growth, regardless if it was pressure treated. So with this ever so common wear and tear, properly maintaining these home features is something that has become a periodic household duty. With a pressure washer this maintenance can be a do-it-yourself chore, or the help of a professional pressure-washing contractor can be enlisted. Either way, a weathered deck can return to like-new condition after just a simple pressure cleaning.
The cleaning process can help restore the deck to a like-new condition or keep a new deck in its mint condition by simply a using hot water. There are also some timber-specific cleaning solutions that can be used along with the water. Depending upon how weathered the surface is, more extensive cleaning may be needed through using special cleaners and chemicals that are safe for wood surfaces. This may be the case for gray and weathered wood without a finish or decks whose finish is really deteriorated. In situations like this, mold or mildew may need to be removed first. In addition to cleaners, there are other applications that can aid in deck cleaning and restoration, which include brighteners, strippers and stain removers. These should be uses according to the specific conditions of the deck being worked on. For example, if the deck is in really bad shape, you may want to use a stripper to get all of the finish off and the reapply a new coat once the deck is clean.
When using a pressure washer to clean a deck, here are some tips to keep in mind. First, you will want to use a pressure washer that has a pressure of 70 to 170 bar. If you do find that you are applying excessive pressure to the wood surface, to prevent damage hold your wand further back from the deck. (If a fuzz-like effect starts, this is a sign that there is too much pressure being applied.) As you begin to clean, you will want to work from the bottom up spraying along the grain- not against it- in even sweeping motions. Just as if you were painting, you can overlap slightly to make sure you do not miss a spot. You will want to start off with a fan tip of 25-degrees. If you are using a cleaner, you may have to apply this ahead of time and let it set in before using the pressure washer.
If a deck is left long enough without proper upkeep, total restoration may have to be done. This will include using a pressure washer to clean the deck, as well as finishing. This can include water repellants, wood preservatives, stains and paint. Some pressure washing contractors will also provide some of these services, while others may recommend an associate contractor who can perform that work.
Log homes are a much bigger task than cleaning and restoring a deck (not to mention a bigger investment to protect), but is done in essentially the same way.
With the help of a pressure washing contractor- or by purchasing and using a pressure washer yourself- your log home or wooden deck can be the recipient of compliments of admiring neighbors and guests for years to come