Source: Mi-T-M Corp.
No finish will last long if it's applied to a dirty surface. Pressure washing your deck is an important beginning step, and in some cases, it's the only preparation you'll need before refinishing. Pressure washers are the single best tool for cleaning your deck or porch, and with the proper use, will extend the life of your deck for many years.
Benefits of using a pressure washer include:
- Safely removing dirt, mold, mildew and old stain
- Removes many types of staining and discoloration using plain water
- Safely strips old finishes including stains and peeling paint
- Opens wood pores allowing deep penetration of the deck stain or finish
The last thing you want is to damage your deck, so it's important to use the proper techniques when using a pressure washer to prepare your deck for refinishing.
- The key is to use a sweeping motion along the grain of the wood and to keep the nozzle moving at all times.
- Pull the trigger at the beginning of your first pass, directing the water at a low angle towards the surface.
- Working on a swath of wood two boards wide, keep a distance of 8 to 12 inches from the surface, and spray with the grain of the wood to avoid damage to the surface of the deck.
- Be consistent. This consistency will prevent lap marks.
- Your second pass should overlap the first.
- Walk back the entire length of the deck.
- If you need to stop before the entire deck is clean, sweep the nozzle up and away from the deck before releasing the trigger.
- Once the entire deck has been thoroughly cleaned, allow the surface to dry a minimum of 24 hours.
- The next step is finishing and sealing your deck, once you've determined your desired finished appearance.
- Proper preparation and application of a high-quality deck-coating system will extend the life and appearance of your deck dramatically.