If you’re looking to pressure wash your grungy deck or fence then you will enjoy this article.
Today we talk with Dustin of Dustin’s Pressure Washing in Gwinnett County, Ga.
In this article, you will learn:
- The common mistake made that can splinter your deck’s boards
- Why it’s important to communicate your expectations with your deck cleaner before they start
- How to prevent streaking on the boards of your wooden deck
- The benefits of NOT using chemicals to clean your deck
- Where to go to do your research before selecting someone to work with
Dustin has been pressure washing homes for 15 years. He started as a young man wanting to have a small after school job. He pressure washed a house for a lady in his neighborhood and he was hooked for life. Dustin revealed the importance of understanding these things before choosing a deck power washing contractor:
- Setting expectations before the deck cleaner begins
- Hiring an experienced deck cleaning service to pressure wash the wood
- Finding someone you can trust
- Considering whether or not you want to use chemicals
Let’s talk about power washing your deck or wood fencing.
Dustin says that it takes experience to understand the structure of wood and to know the spray tip size and water pressure required to clean it right. Why is this important? If you don’t select them right it can cause many problems. For example, inexperienced washers can blast your deck and cause lots of damage to it. We will talk more about that in a moment.
The importance of setting expectations.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- What are my expectations about having my deck pressure washed?
- Am I expecting it to look brand new after it’s washed?
- If my deck is in poor shape, am I willing to repair the bad boards so that my deck looks good again?
- Am I planning on painting or staining my deck to cover over the imperfections later?
Dustin says that some people expect miracles from power washing a poorly maintained wooden deck. Unfortunately, if you have a five-year-old deck that has not been sealed and protected it’s going to have issues. A professional deck washer will set the expectations for the final results ahead of time so that the homeowner understands what they’re going to get from the pressure wash. If they don’t do this, you might not be happy with the results. In fact, if they don’t bring it up, you should before they ever begin.
What happens when an inexperienced pressure washer works on a poorly maintained deck?
It’s not pretty.
A high-pressure blast from a pressure washing machine can cause your deck to splinter and crack. We challenged Dustin on “cracking” a board with water and he informed us that an industrial tool called a water jet cutter can actually cut through STEEL. A high PSI pressure washer in the wrong hands can easily break a window, damage your deck, or hurt someone.
We Googled “pressure washer dangers” and found this scary statistic: A Consumer Reports article stated that, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 6,047 people went to the emergency room for pressure-washing-related injuries in 2014. 14% of those patients needed to be hospitalized.
The lesson? Never point a pressure washer at someone or yourself. Have a professional pressure wash your deck.
Tips for cleaning your wood deck and wooden fence
Dustin shared the following tips with us:
- For the best results, start with a deck with good, solid boards. You can only do so much with rotting or splintering wood.
- Use a low-pressure stream of water.
- Set your tip to a wide spray stream of water.
- Wash one board at a time from top to bottom to ensure no lines or stops or starts in the finish. In fact, he compared it to what you would do it if you were staining your deck. One smooth clean motion creates the best effect.
- Know that some dirt is so entrenched into the boards that it almost acts as a stain to the wood. Dustin said you have to take your time and keep your eye on it. He describes this method as going by “inch by inch.”
- Be prepared to replace worn or damaged boards so the whole deck looks like new again.
- Seal your deck annually to protect it.
How to find a good contractor to pressure wash your deck
There’s a lot of competition out there. In fact, Dustin told us that there are over 450 pressure washers in his zip code alone! Anyone with a pressure washer and a pick-up truck is out there cleaning decks. So, take your time to do your research before hiring one. Dustin recommends using websites like Angie’s List or Home Advisor that prescreen contractors and do background checks for you. He also recommended looking at Google reviews.
Ask your deck washing service if they are environmentally friendly
Dustin is an animal lover and chooses to not use harsh chemicals when cleaning decks and fences. In fact, he said that the one time he did use one of these chemicals, it ruined a new shirt! If it ruins your shirt, what does it do to your lungs, your cat or dog’s paws, and the environment?
We hope these tips will be helpful when you’re choosing a deck washing company in Atlanta. Take your time and do your research. Dustin is willing to answer any question you have and can be reached at his website.
Maintaining your home is one way to protect your investment. Affordable home insurance from Atlanta Insurance is another. Please let us know how we can be of assistance to you! We’re here to help you get the coverage you need at the best possible rate – if you fill out our quote form or give us a call, we’ll get you a free quote!