How to - Gardening Basics

Power wash a weathered deck

By
Lorraine Flanigan
Photography by
Roger Yip

Hit all the nooks and crannies of your well-worn deck with one easy to use tool


power-wash-inset2.jpgWashing up
Spray overhead surfaces first, then railings and posts before finishing off with floors. It’s a good idea, though, to get a feel for the washer’s wand by practising on a driveway or other paved surface. When you’re ready to tackle the deck, set the wand at the recommended angle (see “Power Tips,” below), and hold it a minimum of 10 centimetres from the surface. Move the jet of water slowly and continuously so as not to gouge the wood, gently lifting the wand at the end of each stroke to avoid marring the surface.

Finishing touches
If you have a cedar deck and you don’t want to let it weather naturally, power-wash-inset3.jpgapply an opaque or semi-transparent stain once the wood has dried thoroughly (as shown in photo on previous page). Temperatures must be above 12ºC with dry weather for at least two days before staining can be done.

Power tips
Adjust the tip of the spray nozzle to a wide angle (between 25 and 40 degrees); this 
distributes the blast of water more evenly, so there’s little chance of damaging the deck.

Hold the wand so the tip is 
10 to 30 centimetres from the surface. Any closer and the wood fibres will tear, creating a fuzzy nap that will eventually flake off, taking any finish with it.

 

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