When properly cared for, composite decks can last 25 years or more. One of the things that makes him so popular is their durability when compared to natural wood. They are low maintenance, resistant to stains, and resistant to insect damage and rot. A common question people have is whether you can power wash your composite deck. Let's take a look at what the experts have to say.
Can You Power wash a Composite Deck?
The answer to this is a little more complicated than a simple yes or no answer. If you wash your composite deck with the PSI set too high, it can damage the surface and cause water to seep into the material underneath.
If you decide that you must power wash your composite deck, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. Composite deck has a coating that seals the wood material on the inside. Using a pressure setting that is too high can break the seal and allow water to sink into the wood underneath. This can cause the composite material to swell and crack.
The first thing to avoid is using harsh brushes on the washing unit. You should always use the softest brush available. Most manufacturers recommend pressures less than 2,500 PSI and that you hold the nozzle at least 12 inches above the deck surface. This is a general recommendation, and you should consult your Owner’s Manual or warranty information for the particular brand of composite deck that is installed.
Once you have your PSI set, it is a good idea to try a test on an area of the deck that is not visible, just to make sure that everything is correct. It is also a bad idea to allow water to stand on your composite deck for long periods of time. Once you have finished power washing your deck, you should use a dry mop to clean up any water as quickly as possible.
What Is the Preferred Method for Washing a Composite Deck?
Even though pressure washing may seem like a quick solution to cleaning your deck, manufacturers often recommend washing your composite deck using a regular garden hose, soap, and a soft brush. You should use gentle, circular strokes and avoid gouging or scratching the surface. Even though this is the more time-consuming method, it assures that you will not inadvertently damage your deck by power washing. Once again, it is recommended that you thoroughly dry your deck and not allow water to stand on it for a long time.
The answer to whether you can use a power washer on your composite deck is, yes you can, but with caution. It is always best to be as gentle as possible, which is why handwashing is recommended by many deck manufacturers. If you inadvertently damage your composite deck while power washing, it could mean voiding its warranty. Royal Deck has a team standing by ready to answer any questions about your composite deck or building a new one.