Lagniappe Living in Lake Charles, Louisiana: NEVER Pressure Wash A Deck!

NEVER Pressure Wash A Deck!

We have alot of decks in our area, so I am sharing this informational Blog, up until now I thought pressure washing was a good thing!

I tell my neighbors.  I tell my clients.  I tell everybody who will listen.  NEVER pressure wash a deck!  When the pressure-wash companies send their college kids to knock on my door to "wash" my deck, I tell them why they should not be doing that to decks!  When I see their trucks*, they advertise cleaning decks, patios, siding, roofs - you name it!  Don't do it!

The older the deck, the worse the wood reacts to pressure washing.  The big mistake is that companies and homeowners have a tendency to set the pressure way too high.  But even at low pressures the deck can become damaged.

What does pressure washing decks do?

  • It removes loose material and leaves a gafillion dangerous splinters and gaps.  Those gaps open up further letting in more damaging sun and water.
  • It removes the natural oils in the wood that are not replaced with sealants.
  • It causes wood to dry quickly causing cupping and warping.
  • It causes damage.
  • It loosens nails as the wood expands.
  • It can cause water to enter the house.

So what to do instead?

There are various, excellent, gentle cleansers out there.  Be sure to select cleansers that do not have caustic lye or acid, or say not to use around children, pets or water features.  A company called Dekswood makes an excellent cleanser that can be followed with sealants.  And the so-called "oxygen" cleansers, with the active ingredient of sodium percarbonate, are great and don't damage the wood, the kids or pets, the house or the yard.

You MUST seal your deck after cleaning.  The sun does more damage to your deck than rain and snow.  BE SURE TO USE A SEALANT THAT HAS UV INHIBITORS IN ADDITION TO WATER PROTECTION.  Read the label.  It will tell you what the contents are.  Water proofing alone is not enough.

My recommendation:  Keep your deck gently cleaned and protected and it will last many decades.  Not doing so makes it unsafe and age much faster.

* I once gave my spiel to a guy sitting in his company truck in a parking lot (with a smile on my face) and he told me he would NEVER pressure-wash his deck.  He said he sees what damage it can do later!



For more information on Lake Charles Real Estate, visit my website.  You can search homes for sale in Lake Charles, Louisiana,  and view up to date information on Lake Charles Subdivisions, Neighborhoods

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If you are planning a move to or from the Lake Charles, LA area, I can help!   I am a full time Realtor licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission and am affiliated with:

Century 21 Mike D. Bono & Co.'s

4410 Nelson Road, Lake Charles, LA, 70605 USA

337-478-1578 or 337-499-9592

CENTURY 21® is a registered trademark owned by Century 21 Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal housing Opportunity. Each office is independently owned and operated.  The information contained in this blog is believed to be reliable and while every effort is made to assure that the information is as accurate as possible, the author of this blog, and its comments are not warranted or implied representation of it's accuracy,  All information is copywritten and the property of the Author, Marilyn Boudreaux.  


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Comment balloon 6 commentsMarilyn Boudreaux • July 21 2010 12:07AM


Marilyn:  Great post, very informative.  I love with AR that we get to learn something new each day.

Thanks so much.  Cheers!

Posted by Richard Ruggaber, California Real Estate - (818) 422-5035 (Metro Life Homes) almost 10 years ago

Hi Marilyn,  This is an excellent post that I missed the first time out.  Thank you!

Posted by Dan Edward Phillips, Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, CA (Dan Edward Phillips, Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, CA) almost 10 years ago

Never Pressure Wash a Dryvit House

I purchased a dryvit home over 10 years ago.  I live in VA and we have clay so the clay dirt gets on the house--mine is an off-white.  Also, there is mildrew.  I had what I thought was a reputable vendor pressure wash the siding.  I told him to use very low pressure and I thought he did.  The pressure wash wore away the finish.  A gray, gritty appearance showed up in the white finish.  I now know  that there are special cleaning products for dryvit or a combination of water, bleach, and TSP can be used without the pressure washer.

Posted by Brenda Van Fossen (Dawson Ford Garbee & Co., Realtors, Lynchburg VA) almost 10 years ago

Hi Marilyn - great post and very information for virtually every homeowner, Will never use another pressure-cleaner. Keep up the great work!

Posted by Stephen P. Panczak, Sr, MBA, Realtor, Property Mgm't, LCAM almost 10 years ago

No more pressure washing for me.  We just had our deck washed this past spring.

Posted by Cherise Selley, Colorado Springs Realtor (Selley Group Real Estate, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Marilyn, what a great re-blog, I did not know all these years I was like you thinking washing is good. Go figure, learn something new again.

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) almost 10 years ago