How to Clean a Wood Fence With a Pressure Washer?
When you own a wood fence, it is natural to want to keep it clean to maintain its look. Dirt, mold, and mildew can take hold and tarnish your fence’s appearance. Pressure washing is an efficient and affordable way to restore your fence to its original beauty.
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The first step in cleaning your wood fence with a pressure washer is to prepare the area on and around your fence. This involves removing loose dirt and debris from the surface of your fence with a broom or brush. Then, you can start with the actual cleaning of your fence by using a detergent or soap.
Detergents are great for removing mold, mildew and other baked-on dirt from your fence. They can also help to remove hard-to-remove stains. You can buy a variety of detergents at your local home improvement store.
Lather up the fence with a mixture of detergent and water, applying it to troublesome areas such as patches of green moss or lichen. This will make the process easier and help to ensure a thorough job when you are using a pressure washer.
Spray the fence with a low PSI and work from top to bottom in long, fan-like motions to ensure an even and uniform result. Don’t scrub in one area for too long, or you may damage the fence’s grain and cause warping.
When you are done with your fence, rinse it to prevent the soapy water from drying on the surface. Rinse it until the surface is completely dry. This will help to prevent any mud from being thrown up into the air and ruining your freshly cleaned fence.
Before you begin, test the power washer on a small corner of the fence to ensure that it is working properly and is not causing any damage. This is to ensure that you have the correct PSI setting and nozzle tip for your fence.
Adjust the pressure until you are comfortable with the spray, but don’t go over 1,500 psi as it can splinter the soft cedar wood.
Use a 25-degree nozzle on your pressure washer to begin, and adjust the PSI as needed to achieve the desired result. You may need to test the PSI on a piece of drywall or other non-wooden material in order to get an idea of how much pressure is appropriate for your fence.
Don’t stand too close to the fence when you are using a pressure washer as this could cause damage or injury to anyone standing in front of it. Ideally, you will be standing at least two feet away from the fence while using the pressure washer.
When you are finished with the fence, rinse it thoroughly to remove all of the detergents. Don’t leave the solution on the surface of your fence for more than 10 minutes as it can damage the wood and cause it to rot.
You can also use a hose-end cleaner to perform a light cleaning. These are usually available at your local hardware store and are a good option for homeowners who don’t want to spend a lot of money on a professional pressure washing job.