How to Power Wash Patio and Deck

  • By: Mike Hale
  • Date: July 17, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

A patio or deck is a great design feature that is highly functional. It enhances the curb appeal of your home, allows you to spend warm evenings outdoors or have barbecue parties with friends and family. However, patios and decks can start looking dull, dingy, and old over time.

With proper maintenance, these patios can last a long time. However, an improper or aggressive job might make matters worse. Thus, it is important to know how to wash and clean your patio properly to increase its durability and look. 

One of the best ways to do that is through pressure washing. Pressure washing your patio helps to remove stubborn stains, algae, mildew, grime, and debris. If you don’t have a pressure washer, you can rent one from your local store or get it installed in your home if you plan to power wash regularly. 

This could be a good idea as a pressure washer can be used to clean other surfaces, such as cars.

Since a power washer uses extreme pressure to clean and remove impurities, it is essential to know how to use a power washer properly. This guide will help you do just that and answer some frequently asked questions about pressure washing, so you know what you are doing when you get started.

How to power wash patio

How to Power Wash Patio

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to power wash a patio or deck:

Step 1: Clear and Clean the Patio Completely

Remove all the furniture, objects, and any extra items lying around your patio. This can be any decoration items, pots, plants, etc. Then clean the patio with a broom to sweep any dust or trash.

Step 2: Choose Pressure and Tip

Now that you have cleared up your patio, you must begin deciding which pressure and tip to use for power washing. To clean brick and concrete patios and outdoor areas, you need to have a pressure washer that has a 3gpm and 3000 psi. 

For a wooden patio, you will need to reduce the pressure to 500-600 psi. Don’t go higher than 1200 psi when pressure washing a wooden patio.

 Moreover, a wide or fan tip would also be helpful. The wider the tip, the better the results. Some pressure washers come with rotating tips as well, which work wonders, too.

Step 3: Apply Detergent

Before applying water to the surface of your patio, if you want to clean the area deeply, apply a layer of detergent directly onto the surface or with a brush or cloth. They will help remove any stubborn stains or grime and dissolve any dirt. Depending on the patio you have, such as concrete or wood, you will choose your detergent.

This is an optional step if you want to deep clean your patio, which you should usually do a few times throughout the year.

Step 4: Protect Windows and Doors

Cover any windows and doors close to your deck or patio with painter’s tape or plastic sheets. This will protect them from any loose debris or paint removed from the floor when pressure washing. 

Step 5: Start Washing

The technique to pressure wash brick, concrete, or wooden patio starts from one end and then works your way upwards. Ensure the nozzle is 12″ away from the ground and keep it at a slight angle as that will give you the ideal pressure. 

Keep sweeping it across the floor in an even motion, and don’t focus the pressure on one area for too long. Doing this will protect the surface from damage.

Step 6: Wash and Clean the Cracks

Once you are done washing the entire patio, the next step in power washing the patio is to direct the pressure into the deck’s cracks and crevices to remove any gunk or dirt. Once you are done washing them, you can clean any of these spaces in between with a brush.

Important FAQs About Pressure Washing

1.    When do you have to pressure wash your patio?

It would be best if you did not pressure wash patios and decks regularly, as it may loosen the surface. Pressure wash only when a broom or cloth won’t do the job in cleaning the patio, for example, in the case of oil stains, algae, mold, or grease.

2.    Do you have to pressure wash your patio with soap or chemicals?

No, as the pressure itself efficiently cleans the patio. So, if you opt to clean your patio without using any chemicals, you can definitely do that.

3.    Does pressure washing cause damage to patios?

Pressure washing can damage patios if:

  • You have chosen the wrong nozzle.
  • You apply too much pressure.
  • The wand is too close to the surface.
  • You spray the same surface for too long.

Pressure washing can cause visible damage. It can chip off paint, cause pitting, driving lines, or degradation. This is why it is not recommended to pressure wash patios so frequently. Please read our guide about whether power washing can damage concrete or not for more details.

4.    How do you avoid damage to your patio?

By following the aforementioned tips, you will likely not cause any damage to your patios. However, there is no sure way of avoiding damage, so you should hire a professional if you are hesitant or unsure of the job.

5.    What are the other ways to clean the patio and decks?

If you don’t own a pressure washer, can’t rent one or don’t want to use it, there are other ways to clean your patio and deck. These include:

  • Using a cloth to apply a mixture of soap and detergent to the surfaces
  • Using a mixture of vinegar and water, applying it to the patio for an hour, and then washing it off with a mixture of soap and water
  • Sweeping the floors of the patio with a broom at least once a week

Final Thoughts

We hope by now you have understood everything about how to power wash your patio. You must try to avoid any damage when you pressure wash your patio as that will defeat the purpose of the job since pressure washing is done to ensure the patio’s durability.