How to Properly Power Wash a Wooden Fence
There are several reasons your wood fence may not look as good as it did when it was new. This damage can be caused by the sun, water, or other usual weathering. When these happen, the wood on your fence turns gray.
As a result, you might want to power wash your wooden fence. In addition, cleaning your fence with a power washer can be done as preventative maintenance on a regular schedule. Power washing is necessary when cleaning your fence and before sealing it.
Which pressure washer is best
Our research led to these 2 best performing power wash / pressure wash
Sun Joe SPX3000 2030 Max PSI 1.76 GPM 14.5-Amp Electric Pressure Washer
Powerhouse International - Electric High Power- Pressure Washer - 3000 PSI 2.2 GPM - Power Washer - Patio Cleaner - Hose Reel - Spray Gun
More details on both below...
- Powerful: 14.5-Amp/1800-watt motor generates up to 2030 psi/1.76 GPM for maximum cleaning power and water inlet temperature (max) is 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Versatile: tackle a variety of cleaning tasks: homes, buildings, RV's, cars, Trucks, boats, decks, driveways, patios, lawn equipment, and more. With two 0.9 L onboard detergent tanks, removable tanks...
- Tss (total stop system): automatically shuts off pump when trigger is not engaged to save energy and prolong pump life.
- Powerful - Our Electric Pressure Washer 3000 psi and 2.2 gpm, better than a gas pressure washer because of its quiet motor, which stops when you release the spray gun trigger
- Accessories - Turbo and angle nozzles, patio - surface cleaner, soap foam sprayer, brush and other parts are all included
- Flexible hose - the hose has 30% more flexibility then our previous model
Last update on 2019-10-21 at 16:07 PST - Details
Benefits of power washing
If you have a new fence or a fence that has not accumulated dirt, mold, etc., you may stain it or seal it. If you want a stain on the fence, it should be applied on a clean fence. Most fences are not still in pristine condition and will need deeper cleaning before staining or sealing.
There are benefits to power washing your fence before staining or sealing it. The first is a cleaner fence, by eliminating dirt, mold, mildew, and algae. Sometimes plain water will do the trick, but other times you may need to add chemicals. Be aware chemicals and cleaners may contain bleach and may discolor your fence. If you need to use these chemicals, test them on an inconspicuous part of the fence to check for damage. If using these chemicals, you must rinse the chemical off the fence within 15 minutes.
A second benefit power washing will give is it opens the pores of the wood. This is important, especially if you will stain or seal the wood. It allows the stain and/or sealant to penetrate the wood and not stay on the surface. A surface stain or seal will not last like one that has penetrated the wood. Sealing or painting your fence can extend the fence’s life and make yearly maintenance easier.
A third benefit power washing your fence provides is mold reduction and/or elimination. Mold in and around your house is a big deal. Pressure washing your fence (with chemicals or without them) can reduce mold on your property and help keep it out of your house. This is positive because of the warnings about mold and how it affects one’s health and quality of life.
Power washing method
While using a power washer is familiar to most people, several tactics will make the experience more pleasant and more efficient.
Wear goggles or other protective eye wear. Since you may work with chemicals that can splatter, you do not want these chemicals in your eyes.
Choose the right sized tip for the power/pressure washer wand. Realize a wider tip will have lower pressure. Use a 25° tip or wider so you will not put cut marks in your fence. Experts say a 40° tip works better and is safer.
Don’t use over 1800 PSI if a wood fence. A higher PSI can damage the wood (including splitting it). It is good to test the PSI on an inconspicuous corner of the fence to make sure you have chosen a PSI not harmful to the fence.
When cleaning with the pressure washer, hold the sprayer at least 3 feet from the fence. You can then adjust the distance as needed while moving the nozzle back and forth to clean. Realize this cleaning will be physically demanding and not a “magic bullet”.
It helps to know the wood comprising your fence. This knowledge is important so you can select the PSI. For example, you should use a 1200–1500 PSI for harder, less forgiving woods and a 500–600 PSI for softwoods.
Use plenty of water. Most pressure washers can be connected to a constant source of water, like a water hose, and this is not a problem. You should never use hot water when pressure washing the fence because it can “raise the grain”.
The wood fence around your yard can become a nuisance and an eyesore if not properly maintained. Whether preparing for a sale or routine maintenance, annual washing (including pressure washing) will help keep your fence looking good. A clean fence is more pleasant to view, whoever is viewing it.