Do It Yourself
Exterior Wood Care professionals like to help educate homeowners. We want you to learn about our process, because the more you understand the more comfortable you’ll be in hiring us. However, if you’re brave and want to tackle a wood restoration/preservation project yourself, allow us to provide a few pointers.
The Internet offers a lot of information about pressure washing and restoring decks – even videos from so-called “experts.” Unfortunately, after getting a standard pressure washer from Home Depot, most don’t educate you about the proper water pressure to use, the need for custom nozzles, what the appropriate pH balance should be, etc. A good pressure washer is just the first step. They’re also not likely to give you the information you need about what cleaner, stripper, brightener, and sealer to use. Reputable wood restoration professionals know that using a pressure washer with no chemical agents can only remove some of the dirt from the painted deck.
And if you’d like independent corroboration of this, use the Internet to find a reputable wood restorer from out of state – someone who’s impartial and uninterested in bidding on your project. If they’re worth their salt, they’ll tell you that to do it right, wood restoration is a job for a professional, not just a guy with a pressure washer.
What the video experts often fail to help you with is the right how-to information. Nothing beats having some real world experience before you tackle this process. And that’s something the video-how-to guys can’t offer you. After all, you’ll really want to know how to handle the equipment so you don’t leave etches, scratches, or other unsightly marks on the deck surface. Pressure washing wood isn’t like washing your driveway. You must use caution and the right technique.
After pressure washer you’ll need good quality wood stripping and brightening products; if you’re just cleaning the wood, you need to select the right kind of cleaner. Knowing the pH balance of the product is also important.
To loosen wood fiber, rent a couple of professional-grade sanders including a smaller one to reach the inaccessible spots under the rails.
Finally, when you select a sealer, look for a product that’s easy to apply and that can be easily removed with a mild stripper or cleaner.
Maintaining your deck should be a much easier deal. Exterior Wood Care is happy to assist you with this process.