Cost to power wash deck

Finding the best Cost to power wash deck, cost to powerwash and stain deck and pressure washing prices & rates can be hard if you’re unaware of what features to look for especially that there are so many of them to find around. For this reason, we’ve put up a guide highlighting the top pressure washing services price list in the category.

Our team has researched and reviewed these products to help you come up with a better decision.

Deck pressure washing uses a strong stream of hot water to break away and remove dirt, grease, and grime from a deck to thoroughly clean the surface. It revitalizes the deck’s appearance and also helps prepare it for possible staining or painting.
The cost to pressure wash a deck ranges from $150-$200; this will effectively clean a 500 sq.ft. deck, with the average cost being $175. The price varies depending on the amount of dirt buildup on the decking.

Deck Pressure Washing Cost

Deck pressure washing costs
National average cost$175
Average range$150 – $200
Minimum cost$90
Maximum cost$750

Power Washing vs. Pressure Washing

Many people use the terms power washing and pressure washing interchangeably, but they are different processes. Both rely on high-pressure water, but the power washing machine heats the water, while pressure washers do not heat the water. The cost to power wash a deck tends to be about the same as pressure washing.

Power washing is quick and effective. It also does not take a great deal of time to successfully clean even a heavily soiled deck. However, some surfaces simply cannot handle the water pressure and heat of power washing. Deteriorated wood might start to break up from the water’s onslaught. Typically, professional power washers use a detergent with the machine which can also adversely harm surrounding plant-life.

Pressure washing does not use heated water so some mold and mildew might not respond even with the use of chemicals to try to clean away the heavily soiled surface. Many surfaces such as fragile wood respond better to pressure washing since the cleaning method does not use hot water.

Deck Pressure Washing Price Per Square Foot

The price to pressure wash averages $0.30-$0.40 per sq.ft. If you plan on pressure washing your deck then you should have a professional perform the job because it involves a combination of high-pressure water and detergent which can damage surfaces and surrounding landscaping.

Below is a table outlining the different deck sizes and the cost to pressure wash each one.

Deck Pressure Washing Price per sq.ft.
Deck SizeCost
300 sq.ft.$90-$120
500 sq.ft.$150-$200
750 sq.ft.$225-$300
1000 sq.ft.$300-$400
1500 sq.ft.$450-$600

Pressure Washing Prices Per Hour

You can hire a professional pressure washer to quickly and thoroughly clean your deck. Typically, they charge by the sq.ft., but on occasion they will charge by the hour. Professional pressure washers charge$50-$150 per hour. They will use the high pressure water stream produced by the washer to quickly break away dirt, mildew, and grime from the deck’s surface. For heavily soiled areas, they might opt to put detergent in the machine and give the surface a light scrubbing. For a 500 sq.ft. deck, it will take about an hour to two hours to clean.

Cost to power wash deck

Pressure washing should always be undertaken by a professional because the powerful stream of water can damage some decking if not applied at the right pressure. This is especially true for wood decking. The average cost to pressure wash a deck does vary depending on the decking material because some decking material such as wood and composite require greater time and care than aluminum.

Price to Pressure Wash a Deck by Material
Deck materialCost to clean 500 sq.ft. deck
Aluminum$150
Wood$175
Composite$200

Pressure Washing a Wood Deck

Wood decking has a very porous surface, which can easily be peeled away or damaged by a powerful blast of water. Also, wood decking is often painted or stained which can easily start to peel away. In some instances, pressure washing is actually used to effectively remove all paint prior to applying a new coat. Please remember, wood decking that undergoes pressure washing is very susceptible to damage if the job is not carried out properly.

  • Always pressure wash wood decking at low pressure, use 1,500 pounds per square inch (PSI).
  • Scrub the deck prior to pressure washing for best results.
  • Use a synthetic brush to scrub spots that are not coming clean with the pressure washer.

Pressure Washing an Aluminum Deck

Power washing will easily restore the appearance of an aluminum deck. It can lift away dirt and mildew with ease, especially when used in combination with a detergent. Also, aluminum decking stands up well to high pressure without sustaining damage. Since aluminum decking can handle hard cleaning, it takes less time because you can scrub the surface and hit it with a heavy stream of water. With less time required, it tends to cost less to clean.

  • Apply a deck cleaner to loosen dirt before pressure washing.
  • Use a soap dispensing nozzle.
  • Scrub with a stiff bristle brush to loosen hard-to-clean areas.
  • Use the widest spray nozzle to spray away all soap and debris from the deck’s surface.

Composite Deck Pressure Washing

Typically, composite decking stands up to the elements well and will respond nicely to pressure washing. However, it cannot handle sustained high pressure. Always pressure wash composite decking at low pressure (use 1,500 pounds per square inch (PSI)). The cost to power wash a composite deck tends to be on the high end due to the time involved in safely carrying out the cleaning. Composite decking is the most expensive of all decking materials to pressure wash because it requires light scrubbing throughout and a low-pressure water stream to gently clean the surface.

  • Check the deck’s warranty because sometimes pressure washing nullifies the warranty
  • Use a fan tip and hold it at least 8 inches from the decking material
  • Scrub hard stains using a soft bristle brush
  • Allow to air dry

Cost to Pressure Wash and Stain a Deck

The cost to pressure wash and stain a deck made of wood that measures 500 sq.ft. averages about $175 for the pressure washing and an additional $1,750 to stain the deck. The total average price to pressure wash and stain a deck is about $1,925. Some pressure washing companies will also stain the deck. However, in most cases a painting contractor will pressure wash the deck prior to staining the surface.

A pressure washer cleaning a wood deck railing

Deck Pressure Washing Prep Work

Typically, the prep work is an additional fee when pressure washing a deck. Professional pressure washers charge $50-$150 per hour., so if you want them to remove the deck furnishings and clear away debris then there will be an added cost. If the deck is heavily soiled and takes additional applications of cleaner then they will also charge for the additional time that it takes to carry out those functions.

Deck Pressure Washing Cost Factors

There are many factors involved in calculating how much it will cost to pressure wash a deck. The size of the deck is a main factor, considering that most professional pressure washers charge by the square foot. Additionally, whether the deck is heavily or lightly soiled matters because the pressure washer might need to spend extra time cleaning the deck and applying additional detergents, which will increase the cost per sq.ft. or the hourly rate charged. The condition of the deck also makes a difference because decks that are decaying or heavily mildewed will cost more since they take extra time to effectively clean. Please remember that if the wood or other decking material requires repairs then the final costs will increase, depending on the repairs needed.

Deck Pressure Washing Hazards

Pressure washers are powered by either a gas or electric motor. They consist of a motor, pump, and a highly concentrated nozzle that increases the water’s pressure by 30 to 80 times as it leaves the house. Most pressure washers easily generate from 1,500 to 4,000 psi. The spray can be extremely hazardous to human skin because it can quickly cause bruises and lacerations.

Damage Caused by Pressure Washing Your Deck

The powerful burst of water from the pressure washer can leave grooves in wood and composite decking if you use a pressure that is too high. Composite decking will actually start to chip under the water’s onslaught. Wood pieces can also break away and, in extreme cases, the boards can even start to crack. Areas of the wood that have already started to split from age and use will become worse as the water divides the broken area further. If the psi is set too high then the water stream can damage wood and composite material by chipping and peeling the surface. If the decking is painted and the psi is too high then the water will peel away the painted surface of the deck.

Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Deck Repair Cost

Prior to pressure washing your deck, you might want to explore deck repair costs if the deck is in poor shape. The cost to repair a deck usually averages about $700 to replace five to six damaged boards. Replacing missing nails, screws, or other hardware averages $150.

Deck Pergola Cost

If you want to build a deck pergola prior to pressure washing the deck then the average cost of a pergola is $3,500 when constructed from cedar wood that measures 10 ft.

Deck Sealing Cost

Sealing a deck helps protect the wood from both UV exposure and water. The chemical composition of the sealant makes water bead up on the surface of the deck instead of penetrating the wood so it offers optimum protection from decay. Many people opt to seal their deck annually after pressure washing. The pressure washing removes the dirt and debris so a fresh coat of sealant can be applied to the deck’s surface. The average cost to seal a deck that measures 300 sq.ft. averages $450.

Additional Considerations and Costs

Maintain your deck by pressure washing it annually to remove any stains, mold, or mildew. Pressure washing once a year helps your deck last longer while maintaining its appearance. Typically, pressure washing should be performed in the spring.

You can invest in a pressure washer and undertake the task yourself. However, great care should always be taken not to use too high of a water pressure setting or you could damage the deck’s surface. Also, always take great care when operating a pressure washer because you can bruise or lacerate your skin.

If you want to hire a pressure washer then you should always get at least three to five estimates to determine the average cost and find out who is offering the most for the money. Ideally, you should go with the estimate that provides an affordable average cost.

Insurance is added protection. Choosing a company that carries both commercial and general liability will help protect against potential damages that might occur to your deck as a result of pressure washing.

Always ask the pressure washing contractor that you want to hire for past references and search for reviews online to make sure that they provide quality work.

Some decks have electrical outlets so you should always talk with the contractor about any potential electrical needs. Always make sure the contractor is aware of where the outlets are throughout the home and around the deck. Electric power washers require an outdoor ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) socket to operate safely.

Some companies have gas pressure washers and others have electric pressure washers. You will want to find out if you might be responsible for the electricity used by the electric pressure washer. Some pressure washing contractors charge less to use electric pressure washers so the cost evens out with that of a gas pressure washer.

In some states, wastewater permits are required when you pressure wash a deck. The contractor should always acquire all necessary permits for your municipality before undertaking the pressure washing job.

In some states, an occupational license is required for all contractors who work using a pressure washer. Also, all EPA guidelines should be followed to avoid potential fines.

What You Need to Know Before Buying a Pressure Washer

pressure washer buying guide

Pressure washers have come a long way. Over the last ten years the quality has increased as prices have become more affordable. The cleaning ability of a pressure washer is great, removing dirt, grime, and algae quickly, efficiently and effectively. A pressure washer can greatly increase your ability to maintain and clean your property and equipment giving it greater value. If your time is valuable, a pressure washer could be a good investment, but if you get the wrong machine, you will be frustrated and you could waste a lot of time and money.

The goal of this buying guide is to help you understand what a pressure washer does and what you need to look for when deciding to purchase one. If you’re ready to start shopping, check out the pressure washers at kmstools.com. Or keep reading to learn more about the following:

  • How a Pressure Washer Works
  • Pressure Washer Pumps
  • Direct Drive or Belt Drive
  • Gas or Electric
  • Pressure Washer Accessories
  • Choosing the Right Pressure Washer

How a Pressure Washer Works

A pressure washer is actually a fairly simple piece of equipment. A motor or engine turns a pump, pushing water through an orifice (tip). The water accelerates as it goes through the small hole, much like a river flows faster in a narrow gorge, and that fast-moving water is very useful for blasting dirt and grime. The math is quite simple. Each time the pump turns over, a specific volume of water is pushed through the tip. The more water you push through the tip, the more pressure is developed, and therefore more power is required. The higher the pressure, the faster the water moves, and the harder it hits the dirt, removing it from the surface you want to clean.

What to Consider

The two most important considerations when buying a pressure washer are size, which determines how long it takes to do the job or how many jobs you can do in a day; and life expectancy, which determines how many hours of work you can do per dollar spent during the life of the machine.

Understanding Ratings

Here are some basic ratings:

Horse Power (HP)

This is how much power the engine or motor produces. This rating is important because it directly relates to how much pressure and volume the pump can produce.

Pounds Per Square Inch (PSI)

The pressure generated by a pressure washer is measured in pounds per square inch or PSI. Pressure contributes to the cleaning force.

Gallons Per Minute (GPM)

The water volume produced by a pressure washer is measured in gallons per minute or GPM. Volume also contributes to the cleaning force.

Cleaning Power Units (CPU)

Cleaning Power Units quantifies a pressure washer’s cleaning ability. To determine CPU, multiply GPM x PSI. The greater the CPU, the greater the ability the machine has for cleaning deeply and effectively.

Often consumers are so focused on the PSI rating of the machine, they do not consider the CPU. For example, a pressure washer may have a rating of 2,800 PSI and 2 GPM, giving it a CPU of 5,600. Another pressure washer is rated for 2,400 PSI and 4 GPM. That’s a CPU rating of 9,600. In this example the lower PSI machine has more than 40% greater cleaning power than the higher PSI machine. The result is that the 2,400 PSI machine will be able to clean an area 40% faster than the 2,800 PSI machine.

Now consider this: A garden hose typically provides 6 GPM at 10 PSI giving it 60 CPU. With a standard spray nozzle attached to the garden hose you can get around 5 GPM at about 40 PSI generating 200 CPU. We all have seen the difference of how much more effective a simple spray nozzle is at cleaning dirt off surfaces. Trying to clean your driveway with your garden hose spray nozzle generating 200 CPU is fairly ineffective. However, if we take a mid-range pressure washer rated at 2.0 GPM and 2,500 PSI (5,000 CPU), the CPU rating represents a staggering 25 times increase over a typical garden hose spray nozzle.

A commercial pressure washer rated at 4 GPM and 4,000 PSI is an incredible 16,000 CPU. It is not difficult to see the difference in efficiency. However, this is all true within a range. If you have extremely high pressure and low volume, you can cut steel or concrete (water jet cutter), and if you have extremely high volume and low pressure, you have a river. Neither of these would be very good for cleaning your house or driveway.

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pressure washer buying guide
Pressure washer pumps have pistons and valves similar to a gas engine or an air compressor. On some pumps the pistons are driven by a wobble plate. On others, the pistons are driven by a crankshaft. Crankshaft-driven pumps are generally built better and will last longer.

Pressure Washer Pumps

This is the part of the pressure washer that receives water from your hose, and pumps it through a tip at high pressure. There are several common types of pumps that you will see in commercial and home-owner type machines. All pressure washer pumps have pistons and valves similar to a gas engine or an air compressor. On some pumps the pistons are driven by a plate on an angle (wobble plate), and in other cases the pistons are driven by a crankshaft. Crankshaft driven pumps are generally built better and will last longer.

Pressure washer pumps are equipped with bypass valves, so that when you let go of the trigger, or when the tip gets plugged, the water will bypass and go back to the inlet side of the pump. If left in this mode for longer than the manufacturer recommends, the water will get hot and cause damage to the pump. On a gas-powered pressure washer, the pump includes a thermal relief valve that dumps hot water into the bypass loop. Most bypass valves are adjustable so you can dial down the pressure when cleaning sensitive materials

Low-cost pressure washers have pumps with very low life expectancies—some as low as 60 – 100 hours. When buying a pressure washer, make sure you find out the life expectancy of the pump. If the information is unavailable, stay clear because it is very likely that the manufacturer does not want you to know how low it is.

Another very important factor to consider is parts availability. KMS Tools was a warranty/service centre for some low end brands, however lack of parts availability and unreliability of these machines were such a problem that we decided to no longer provide this service.

Before buying your machine, ask where you can get parts if you need them. KMS is often referred to by other retailers as a source for parts and repairs for numerous brands that are pretty much disposable. If you are buying a new machine for $200.00 or less, expect it to be a disposable machine that might last you only one season, and be prepared to spend a lot of time to get the job done.

pressure washer buying guide

Direct Drive or Belt Drive

The drive describes how the motor is connected to the pump. Direct-drive systems are most common. The pump is bolted directly to the motor or engine with a shaft coupler. Compared to a belt-drive system, direct drive requires fewer parts and space, resulting in a more compact design. Direct drive is also considerably more economical than an equivalently rated belt-drive machine.

Belt-drive systems are typically seen on industrial platforms. The pump on a belt-drive unit turns at a much slower speed. The belt absorbs vibration that would wear out a unit faster. Since the pump turns at a lower speed all the pistons and valves in the pump are larger. All this adds up to a cooler running machine that will last considerably longer than an equivalent direct drive version. However, there is slightly more maintenance and considerably more dollars involved (10 – 30% more). If you are using your pressure washer on the job, then you want to consider buying a belt-drive machine. However, an equivalent direct-drive machine will have the same performance for a lot less money.

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pressure washer buying guide

Gas Engine or Electric Motor

On a pressure washer, the engine or motor powers the pump. The more powerful the engine or motor (rated in HP), the greater the PSI and GPM the pump produces. Gas engines are typically designed to last between 300 and 3,000 hours. The motors on electric pressure washers usually last longer than the pumps.

Electric Motors

Electric motors are very low maintenance and fairly quiet. There is also no exhaust so they can be operated indoors or in poorly ventilated areas. A typical electric pressure washer that is 115 Volt and 15 Amps will be fairly light duty because it is built for the low-price market. The motor is not strong enough to generate much pressure or volume. While electric pressure washers are compact and usually portable, most jobs take longer with a light-duty electric pressure washer.

HP is rated differently on electric motors compared to gas engines. A typical low-price electric pressure washer is rated around 1 to 1-1/2 HP and would be equivalent to a 3 HP gas pressure washer. (Electric motor HP has to be doubled to equal gas engine HP.)

Heavy-duty electric pressure washers are available for applications where power is available and portability isn’t a factor, and exhaust from a gas engine would be a problem.

Gas Engines

Gas pressure washers are larger and heavier and mounted on a cart with wheels. Some are better balanced and easier to maneuver. Gas engines can produce more power and are a lot more mobile as they do not need to be plugged in to an electric power source. Since gas engines can be more powerful, the pump can generate considerably more PSI and GPM so that they can clean faster and deeper than any 115 Volt rated electric pressure washer could. However they do take a little more maintenance and cost more to operate. They must be used in well-ventilated areas because of the emission of carbon-monoxide fumes.

pressure washer buying guide

Pressure Washer Accessories

Without accessories, your pressure washer is fairly useless. It would be like having a drill without any drill bits.

Pressure Washer Hoses

You probably want a 50 ft length hose. If you go shorter, you will have to keep moving your machine. Make sure you get a quality hose with the proper PSI rating to match your machine. A poor quality hose will break down faster, is more susceptible to leaks and kinks, and will usually be less flexible and harder to work with.

Pressure Washer Wands and Tips

The wand includes a handle with a trigger valve, and different lengths and angles of wands are available for different applications. You can change the spray pattern by changing the tip at the end of the wand. Most pressure washers come with a selection of tips—from a very narrow spray to generate higher force at the tip for deeper cleaning to a wider spray that has less force but covers more area. Most tip sets also include a low pressure tip for applying cleaning solutions.

In addition to tips, other, very useful attachments are available:

Dirt Blasters

A dirt blaster or rotary nozzle attaches to the end of your wand. It has a very narrow spray that spins in a circular motion very rapidly. Dirt blasters are effective because they can quickly clean hard surfaces very well and, when used properly, avoids the tiger striping effect on your driveway that happens with conventional spray tips.

Extension/Telescoping Wands

For cleaning out-of-reach areas, look for an extension wand that’s adjustable up to 24 feet in some cases. Extension and telescoping wands are beneficial if you need to reach up high. They can save you from trying to pressure wash while standing on a ladder.

Gutter Cleaners

A gutter cleaner is a simple hooked extension that affixes to the end of your wand. It lets you get into your gutters to clean them out.

Whirl-A-Ways

A Whirl-A-Way is an accessory that looks a little like a lawn mower and has two rotating nozzles inside. They are available in sizes from 12” to 24” and excel at cleaning large flat areas.

Hot Water Pressure Washers

Hot water pressure washers are commercial machines with built-in water heaters. The cleaning effect of the machines is considerably better than a cold water machine with comparable PSI and GPM because hot water simply cleans more effectively than cold water. Hot water pressure washers break down and remove dirt and grime faster than cold water pressure washers, and often eliminate the need for expensive chemicals. Do not feed hot water into a normal cold water pressure washer pump. The heat will damage seals and o-rings.

Detergents

Detergents can greatly increase the speed of cleaning and help remove tough stains. Most pressure washers come equipped with a venturi tube that will draw in the detergent from a bottle or pail and add it to the water stream. The detergent should be first applied with a low pressure spray, given some time to do its work to break down the dirt, and then washed off with a normal high pressure spray.

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Choosing the Right Pressure Washer

When it comes right down to it, you need to buy a pressure washer that fits your application. There are many different types of pressure washers—from very low-end machines to extremely powerful industrial machines. Before you buy a machine you need to sit down and ask yourself these questions:

  • “How will I use a pressure washer?”
  • “How often will I use a pressure washer?”

If you are a home owner, you will probably use a pressure washer less than 50 hours per year. In this case getting a machine rated for 500 hours will last you up to 10 years if properly maintained. However, if you are using it on the job, you will want something rated for 2,000 hours or more. If time is important to you, buy as big a pressure washer as you can justify. A 13 HP gas pressure washer will clean your driveway about 10 times faster than a small electric unit. It will also last longer because it doesn’t have to run nearly as long to do the job. Finally, plan in advance what attachments you will want in the future and make sure that the pressure washer you buy has enough power to support them.

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