By Gene and Katie Hamilton
You might be surprised how much dirt and mildew can accumulate on a deck so you should get in the habit of cleaning it routinely to preserve the quality and life of the deck. To clean a deck, you can either pay a cleaning service or rent or buy a pressure washer and do it yourself.
You'll pay a handyman or cleaning service $232 to clean a 15-foot-by-20-foot (approximately 300 square feet) one-level deck. You can buy an electric pressure washer with a pressure range of 1500-2000 PSI (pounds per square inch) for about $130 and do the job. No matter who does the work, you should take the time to inspect the deck looking for loose fasteners and split or damaged boards, and repair them. For added protection, apply a water sealer, which runs about $60 extra for two gallons and is best applied with a paint/stain pad on an extension pole.
The payback on the investment in the washer isn't immediate, but if you're looking for a good excuse to buy one, this is it. We use ours to clean the deck, the siding, the shed and picnic table and even our boat, and it's been on loan for countless other uses.
Here's a link from Tips Bulletin about how to make your own deck cleaners
4 Amazing Homemade Deck Cleaner Recipes.
Be careful cleaning deck boards tha are old and splintered because a misguided powerful blast of water can create new damage that needs to be repaired.
Not sure you want to do the job? Click
Home Advisor, a free referral service that connects homeowners with prescreened local contractors, and type "power wash services" in their Find Pro search box.
Watch Consumer Reports' video How to Clean a Deck with a Pressure Washer.
Wrapping up, given the average cost to pressure wash a deck you can compare the price of a contractor’s bid with doing it yourself. For a local cost input your ZIP Code.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2020