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Pressure Washing did THAT?

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  • Pressure Washing did THAT?

    I have had a 3100 PSI pressure washer for about 7 or 8 years and used it on occasion, not enough yet to justify its $300 cost back then. Anyway I have used it to clean outdoor things, the house siding that does not get sun, a car wash a couple of times and of course my motorized lawn and garden things.

    When we were in Japan, about a year before we came home, LOML found a Adirondack chair that was in a "kit" and wanted it. We got it - it was basically some kind of fir or cypress. I have always accepted that fact that outdoor wood, not painted would age to "wood grey", and that one did. (We bought it back with us of course).

    LOML asked me to pressure wash the chairs and porch swing on our back porch to get years of dust out, and I decided to wash the grey wood adirondack and WOW, it cleaned like it was more or less grey from dirt than aging wood. It brought back the natural wood look of its original color. I didn't know that pressure washing would do that to old wood. Maybe it was taking a layer of wood cells off.

    For you experienced guys, which was it? Cleaning out the dirt, or stripping of outer grey cells off?
    Hank Lee

    Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

  • #2
    Lots of people use pressure washers to age cypress. It will wash away the soft fibers and leave the wavy aged look. I sometimes use my pressure washer to wash my boat. As good as of a cleaner as it is, it still will not remove a mud ring on a white boat, I still have to scrub a bit to break the adhesion.
    capncarl

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    • #3
      I have an older Husky brand (Home Depot), 1750 psi pressure washer that I used on my old deck (built in the early 90's IIRC. Does a great job for most things and like you said, it stripped the deck wood back to it's original unfinished color. Great job of cleaning off all the aging (gray and green); BUT, it also feathered the wood, leaving a lot of areas that I had to sand.

      CWS
      Think it Through Before You Do!

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      • #4
        Depending on how much pressure you use and haw small a pattern tip you can peel off a layer of old wood and expose new underneath. As Capncarl says, it will have a rough grained effect as the annual ringed wood is harder than the stuff in between or vice versa, I can't remember
        Loring in Katy, TX USA
        If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
        BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

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        • #5
          Thanks guys, that was a new revelation to me. I know about pressure washing painted decks and even the house, but I was totally surprised that the original wood grain color came out, albeit "feathered".

          Edit in: I just went to sit in it! IT NEEDS SANDING NOW!
          Last edited by leehljp; 05-18-2019, 04:40 PM.
          Hank Lee

          Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

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          • #6
            I have had a DeWalt 3,100 psi washer for quite a few years now. I used to use it primarily to clean our wooden deck. Had to be careful not to abrade the soft grain, but it always brightened the wood. One time, someone went down our street and painted house numbers on the curbs. Nice idea,, but the paint used was really cheap and it began to peel and look stupid after 6 months. I put the zero degree tip in the wand and proceeded to remove the paint from the concrete curb. When I was done, I realized I had removed not only the paint, but a good 1/8” inch of the concrete.
            Jim Frye
            The Nut in the Cellar.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Jim Frye View Post
              I have had a DeWalt 3,100 psi washer for quite a few years now. I used to use it primarily to clean our wooden deck. Had to be careful not to abrade the soft grain, but it always brightened the wood. One time, someone went down our street and painted house numbers on the curbs. Nice idea,, but the paint used was really cheap and it began to peel and look stupid after 6 months. I put the zero degree tip in the wand and proceeded to remove the paint from the concrete curb. When I was done, I realized I had removed not only the paint, but a good 1/8” inch of the concrete.
              Jim,
              Last spring, the north side of our brick church was covered with blackened moss about waist to shoulder height. I told the church that I would remove it with my washer. I had to experiment with which tip to use but ended up using next to largest opening. The largest opening tip is for spraying detergent or additives and it does not do much cleaning from pressure. The one that was most effective also cleaned the mortar out from between the bricks instantly (and blew it back onto my arms and face), so I had to back down to the second largest hole and take more time - to prevent the tearing out of the mortar! Pressure washers will eat the mortar between bricks FAST!
              Hank Lee

              Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

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              • #8
                Extra care should be used in pressure washing boats. I had my houseboat hauled and set on boat stands so I could wash the hull while the outdrives were being serviced. My cheapie box store 2500 psi pressure washer wouldn’t even remove the mud ring so I rented and industrial pressure washer. I promptly blew a hole in my fiberglass hull you couldn’t cover with 3 fingers. Obviously I had hit a void in the fiberglass and it didn’t like 4500 psi @ 4 bpm. When they rate a pressure washer psi there is also a gallons per minute rate, that means a lot. High pressure with low volume is not good for much cleaning but medium to high pressure with lots of volume does much more cleaning. I’ve also seen several friends ruin a failing paint job on their truck with a pressure washer.

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                • #9
                  Blisters are commonly found during a pressure wash to renew bottom paint. My friend had to have almost a dozen repaired on one haul-out. Blisters can happen for a lot of reasons, and pressure washing will expose them. Which is actually good, they build up water and start to spread if you don't repair them. I've seen them grow to well over a foot around, which is disastrous.

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                  • #10
                    Cleaning yard furniture and decks with a pressure washer using the low pressure “fan” tip works well when you first wet the furniture, then soap it well to allow the dirt and dust to soften up. Without the pre wetting and soap you have to use too much pressure and gouge the wood and knock paint off furniture. I think pressure washers work much better than the garden hose with the soap despenser on the end.

                    Carlos..... that hole I knocked in my hull hurt my feelings! I had spent 3 years on the boat overhaul. All of the gel coat had been sanded off and all blisters ground out and replaced with epoxy, then 2 coats of industrial 2 part polyurethane applied for the finish. It looked good. The pressure washer just found a void and blew it up.

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