deck refinishing

5 Benefits of Low Pressure Washing

A huge mistake that is common within pressure washing is that using a high pressure is the most beneficial to get the job done. Some homeowners will also try to pressure wash their home themselves. Without the proper idea of how pressure washing works when comparing high and low pressure washers, you can cause a lot of unwanted damage to your home. High pressure washers have the risk of removing siding and paint of the house. When thinking about pressure washing your home, it is always the better option to use low pressure washers, but what are the benefits of low pressure washing? The 5 benefits of low pressure washing include energy savings, more protection from mold, better appearance, higher property value, and protection from high pressure damage.
benefits of low pressure washing

Benefits of Low Pressure Washing

1. Lowered Risk of Damage

The single most important benefit of low pressure washing is lowering the risk of causing damage to your home. Professionals at Carlton Cleans will be able to pressure wash your home with no damage to the siding, paint, or anywhere on your home. Low pressure washers give you much less of a risk that high pressure washers give you when it comes to taking siding right off of your home.

2. More Protection From Mold

When your home is exposed to certain elements all year, you have the possibility of mold and mildew buildup in the house siding. One of the benefits low pressure washing is that it can get mold out of small places without causing any damage which in turn, will increase the lifespan of your home.

3. Appearance

The very simple fact is that when you choose to pressure wash your home with a low pressure washer you will clean off the exterior of your home with no damage with makes the appearance better. With a high pressure washer, you might clean the home but damage could affect the appearance of the exterior.

4. Energy Savings

It might not be drastic, but low pressure washers will save you money on your energy bills. When homes buildup mold and mildew, your home becomes perceptible to the darkened surfaces that attract more sunlight causing the surface to heat up.

5. Property Value

Similarly to what we talked about with your home having a more pleasing appearance, if your house has a better appearance then more people will be willing to buy your home which in turn, can mean an increase in property value.

Contact Carlton Cleans

If you want to experience the benefits of low pressure washing such as energy savings, or protection from mold, then contact us today, or give us a call at 301-906-4446 for a free quote and to talk about other home improvement services we offer.


DIY Deck Cleaning

In this article, we will address how to use the pressure washing equipment for diy deck cleaning. Before a proper deck restoration is completed a deck cleaning must be done first. Proper use of power washing machines is pivotal to achieve your desired results without damaging your deck. Before beginning, be sure to remove all grills, furniture, planters and other items from your deck. Any grease spills from your grill should be pre-treated with a solution of dish soap.

DIY Deck Cleaning

diy deck cleaning

Applying Deck Cleaning Cleansers

Before applying cleanser to the deck, rinse the deck with water. This will aid the cleanser in spreading easily once it is applied. Then, use the scrub brush to apply cleanser to the deck. Most of the work of cleaning the deck will be done by the cleanser, not the pressure washer itself. Many cleaning solutions should not be allowed to dry on the wood. In a DIY deck cleaning it is important to closely follow the manufacturer’s instructions and periodically mist if necessary. Typically the manufacturer will recommend a soaking time of 20 minutes to enable the cleanser to adhere to the embedded dirt.

Rinsing the Deck

After waiting the recommended time for the cleanser to soak, it is time to rinse the deck with your pressure washer. In a DIY deck cleaning, it is important to not let the cleanser soak too long, as this can cause damage to the wood. When first engaging the trigger of the pressure washer, point it away from the deck, people and other objects. If the sprayer is pointed directly at the deck when first engaged, scarring on the deck surface can result.

DIY Deck Cleaning Technique

Cleaning is typically started where the deck is adjacent to the house. Begin sweeping by starting from the edge, then sweep the sprayer out from the house and then back toward it, being careful to maintain a consistent distance between the nozzle tip and the deck to ensure an even result. A typical sweeping section might be about 3 feet wide. Once the first 3 foot section along the length of the house is completed, the next 3 foot strip can be begun.

A technique called “feathering” can be used to prevent lines from appearing between two sweeping sections. To do this, make sure the second sweep overlaps the first sweep, working with the grain or length of the board. An alternative to the sweeping technique is the long sweep, whereby you walk the entire length of a board, making sure to hold the nozzle at a consistent length from the surface. It will typically take a few sweeps to complete one board in this manner. After the whole deck has been washed, allow it to dry for 24 hours, and then re-inspect. Imperfections that were invisible when the deck is wet may appear, and it may be necessary to re-clean some areas.

Contact Carlton Cleans

Although a DIY deck cleaning can be done it is best to leave a project like this to the professionals with years of experience to avoid permanent damages to your deck in a DIY deck cleaning. Contact Carlton Cleans today to schedule your deck cleaning.

Deck Refinishing Process

restore a deck deck refinishing

Pressure Washing and Power Washing

As part of the deck refinishing process, Carlton Cleans recommends removing dirt, mold, algae, and fungus from your decks surface.  Pressure washing and power washing have been the primary method of cleaning decks for many years.  Over time, professionals that specialize in deck refinishing projects, have begun to add cleaning chemicals to the deck cleaning process. Adding chemicals to the cleaning process allowed for the use of low water pressure rinsing resulting in less overall wood fiber damage.

Deck Refinishing

At Carlton Cleans we changed the deck cleaning process by removing the use of the high power pressure washer.  Instead, Carlton Cleans uses hand scrubbing and a low-pressure chemical sprayer.  Although more time consuming than high power pressure washing, hand scrubbing is gentle on the wood and prevents unnecessary wood fiber damage.

Additionally, Carlton Cleans uses a lower ratio chemical agent than many other companies.  Our lower chemical ratio is better for the environment yet still effective because of the hand scrubbing process.

What to Expect During Our Deck Cleaning Process

Step 1: Application of cleaning agents

To prevent the cleaner from drying too fast, deck refinishing specialists generally wet the deck prior to the application of the cleaning agents. After a quick wetting of the surfaces, the cleaning chemicals are applied in an even layer.

Step 2: Dwell Time

After the cleaning chemical application, a short but crucial dwell time is needed.

Step 3: Rinse

Once cleaning chemicals have been applied and dwell time is complete your deck must be thoroughly rinsed.

Step 4: Balance pH

The deck cleaning process is then finalized by spraying the deck with a wood brightener to balance the pH for deck refinishing preparation. 

Step 5: Deck Staining

Once your deck has been thoroughly cleaned you will be ready for the next deck refinishing phase.

Contact Carlton Cleans Today

Consider a deck refinishing project to ensure your deck has the protection it needs to sustain everyday life and the outdoor elements. Contact us today for a free quote or to discuss our other home improvement services.

Cabot Australian Timber Oil

Cabot ATO is a fast drying oil that will flash easily including on soft woods. Flashing is when the stain dries creating a shining finish prior to all the stain penetrating into the deck. Always take clean rags and wipe the entire deck to remove non-penetrated stain after the deck is stained prior to finishing for the day. If the deck is large you may need to do this in stages.  Carlton Cleans prefers to use conditioning oil stains like Armstrong Clark which will not flash and will penetrate completely into the deck even if it takes a few hrs.  On hard wood decks Cabot is a fine choice  but stills need to be ragged the same day as application. If Armstrong Clark is used on hard wood decks come back the next morning and rag the excess stain. Call Carlton Cleans for quality deck refinishing at 301-904-4446.

Power Washing Service and Deck Sealing

Power Washing Service and Deck Sealing

Caring for your brand new deck.

Should I use a power washing service? Having your deck properly cleaned and sealed is essential to its longevity. Cleaning and deck sealing should not be a one time thing; it needs to be done every couple of years. Most professional power washing service and deck cleaning companies will offer a deck maintenance program so that your wood deck looks good all the time and lasts for years to come. In this article we will answer some common questions home owners have pertaining to deck maintenance.

Deck Sealing

power washing service deck sealing

How soon can I have my new deck cleaned and deck sealing completed? Many people have heard that you should let your deck “dry out” for a year prior to having a power washing service clean and seal it. This is a myth. Truth be told, most of the damage is done to your deck in the first 6 months or so.

After 12 months the wood can be split and cracked from water damage and will have turned gray from the suns damaging UV rays. At this point it isn’t too late to have a power washing service clean and protect it. With a brand new deck sealing is better sooner than later. A professional deck restoration company can take moisture readings in the wood. They can let you know for sure when your deck is ready to be sealed. Usually within 1-3 days, depending on the climate and location of the deck, it will be ready for a proper cleaning and deck sealing.

Power Washing Service for an Old Deck

deck sealing power washing service

Is it possible to restore a deck that has aged? Depending on the situation an older deck can be brought back to life. As long as the boards aren’t too warped or rotted. Getting rid of all the gray dead wood fibers is not a problem. Some sanding and a power washing service clean may be necessary before it is sealed. Your deck contractor may offer a power washing service and deck restoration service.

Even if there is some structural damage a deck contractor could probably do some repairs for you before cleaning and applying deck sealing. A quality deck cleaning services and power washing service contractor should be able to make an assessment of your deck before attempting to restore it. That way you know what to expect.

DIY Deck Sealing

Can I clean and apply deck sealing on my own deck? It is possible for a do-it-yourselfer to restore their own deck. I recommend they have some knowledge of the chemicals used and experience in using a pressure washing unit and to hire a professional power washing service. Wood is very soft and when hit with too much water pressure it can easily be marked and scarred. Some people don’t realize the skill and knowledge that is required in restoring a deck properly.

Hire a Professional Deck Sealing and Power Washing Service

I don’t recommend letting anyone lacking the experience to touch your wooden deck. When a wooden deck is cleaned and sealed improperly it will only cost you more money to have it fixed and done right the next time.

Deck Sealing Without a Proper Deck Cleaning?

Can I just seal my deck without washing it? The answer to this question is NO!. Not if you want the sealer to penetrate properly and last. The number one reason a sealer fails is because the wood was not prepared properly. Even a very expensive sealer is not going to do its job unless the wood has been prepped correctly. That is why it is recommended to hire a power washing service in preparation for deck sealing. Special chemicals need to be used to remove dead fibers, dirt, mildew and other pollutants and it all has to be cleaned using low water pressure washing so the wood isn’t damaged. In some cases a deck sealer stripper is used to remove an old failing sealer, it is important to remove all traces of old sealers so the new sealer can adhere to the wood.

Compatible Deck Sealing

Most sealers will not adhere to each other and some sealers won’t even adhere to itself after a certain amount of time. Contractors using the proper stripping technique will depend heavily on their chemicals to do the work so the right amount of low pressure can be used.

Deck Cleaning and Stripping Process

After the cleaning or stripping process a neutralizing step is then needed. The reason for this is because the cleaner or stripper used is considered a caustic and will leave the wood with a high PH level. Deck sealing does not adhere well or properly in this situation. A neutralizer is sprayed on the wood to lower the PH and leave the wood more acidic so the deck sealing will protect. Done right, the deck sealing will last a couple years like expected.

Carlton Cleans

power washing service

Deck restoration and property maintenance is a wonderful service when done right. It saves you money by protecting your added living space. Understand that not all power washing service and patio cleaning companies have the proper knowledge. Just like any industry there are the unethical companies out there just trying to make a buck. So, be sure to ask the contractor what his methods and techniques are so you can get the deck sealing and power washing service you expect.

Please complete our online form to request an estimate or schedule an appointment.

Alternatively you may call Carlton directly at 301-906-4446.

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