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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Driveways, Pools & Outdoor Living > Cleaning a Deck

Cleaning a Deck Cost


How Much Does Cleaning a Deck Cost?

 
average costDo-It-Yourself: $10-$200+high costProfessional Cleaning: $80-$480 for 16'x20'
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Over time leaves, mold, dirt, mildew and other substances can build up and make a deck ugly and slippery. Both wood and composite decks need to be cleaned periodically; this can be done each spring, or several times a year (depending on the amount and rapidity of the build-up). In some instances, a distressed deck that appeared to need sealing or staining, simply needed cleaning.

Typical costs:

  • Having a handyman, other casual labor, a power-washing business or a deck company clean a deck can cost $0.25-$1.50 or more a square foot, or about $80-$480 for a 16'x20' deck, depending on how many levels, steps and other features there are; many companies also have a minimum cleaning charge of $100-$250 or more.
  • For example, for a light cleaning, Roof Restore Outdoor ProWash[1] in Nashville, TN charges $0.25 per square foot for decking, lattice and underpinning; $2.5 per linear foot of railing; and $2.50 per stair, with a $150 minimum trip charge. www.precisionpressurewash.com/raleighdeckstain.html>Precision Pressure Wash in Raleigh, NC charges 50 cents a square foot for deck cleaning, including all rails, pickets, sideboards and supports, and estimates that an average deck of 12'x20' (240 square feet) costs $125. Atlantic Power Washing[2] in Fredricksburg, VA charges $0.80 a square foot for a ground-level deck, $1 a square foot for a second level, $55 for stairs and $70 for stairs with a landing, with a $100 minimum.
  • Cleaning is often done in conjunction with sealing or staining the deck. Hiring someone to clean and seal a deck can cost $1-$5 a square foot ($320-$1,600 for 16'x20'. Having someone clean and stain a deck typically costs $0.50-$7 or more a square foot ($160-$2,240 for 16'x20').
  • Do-it-yourself deck-cleaning supplies and equipment can cost $10-$200 or more. The cleaner typically costs $10-$30; renting a power washer can cost $40-$75 a day; and buying a basic residential power washer can cost $70-$200 or more, depending on size and capacity, and whether it is gas or electric. (Note that incorrect use of a power washer can damage wood or composite decking.)
What should be included:
  • Although some homeowners and pressure washing companies use a pressure washer to clean a deck, other experts recommend using brushes and a hand-washer or hose, because high-pressure water can seriously damage wood and composite decking materials. If a pressure washer is used, it is important that it is done with low pressure, the correct tip on the washer and spraying in the direction of the grain of the wood. AskMeDIY.com provides video demonstrations for washing a deck with a hand sprayer for the cleaner and rinsing with a power washer[3] and without a power washer[4] .
  • Procedures vary, but typically any furniture, a grill and other items are removed from the deck (some deck companies include this step in their pricing; others ask the homeowner to clear the area); if plants are nearby, they should be covered with plastic sheeting (typically done by the deck-cleaning company). All loose dirt and leaves should be swept up or washed away, and a slender tool used to remove debris trapped between the boards. The deck is wet down, and a cleaning solution designed to kill mold, bacteria or algae is applied (usually using a brush, hand sprayer or power washer); the cleaner is allowed to sit for a short period of time (typically 10-15 minutes, depending on the product) and then the deck is rinsed. This Old House explains how to give a deck an annual cleaning[5] .
Shopping for cleaning a deck:
  • A deck can be cleaned by a handyman, other casual labor, a pressure-washing company or a business specializing in maintaining decks. Ask for and check references from satisfied customers; look for complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau[6] ; and confirm that they are properly insured and licensed by the state[7] .
  • Ask for a detailed explanation of the cleaning process and whether the chemicals used are environmentally-friendly.
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External Resources:
  1.  outdoorwash.com/deckfence-cleaning-sealing-and-maintenance/deck-repair-cleaning-strippi...
  2.  www.atlanticpowerwashing.com/pricing2.htm
  3.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvZjcum0Auw
  4.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2wVJHht_Ms
  5.  www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,213692,00.html
  6.  www.bbb.org/us/Find-Business-Reviews/
  7.  www.contractors-license.org/
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