Are your deck and patio ready for summer?

Published on Wed, May 28, 2014
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Whether you use your deck or patio for entertaining or for solitude, you’ll want it clean, comfortable and safe this season. Take time to spruce it up now and then.

Periodically dust off your outdoor furniture and wipe down cushions that have been in storage all winter. Inspect flower pots, 
bird feeders and other outdoor décor to ensure they withstood the cooler months. Replace anything that is damaged.

Before setting furniture and décor back, give the surface below a good clean. Whether you’re dealing with cement, brick or wood, the quickest and most thorough way to deep clean and restore surfaces to a like-new condition is with a pressure washer. Knowing how to use one properly is important for a quality job and for your safety.

Usage Tips

Different surfaces require different cleaning techniques. Ensure you are following the instructions for the surface you are cleaning.

Always read and follow the operator’s manual and all operating instructions.

High-pressure spray can cut through skin, so never spray people or animals. Wear closed-toed shoes and goggles while pressure washing.

Assume a solid stance and firmly grasp the spray gun with both hands to avoid injury if the gun kicks back before squeezing the spray gun trigger.

Never spray near power lines, service feeds, electrical meters, wiring or windows.

Check the engine oil level each time you use a pressure washer. When changing or adding oil, don’t overfill the engine crankcase. Doing so can cause smoking, hard starting, spark plug fouling and oil saturation of the air filter.

Buying Tips

Buying a pressure washer for the first time or replacing an old one? Here are some guidelines:

Pressure washers are categorized in groups based upon frequency of use and the types of products and surfaces they are best suited for cleaning.

Selecting the right pressure washer for your needs depends on what you’re going to clean, how often you plan to do so, and how much time you want to spend. Ask yourself these questions before making a purchase.

Look for a versatile pressure washer that can be used for a variety of tasks. For example, some pressure washers have both a high pressure and a high flow mode for different cleaning chores. Deep clean your patio and driveway in high pressure mode or clean more delicate surfaces and rinse away debris in high flow mode.

Consider going green with a model having reduced environmental impact. If you have an older pressure washer, a newer model could offer lower emissions and better fuel efficiency.

Learn more about pressure washers before making an investment. For a buying guide and instructional videos, visit

With a deep clean, you can make your home’s outdoor spaces a friendly place to relax and have fun. (StatePoint Media)