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Power washing your fence can be straightforward and easy if you have the right tools to work with. If you're looking for the right pressure washer to use, you can get an electric model that cranks out 1,000-1,500 PSI of water if you have easy access to an electrical source. If mobility is an issue and you plan on using your pressure washer primarily for fence cleaning and other outdoor tasks, consider a gas powered model in the 2,000-2,400 PSI range. Remember, you can use these same models for additional household tasks like cleaning your driveway, the siding on your house, and gutters.
After following the steps for preparation of the job. Water pressure between 500 to 800 psi should be sufficient for pressure washing your fence.
1. Hold the tip of the sprayer about 3-4 feet away from the fence.
2. At this distance, you should be creating a fan shaped spray that is about two or three feet wide. This should be enough force to quickly clean your fence.
3. If the fence is very dirty the grime is not coming off, gradually bring the spray a little closer, watching that it does not cause damage to the wood.
4. Work the pressure washer in arcs over the surface of the fence.
5. Don't let the cleaning solution sit for more than 10 to 15 minutes or it will dry and leave residue.
6. Rinse with plenty of fresh water.
So you're getting ready to wash your fence. It's important that you set your nozzle to the right setting before pressure washing your fence. You should use a 40" spray pattern for optimal results. For a pressure washer dishing out less than 2,000 PSI, keep your nozzle about a foot away from the deck. At 2,000-3,000 PSI, your nozzle can be one to two feet away. At 3,000 PSI, you nozzle can be up to three feet away.
The best friend to wash your fence will be your pressure washer combined with a wide-angle tip of 25 to 40 degrees creates a wider spray to protect the wood from damage.
**Do not use a hot water pressure washer on your fence.**
Good quality cold-water power washing equipment that reaches pressures between 500 and 800 psi is all you need to do the job properly.
* Test the power washer away from the fence first, to get used to the feel in your hand.
* Practice sweeping an arc with the spray, ending each stroke up and away from the surface. With this motion you will avoid leaving marks on the fence were the cleaning stroke starts.
* Test the pressure washer on a small section of the fence to make sure that the pressure is adjusted correctly and the spray will not cause any damage to wood.
Choosing the right power washing chemicals will be critical to obtaining good results when you clean your fence. Many experts will recommend an acid based cleaner because they are less dangerous for the average do-it-yourselfer to handle. The disadvantage is that acid based cleaners are less effective.
There are, however, commercial cleaners such as Biocleanse that are biodegradable and consumer friendly. It comes in two parts that you combine before applying. These cleaners are gentle on the wood but results in a great looking fence. Never let the cleaning solution sit on the wood for more than 15 minutes or it will start to dry and leave a residue. Always rinse with plenty of fresh water.
You can make pressure washing your fence even easier by adding an attachment to your unit. For areas that have caked on dirt, try adding a rotating scrub brush to cut through messy areas. This attachment will remove excess dirt gently by its spinning action and won't damage the finish on your fencing.
The elements are waging war on your wood fence constantly. The sun weakens the wood fibers and rain makes the wood swell excessively. Temperature variations are contracting and expanding the fence every day. You know there is trouble is you see a graying surface, warping and cracking or loose nails and screws. In time, the wood will eventually crack when the inside of the wood becomes porous and brittle.
Cleaning your fence regularly eliminates grime, mildew and mold and opens the pores of the wood so that your sealer will bond properly. Power washing your fence will extend its life and save you money in the long term.
You're getting ready to finish pressure washing your fence. You've already sprayed on the detergent and left it on for five to 10 minutes. Now what? Set your nozzle power to high and you test an area first before you start spraying down the whole fence. Pick an inconspicuous area and adjust the water pressure as needed. If you're working with a wood fence, pick one to two boards at a time and spray following the wood grain. Then move on to the next section and continue in the same manner until you're done.
Pressure washing your fence, whether it's chain link or wood can work wonders. To get that sparkling shine back in your metal fencing, start with a narrow spray pattern, about a foot and a half wide. Maintain a steady motion and distance to keep a consistent appearance in your cleaned fencing. Before you know it, your fence will be gleaming, once again.
The dirt and soil has built up and now it's time to pressure wash your fence again. The best way to do it is do it right. When you're preparing to spray your fence with detergent, set your nozzle on low. Then spray your fence from the bottom and then work your way up to the top. Work section by section until you've covered a good area and you're ready to use the pressure washer to rinse. Remember to always leave your detergent on for five to ten minutes and rewet as necessary until you're prepared to rinse.
There are a few basic power washer safety tips to follow around pressure washing equipment. Remember that it is a power tool and as such it should be safely away from the reach of children. Wear eye protection and appropriate clothing and never point the power washer nozzle at another person or yourself.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|