How much does DECK CLEANING Cost
How Much Does Professional Deck Cleaning Cost?
As the season begins to change, you might be tempted to host a backyard BBQ or bonfire in your home. Your deck is the perfect place to entertain friends and family as it provides a private, outdoor space with fresh air. However, if you haven’t spent some time cleaning your deck this season, you might be a little embarrassed to invite guests over. Mold and unwanted pests can easily ruin a good party. Plus, poor deck maintenance can eventually lead to rotting boards, which can be extremely dangerous for your guests.
Luckily, hiring a professional to clean your deck might not be as expensive as you think. If you don’t have the time, equipment, or the energy to do it yourself, you might be wondering how much a professional service may cost.
Most homeowners can expect to pay around $2 per square foot for power washing, which usually falls between $90 and $770 total. On the other hand, the average pressure washing service costs around $150. Pricing, like with anything else, depends on a variety of different factors. Hiring a professional will ensure your deck is properly cleaned and can extend the life of your deck significantly.
However, you might be asking, what factors go into determining the final cost? And what’s the difference between power washing and pressure washing? Should you have your deck professionally cleaned or should you attempt to do it yourself to save some cash? Keep reading to find out the answers to all your questions and more.
Power Washing vs. Pressure Washing – What’s the Difference?
While the two terms sound interchangeable, you should be aware of the many differences between power washing and pressure washing. Both services will improve the overall appearance of your deck through pressurized water. However, only power washing involves heat. This gives it a slight advantage over pressure washing, but it can also raise a few red flags, depending on your home.
Pressure washing is great for a newer deck that isn’t too dirty yet or one that has been properly maintained for years. It can remove dirt, dust, and other debris, leaving your deck looking sparkly clean!
However, pressure washing isn’t always enough. Power washing, on the other hand, uses pressurized water at a higher temperature, making it a more powerful tool. Keep in mind, though, power washing is more likely to strip paint and splinter wood than pressure washing. Even still, both processes can do some damage to your home if you aren’t careful. If you cause any damage to your home during this process, it might not be covered by warranties or insurance. Furthermore, the heat from a power washer can be dangerous if used incorrectly. For this reason, is always recommended to hire a professional for power or pressure washing.
Factors Impacting the Final Cost
Now that you know the difference between power and pressure washing, you’re probably wondering what other factors go into determining the final cost of professional deck cleaning.
Deck Size is by far the biggest influence on deck cleaning costs. Obviously, if your deck is only 100 square foot, it will be much less time-consuming to clean than if your deck was 300 square foot. Therefore, the cost of deck cleaning will significantly change depending on how large or how small your deck is.
The material of a deck is another important factor for cost. Different deck materials will impact the steps needed to effectively and safely clean your deck. A good professional will always take material into account as it can influence what materials and labor are needed to complete the job. If the deck is softer, it will require more time and patience than a metal deck which wouldn’t be easily damaged. Likewise, if your deck is made from exotic hardwood, it can probably withstand more pressure, just like the metal deck. Of all the materials, composite seems to be the most expensive for deck cleaning. Pressure or power washing the composite surface won’t be enough to properly clean it; therefore, a professional company will have to hire additional labor to take the necessary extra time to lightly scrub the surface throughout the process. This inevitably will increase the cost of services.
A home’s geographic location is another major factor in determining prices. Just like with any other goods or services, the cost of living will have an impact on the price of deck cleaning services. If you like in California where the cost of living is higher, for example, you can assume the cost of having your deck cleaned will also be higher than if you lived in, let’s say, Pennsylvania.
Labor is always a concern for the cost of services as it is the most expensive aspect of running a business. If your deck is intricate with multiple nook and crannies, then you might expect a higher labor cost. On the other hand, if your deck is small with a simple layout, it won’t take as many resources to get the job done.
The time of year can also impact deck cleaning costs due to supply and demand. More homeowners are looking to have their decks serviced in the late spring and early summer months when they are preparing their outdoor spaces for parties and get-togethers. Conversely, less homeowners will be looking to clean their decks in the late fall or winter months as they won’t be using this space as much. So, you can expect to pay higher prices when demand is increased during the popular seasons. If you live in an area with nice weather all year long, then the cost of deck cleaning in your area might not fluctuate as much as it does in areas with long winters.
Benefits of Professional Deck Cleaning
You might be saying – why do I even care how my deck looks when it’s outside anyways? Won’t the rain just clean it off? How much am I actually gaining by having a professional come out to properly clean my deck?
- Increased Property Value
- When your deck is routinely cleaned, it enhances your home’s curb appeal by leaving your property looking clean and well-maintained. If your deck is covered with dirt, dust, and debris, it can make your home appear old and worn down, even if the inside is modern and new. That being said, a clean deck will significantly increase your home’s property value.
- Protection and Prevention
- Especially if you have a wooden deck, routine power or pressure washing will help prolong the life of the material. Wood is susceptible to damage from water, sunlight, and unwanted pests. By keeping your deck clean, you can easily spot areas that need to be repaired or replaced before it becomes a bigger problem. Also, you’ll need to power or pressure wash your deck before you reapply any deck stain or paint to further protect your wood from the elements.
- Eliminate Mold or Mildew
- Sometimes, it can be hard to tell if your deck is being overtaken by mold or mildew. You might notice some discoloration or a funky smell. If the damage is underneath the boards of your deck, you might not ever notice any signs. By cleaning the surface of your deck, you can easily remove any mold or mildew that’s starting to grow before it becomes a bigger issue. Rotting boards can eventually become unstable, making your deck unsafe to use. You don’t want to put yourself, your friends, or your family at risk.
- Preparing for Staining and Painting
- You should always power wash your wooden deck before applying a layer of paint or staining it. If you paint or stain over dirty wood, it can cause cracking in the paint, uneven application, or unprotected wood. Taking the extra time to clean the surface will make your investment more worthwhile and reduce the amount of reapplications you’ll have to do in the future.
Should I Have My Deck Professionally Cleaned?
While it is tempting to ignore your dirty deck, it can cause more problems than just being an eyesore. For example, mold and mildew can lead to extensive rotting which could require replacement boards for your deck or even a new deck entirely. Rather than facing the consequences, you should try to clean your deck at least once a year.
If you’re on a tight budget or simply enjoy DIY projects, you might be wondering if you need professional cleaning at all. The truth is – you probably don’t! We don’t typically recommend using a pressure or power washer yourself unless you have experience because the equipment can be costly and could harm your deck if you don’t know what you’re doing. However, you can always clean your deck by hand. It takes a lot more time and energy than hiring a professional, but it will save you some money and is still an effective way to maintain your deck.
However, there are a few instances in which you should definitely have your deck professionally cleaned. If you notice any signs of mold, it would benefit you and your deck to have pressurized cleaning to ensure all the mold is cleared sufficiently. If not, it could spread even further, making your deck unusable and cause illness. Also, when you plan on repainting or re-staining your wooden deck, you’ll definitely want to have it power washed. Otherwise, the stain or paint might not stick and you could be wasting your time and money. A clean surface is essential for an effective stain or paint job.
Ultimately, the choice to have your deck professionally cleaned has pros and cons. If you’re confident in your pressure or power washing skills already, it might behoove you to purchase your own equipment. These machines typically cost anywhere from $200-500, but they will last for years to come. Keep in mind, it is easy to damage the surface of your deck with professional equipment if you aren’t confident in your skills.
Regardless, you should stay on top of cleaning your deck to minimize the cost of maintenance and repairs. Whether you like to DIY and save money or prefer to hire professionals and save time, a clean deck makes for a happy and beautiful home. Plus, you can throw some awesome parties for your friends and family without worrying about the appearance of your space.