Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Why Pay? Pressure Wash & Seal Your Deck

If you’ve read my post about the Luxury of Ignorance, you’ll know that I am on a mission to stop paying other people to do what I can do myself.  One that might sound like a challenge is pressure washing and re-sealing the deck.  Sounds really time-consuming and maybe even a little dangerous.  Isn’t it better to pay the professionals?


Here’s what my deck looked like when we moved into our rental home:

It was pretty worn out and green with algae, but as renters, I didn’t want to put in a whole lot of time or money into fixing it up.  At the same time, I wanted to enjoy my deck this summer and that was going to be impossible with it looking like this.

About 5 years ago, my father gave me a Karcher Pressure Washer which has become a surprisingly invaluable tool in keeping things looking clean and new.  So, out came the pressure washer and out went my husband to clean up the mess.  If you’ve never used a pressure washer before, be prepared to be amazed at how quickly and efficiently it removes all of that “yuck” and leaves you with a beautiful result.

So much better!  Unfortunately, the job’s not quite finished yet.  If you leave the deck like this, unsealed, it will revert back to Picture 1 in no time.

Out to Walmart I go to pick up some Deck Sealant and a cheap brush.  It took me 4 hours to complete the sealing project (2 hours over 2 days) – not too bad….especially when you see the result:

Now I’m ready to enjoy by back yard oasis!

The Fake-It Yourself Breakdown:

DIY Pressure Wash & Re-Sealing Deck ($3 Brush, $30/2 Gallons Sealant, Pressure Washer on hand, but they run about $140.00)

Fake-It Yourself Cost: $32.00

Estimate from Professional Deck Cleaning Service ($200 Wash, $125 Sealing)

Total Fake-It Yourself Savings: $293.00


  1. This is so true and a neccessity to do for any homeowner during the warmer months of the year! We pressure wash our own stuff all the time. We also did a tinted sealer and the results were amazing! It's like you get a whole new deck!

  2. If you have a ReStore out let in you area, you save a bundle. They get part buckets of paint, left overs from Contractors and all manner of stuff from mirrors to light fixtures. They sell for a fraction of the new price.The money they make goes to Homes for Humanity.

  3. Love this post too!! and your blue house is the color I want to paint mine..... Have wanted to do this for ages but never did.. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Pressure washing the deck is a pain, but sealing is the hardest part - especially since my knees have gone bad! I now use a paint roller on a long handle and I can do this job standing - only pain now is in the BACK!

  5. You can also rent a pressure washer at Home Depot and still save compared to hiring someone!

  6. Love that last shot! There’s something about the way the sun’s hitting the smoothly stained floor that creates an invigorating effect. ‘Backyard oasis’ is really the right term, on that note. :) We’ve done the staining by ourselves too. If you follow every process, you are sure to achieve a professional finish. And be satisfied by the craft of your own doing. :) Have you re-stained, btw? -->Kylee

  7. Why pay, indeed. With a pressure washer in hand, a quick run to the hardware store, and patience, this job would be done without trouble. Your cleaning and sealing project is a success story that we can turn to, when we need proof that we can save up to $300 through DIY. Great job, Heather!

    German Zollinger

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  10. DIYs are, indeed, wonderful. You get to do something you'd be really proud of and save on cash as well. But in the instance that you can't handle the job, calling for the services of professionals will be the best move to take. But, I have to say, you did just fine in power washing your deck. Good job!
    Ricardo @ Gem Window Cleaning

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