First a little background on our decks. I built stage one about 6 years ago. I constructed this one totally of pressure treated lumber. It is about 10×12, and I subsequently roofed it and screened it in to make a nice back porch which is entered from the dining room thru outswing French doors. About 2 years after building this deck, I built stage two deck. This deck is attached to the original deck and is @ 16×16 and also is constructed of pressure treated lumber. About 2 years after that, we decided it would be nice to have a Spa/Hot tub. This resulted in building another deck, sited on the other side of the house in a more sheltered location. Since this deck was to support a hot tub weighing up to 6000 lbs (weight of hot tub, 500 gallons of water and up to 6 people), I had to design this deck to support this load. (I always try to err on the side of caution – so this deck is substantially more than adequate). The main under structure of this deck is pressure treated lumber, with decking and trim being cedar.
PREPPING FOR STAINING:
I got good results with Olympic Olympic Premium Deck Cleaner(cost about $7 at Lowes). You use this stuff full strength in a pressure sprayer. I found it did a very good job. After you let it sit for about 10 minutes, you hose it off. After hosing it off, I went over it with my new pressure washer. This was sufficient for the enclosed porch, and hot tub deck, but I found I needed to give the 16×16 deck a second cleaning. This was due to fact that large part of it is under a large tree and it had a fair amount of moss/algae(?) on it. Second cleaning did the job here. Again rinsed and pressure washed. The decks are now ready for staining (which I am hoping t0 do this weekend, weather permitting). I will detail this operation when completed.
My only experience is with the electric powered pressure washers. I originally purchased a Karcher brand electric pressure washer (yellow color). It was a piece of junk . After one season, the plastic elbow failed at the glue joint. I called Karcher and was told I would have to buy a new part since it wasn’t “defective”. However, when I called the supplier for Karcher parts, the parts people knew immediately what part it was, because it was such a common problem. Why buy another junk part for a junk pressure washer, and have to pay for it along with shipping and handling every few months. My solution – trash can for this worthless piece of s..t. I have noticed a huge availability of “factory refurbished” Karcher units. Something is only as strong as its weakest part – and this pressure washer definitely had a “guaranteed to fail” part. But now I wanted another pressure washer. My first inclination was to get a heavy duty gas powered model. The gas units cost more, are more cumbersome to operate (larger, bulkier, gas storage, starting, etc). These factors outweighed the versatility/power advantage that the gas models offered. So, I was at Home Depot and almost purchased one of these models, when I happened to notice the Husky electric model. It looked similar to the Karcher one but upon close observation, I noted that the fittings were brass, it had quick connect/disconnect brass fittings, had more power (psi). It felt much more solid. So I ended up getting it (I think for about $169). I have had no problems with it and am very happy with its performance. I might mention that we only occasionally need a pressure washer – like for deck cleaning, etc., and this one is easy to use and does a great job for our use. Easy to store, set-up, etc., and I don’t have to deal with gas, oil, spark plugs, tune-ups, pull cords, etc. Now if I was using one daily on a commercial/professional basis (heavy duty usage), I would opt for the more powerful gas units.