Tips for Pressure Washing a Fence

Tips for Pressure Washing a Fence

Fences can look dirty and run down if they aren’t taken care of properly. Years of dirt and grime can take its toll. A good pressure washing is a must if you want your fence to last. Here are some tips to keep in mind when it’s cleaning time.

Prepare for Cleaning

In order to wash a fence correctly, it must be properly prepared. Remove any loose debris by the fence. Make sure your workspace is clear as well so you don’t slip or fall. Cover plants, electrical outlets, deck furniture, and other nearby objects with a tarp. Close doors and windows to keep water out of the house. Read your pressure washer owner’s manual to determine how to use it safely and correctly. 

Apply Your Cleaner

Now it’s time to apply a cleaner to your fence. However, before you get started, spray the soil and plants near the fence with a garden hose. The water will act as a protective barrier. Apply the cleaner from the bottom up and do one section at a time. Detergent dries quickly and will harden if it sits too long. Use a rotating scrub brush for stubborn stains. 

Wash It Away

Let the detergent soak in for 5-10 minutes. Rinse it off with your pressure washer using a 25-degree nozzle. Do one or two boards at a time. To prevent streaking, use a top-down approach to rinse off the detergent.

If you plan to apply stain, sealer, or paint, wait 48 hours. Your fence needs time to dry. 

Some Tips for Success

If you have a wood fence, use a detergent designed for wood. Spray it on with a 65-degree nozzle attachment. This is best for applying detergent across a wide area.

Stand about two feet away from the fence or you will risk damaging it. 

Use only cool, room-temperature water for pressure washing. 

Tackle very dirty areas with a wire brush before you do any pressure washing. It will remove debris stuck on the fence.

Cover plants with a plastic sheet to protect them from damage. 

Choose the right PSI level. PSI stands for pounds per square inch. Generally, a PSI between 500 to 800 is recommended for a fence made of softer woods. A PSI between 1200 to 1500 can be used on harder woods.

Safety Tips

When used incorrectly, a pressure washer may cause injuries. The force of the water can bruise and cut through human flesh. If the laceration is deep and exposed to bacteria, you run the risk of an infection. Make sure you wear protective clothing and eye gear at all times. Read the instructions and learn to use a pressure washer correctly.

Types of Pressure Washers

Gas pressure washers work well on wood fences. They are lightweight and easy to transport. They also don’t require an outlet or extension cable. Electric pressure washers are good for smaller projects that require low pressure. Washing the car is a good example. They do need an electrical outlet. 

Why Hire a Professional

There are times when it’s best to hire a professional for a pressure washing job. This is especially true if you are unfamiliar with using a pressure washer or don’t want to do all the prep work. There are also safety considerations to keep in mind and the potential for injuries. If you have any doubts, contact a pro.

Turn to Us for Your Power Washing Needs

If you are ready to spruce up your outdoor space, the professionals at Peak Power Wash can help. Let us deep clean your home exterior, deck, sidewalk, or driveway. We use a technique called “soft wash”, which uses a much lower amount of pressure and reduces potential harm to surfaces. Contact us at 443-686-WASH or visit our website to request a free estimate.



Our home power washing and home pressure washing service area includes, but is not limited to: Westminster, Finksburg, Hampstead, Sykesville, Eldersburg, Manchester, New Windsor, Mt Airy, Taneytown, and Woodbine in Carroll County. Ellicott City, Clarksville, Columbia, and Elkridge in Howard County. Reisterstown and Upperco in Baltimore County. New Market, Walkersville, Thurmont, Emmittsburg in Frederick County. Hagerstown, Boonsboro, Smithsburg in Washington County. Other areas include Spring Grove, Gettysburg, Littlestown, Waynesboro, Chambersburg, and Hanover Pennsylvania.