Pressure washing wood deck? BAD IDEA? pressure treated.

I head conflicting advise on maintaining my deck. Some say you damage the deck by pressure washing it. Does pressure washing it remove the pressure treated chemical out of the wood? Also, If you do wash it is detergent required? Our deck is in good shape except in a few shaddy spots, it has mildew. I was going to pressure wash it then seal it. should I not pressure was the fence if I don't plan to seal the fence? Thanks.
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Are you working on your deck or fence? You seemed to have jumped the track there.
If you have pressure treated pine as you deck surface, don't power wash it unless it is filthy and you have one of the little pee-wee electric washers. They are more rinsers than washers, and they don't generally have enough pressure to hurt much.
If you have a bigger (more powerful) washer, you can ruin the surface of your deck easily. You can dig out the softwood between the hard grain, and what I have found with pine is that you will fray up the surface leaving it looking very ragged and much in need of a sanding. And if you have soft spots or loose knots the high pressuret will tear them up.
We use TSP (tri sodium phosphate - available at a cleaning supply store) and water with long handled scrub brushes. With heavy mildew, we pretreat with straight commercial strenght bleach, wetting the wood before application.
You can rinse with a high pressure nozzle on the end of a hose because you have hand scrubbed the surfaces, but sometimes for effect to impress clients we use out pressure washer. They like the noise and mess of the power washer and it makes them feel like the remaining surface is extra clean when finished.
Wait a few hot days, then seal.
As for your fence, wash off the horizontal surfaces with a hose to remove accumulated dust/dirt/debris and apply your sealer when dry.
Robert
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Sounds like the wood is still solid.Since the chemicals are in the wood it doesn't remove much.Just don't get to close with the pressure nozzle.

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I pressure wash (1300psi) my deck (pressure treated) every 2-3 years since it was built depending on how dirty it gets. No ill effects yet. I just use water and it gets everything off just fine. I've sealed it twice, once when new and once since then. It is due for another sealing but it can wait till next spring. My deck is 13+ years old and looks damn near new. Just don't get too close with the washer head.
I have found that washing chemicals can cause discoloration on vinyl siding, so bear that in mind. Otherwise I've found no problems power washing anything (deck, drive, walkways, siding, etc.).
Good luck. `Casper

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