How to Prevent Pressure Washer Wood Damage

Power pressure washers are great for outdoor cleaning, but if not used properly they can damage wood and other surfaces.

To prevent pressure washer damage:

  • Use a pressure washer rated at 3,000 PSI or less.
  • Choose a wide angle spray tip (40 degrees).
  • Keep wand tip a consistent 12” – 16” from the surface.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Danny Lipford: Brad wrote in, “I’ve heard that using a pressure washer to clean wood surfaces could actually cause damage. Is this true?

Whether you’re pressure washing your wood siding, your wood deck, or maybe your wood fencing in your backyard; you need to be very careful when you’re cleaning it using a pressure washer. But it can be a successful clean-up project without any damage at all with just a few guidelines.

First of all, make sure you’re not using too strong of a pressure washer. One that’s 3,000 PSI or less—pounds per square inch—is plenty powerful enough for any kind of wood cleaning project.

Now, the next thing you want to do is when you’re choosing the tips for the end of your wand, choose one that has a very wide spray pattern, about 40 degrees will work perfectly.

Another thing that’s very important to prevent any damage on any wood surface is to keep a consistent distance away from the surface when you’re using the wand—12 to 16 inches should be ideal.

And then if you do all of these things you can get things cleaned so quick without any damage at all.


  1. Hello and I hope that my question will be answered as I am in desperate need of an answer. My fiancé and I purchased our first home in 2005. It is made of cedar siding and he cleaned and sealed it shortly after we moved in. It looked BEAUTIFUL! Unfortunately, he passed away in 2010 and my house is in dire need of cleaning and being sealed again. I cannot find anyone local that knows how to clean and treat cedar. Any help or suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated.

    Thank you sincerely,
    Charlotte Davis


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