Pressure Cleaning Fence

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Old 04-02-08, 07:18 AM
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Pressure Cleaning Fence

I have a cedar fence that is stained white. It is about 9 years old and looks dirty and has what is probably mildew stains. I had pressure washed a part of it to see what it would do. It definitely looked better but I wasn't sure if I really should be doing that to a cedar fence. Is this safe to do?
 
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Old 04-02-08, 07:22 AM
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There shouldn't be any problems using a pressure washer on the fence providing you don't use too much pressure and chew up the wood.

I'd wet the wood and then take a pump up garden sprayer and spray the fence with a bleach/water solution, let it set and work for a few minutes and then rinse it with the pressure washer.
 
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Old 04-02-08, 08:45 AM
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Hmm...just thinking maybe an oxalic acid solution would be better for the cleaning solution? Basically the same stuff sold as a 'deck brightener/cleaner'.

And if you use the pressure washer...I tee-totally agree with Mark, keep the tip well back from the wood and keep the wand moving!
 
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Old 04-02-08, 11:46 AM
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I saw a guy do it to his wood fence and using just water, he got it down to "new" finish. I don't recall if it was hot water or not. He had a high pressure unit.
 
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Old 04-02-08, 01:53 PM
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oxalic acid solution - works pretty much the same as bleach but more diy friendly, doesn't harm wood fibers like bleach can when used incorrectly.

While you can certainly strip paint off of most any substrate with a strong enough pressure washer, it isn't always a good idea as it may harm the substrate. Generally it is easier to strip off latex paint/stain than a solvent based coating.
 
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Old 04-02-08, 03:58 PM
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I have cleaned up a fair bit of lumber with a pressure washer but you should heed the advice to go easy.
Cedar is quite soft and you will make the surface of the wood quite rough.

Check the surface of where you already did it to see how rough it gets.
 
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Old 04-03-08, 12:12 AM
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oxalic acid is also known as wood bleach..so it should work good. As indicated above just keep it moving and stand back from it.
 
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Old 04-03-08, 09:36 AM
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Thank you everyone for your helpful replies! Where does one obtain oxalic acid?
 
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Old 04-03-08, 09:40 AM
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Should be available at Box stores, paint stores or hardware stores, whichevers closer...
 
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Old 04-03-08, 03:16 PM
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Paint isles at big box stores
 
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Old 04-03-08, 04:43 PM
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Just be sure to go to a real paint store when it's time to buy the stain - they have better coatings that usually apply easier and last longer
 
 

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