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Power washing is a common way to clean fencing, but it isn’t the right choice for all situations. If you have an older fence that’s brittle, the power washer may do more harm than good. Not everyone has access to a power washer either, so you may be looking for alternative options. Read on to learn how to clean a fence without power washing it.
Pros and Cons of Power Washing Fencing
Power washing uses high-pressure water to blast away dirt and grime on your fencing. This is a great way to quickly clean off a year or more of debris, and it doesn’t require any extra chemicals or abrasives. Power washing, also known as pressure washing, can take care of set-in dirt that may be tough to eliminate otherwise. If you want a rapid cleaning method with minimal elbow grease, this is the way to go.
The “power” aspect of power washing is what makes it less than ideal for certain fencing. If you have an old wood fence that’s barely hanging on, a pressure washer may damage the fence posts or break them off altogether.
There is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to using a power washer, so you may not get the results you want right away. Of course, you can pay for professional fence cleaning. You just need to be aware of those costs vs. the cost to do it yourself. Some of the suggestions below may be worth trying because they use tools you might already have at home.
Option 1 – High-Power Garden Hose Nozzle
If you don’t have caked on dirt or rain stains, a simple garden hose attachment may be sufficient for washing your fence. This won’t create as much pressure as a power washer, but it can still create a stream of strong water. As long as your hose is long enough to reach all of the fencing, you should be able to knock this out in an hour or two.
Option 2 – Tank Sprayer with Cleaner
Another way to clean a fence without a pressure washer is by using a tank sprayer, also known as a pump sprayer. Fill the tank with water and fence cleaner (DIY or store bought) and then spray the fencing with the low-pressure nozzle. This will be a similar effect to spraying down your counters or windows before you wipe them clean.
Once you’ve saturated an area with cleaner, let it sit for a moment before rinsing it with your house. You can use the nozzle mentioned above for added pressure.
The benefit to this method is that it is gentle on older fences. The downside is that it relies on the cleaner to eliminate the dirt, grass stains, mildew, etc. Depending on the condition of the fence, it may not be sufficient to truly clean the pickets.
Option 3 – Deck Brush and Dish Soap
Yet another way to clean your fence without pressure washing is by scrubbing it down with soapy water. You can use a deck brush or any other large broom to apply the water to the fencing. If you have a kiddie pool, you can fill that with water and dish soap so you have plenty of room for the long brush. Scrub the fencing down much like you would if you were mopping your kitchen floor, and rinse off with a garden hose.
This method is inexpensive if you have the tools already, but it does require a decent amount of manual labor. It may be best to plan this project over a weekend because it will do a number on your arms.
Option 4 – Call in the Pros
Does all of this sound like a pain? If the fence is too old and falling apart, it time to call in the Pros. All Around Fence offers new fence installations. Contact us at (443) 838-9374 to get started.