Is it Safe to Clean Cedar Siding with a Pressure Washer?
Cedar is an excellent choice for siding especially when looking at options in appearance, ease of maintenance, and longevity. Because cedar contains natural oils and acids, it protects itself from insects and the weather.
Natural oils and acids cannot protect from inevitable accumulation of dirt and grit which should be cleaned off the siding, especially if you are planning to paint it.
Can pressure washers be used on cedar siding?
As long as the sprayer is set to a low pressure, pressure washing can be used to clean cedar. It is important to avoid damaging the wood’s soft surface, so using a low pressure and not working too closely to the siding is necessary. Once clean and allowed to properly dry, the cedar siding can be painted with a urethane-acrylic house paint for best results.
If the cedar siding has a smooth surface, scrape the paint and clean the cedar thoroughly before painting. For rough cedar, you may need to use a wire brush to scrub off old paint – but be careful not to damage the siding.
When pressure washing siding made of cedar, it is equally as important to always work with the wood’s natural grain, and clean from afar as being too close to the siding could cause damage. Most people who frown upon pressure washing cedar sidings do not have experience with proper pressure washing methods on wood products.
There are correct ways to pressure wash that are perfectly acceptable for use on cedar siding – as long as these techniques are followed, and your pressure washing is done with care and proper equipment, pressure washing can be a great way to clean cedar siding prior to having it painted.