Cleaning, staining, and sealing the wood will protect it from cracking and warping. Damage is usually caused by the sun’s UV rays and extreme weather conditions.
Start by thoroughly cleaning the fence or deck. You should use a fence or deck cleaner and follow the manufacturer’s directions. Allow the cleaner to remain on the wood for the recommended time. This is usually for 15 to 30 minutes.
When the cleaner is ready to be removed, scrub the wood with a scrub brush (you probably want a long-handled brush to make your job easier), or you can use a pressure washer.
Keep in mind that if you’re using a pressure washer, it should have a wide angle tip, and should be rated at 2,700 PSI or less so that you don’t actually end up damaging the wood by using too much pressure.
While cleaning the wood, keep the top of the pressure washer about 18” from the wood surface, and move the water constantly while cleaning – don’t keep it steady on any one spot for too long.
After the fence/deck is clean and completely dry, it’s best to stain or seal the wood. This will help to protect it from the elements so you can enjoy your fence or deck for many more years.