Over time, the dirty buildup on your driveway can ruin the whole look of your home. In order to get rid of this dirt and stains, you need to clean your driveway regularly. However, sometimes a mop or broom doesn’t do the trick when it comes to stubborn stains. No matter how much you scrub, the thick grime won’t even budge! That is when you know you need to pressure wash your driveway.
However, the cost of pressure washing can vary from $120 to $250 depending on your driveway. On the other hand, if not done properly, pressure washing can even damage the concrete and do more harm than good. For this reason, if you’re thinking about cleaning your driveway, you need to know some basics for a neat job. So, we’ve come up with every bit of information one needs to know before their big cleaning day!
What is pressure washing?
Before jumping into the whole procedure, let’s talk about pressure washing. What is pressure washing? Why do we need it when we have all these expensive detergents and chemicals?
Well, pressure washing is the process of getting rid of any sort of buildup such as mud, mold, dust etc. by simply using high-pressure water. Stains that cannot be cleaned by soap or chemical no matter how hard you try can easily be removed by pressure washing. This high-pressure washer is a handy tool and most households own a pressure washer. If you’re someone who likes to keep their houses clean, pressure washing is a must!
What type of pressure washer do I need?
The choice of pressure washer depends mostly on your personal preference. While both electric pressure washer and gas pressure washer do a fantastic job at cleaning your driveway, the pressure is comparatively higher in gas washers. Moreover, the consumption of electricity makes the electric washer a little bit less appealing and restricts the movement of the washer.
However, if you’re more interested in using something environmentally friendly, an electric washer is the way to go. As there is no need for oil, this keeps our environment clean and also produces less noise.
Another important factor about the pressure washer is your nozzle! The nozzle is what decides the amount of pressure being applied. So choosing the wrong nozzle can not only leave you with a filthy driveway but also create cracks on the floor.
This is the main reason why many people even after owning a pressure washer rely on a professional when it comes to cleaning. So do not start cleaning with a nozzle that can damage the concrete instead of cleaning it.
What do I need?
It may seem like only a pressure washer is enough for cleaning your dirty driveway, but in reality, you need a few pieces of equipment to not only get a perfect cleaning job but also to ensure the safety of your home and most importantly, yourself.
As we discussed before, choose your pressure washer wisely. Also, check the pressure before purchasing one. The higher the pressure, the quicker it does the job. So try to use a washer that has a pressure level of at least 2,900 to 3,300 PSI.
A light-duty pressure washer won’t be much useful for heavy cleaning so try to avoid those below 2,000 PSI. Finally, the water flow should be checked to ensure thorough cleaning.
Cleaning detergent can be used for more efficient cleaning. Most of the time, these cleaning agents come with a pressure washer.
So, all you need to do is equip the soap tank of the pressure washer with this detergent. However, never use any strong chemicals such as bleach for cleaning purposes.
Garden hose is needed to connect the water source with the pressure washer.
This is to keep your outer walls or pathway safe from the high-pressure water stream. Cover everything around the driveway properly as sometimes you can end up damaging or dirtying during the wash.
The concrete seal is used for layering the concrete after wash. It creates a protective layer that ends up increasing the durability of your driveway after a strong power wash.
Finally, we cannot start any cleaning jobs without our safety goggles. Anything that involves high pressure can result in a serious injury. So, to protect your hand and eyes, wear safety goggles and gloves. Many people seem to forget that safety is most important.
How to clean?
First of all, wear your safety gear and wear shoes that are closed. Then cover the area surrounding your driveway or nearby walls with covering.
Then, use a leaf blower to clean your driveway. You can also use a broom to get rid of excessive dust, leaves, twigs etc. This will lessen your work and make the cleaning process much easier. Try to get rid of oil or other liquids too as it can interfere with your pressure washing.
Attach the garden hose with your pressure washer wand for water supply. Then attach the nozzle that is designed for washing. Sometimes, it is labeled as soap. Fill your soap tank with recommended detergent.
Squeeze the trigger before starting so all excessive air can be removed. Do this for around 30 seconds and then start the cleaning.
Apply the cleaning agent evenly and try to let it sit on your driveway for 5 minutes. Do not wash it with water before that. Maintain a distance of 18 inches to avoid any type of accident. Do not work in a bigger section and try to start from the top.
During the cleaning of the soap, change the nozzle. Most people prefer a 15-degree or 25-degree nozzle for optimum cleaning. Start cleaning from the center and go to the sides.
Finally, apply the concrete seal using a roller. Let it dry and do not use the driveway for at least one day.
So, this is how you can get a driveway that can look brand new. However, maintain some caution and go through the manual carefully. In addition to this, keep your children away from a pressure washer.
Finally, even though it may seem a little bit hectic at first, once you get a hang of it you’ll be cleaning your driveway regularly!