The driveway of your home is just as important to clean as everywhere else, and yet, too often, it goes unnoticed. Driveway cleaning can vastly improve the appearance of your home, though, and should not be ignored! In fact, using your pressure washer on your concrete driveway can even help to increase your home’s curb appeal, making it sell or rent for more!
That being said, not everyone knows how to use their pressure washer to get the cleanest concrete driveway possible. If you’re one of those people, do not fret. Here are a few tips from Josh Jones at Triple Clean Gang. Using a pressure washer is much easier than it seems.
What do you need to use a pressure washer to clean your concrete driveway?
You may assume that to pressure wash a concrete surface, you just need your power washing tools, but this isn’t the case. You will need:
- Leaf blower or broom
- Safety gear such as safety goggles and ear plugs
- Closed toe, waterproof and grippy shoes
- Concrete detergent for stubborn stains
- A spray bottle
What do you do to your concrete driveway before using the pressure washer on it?
When you are pressure washing concrete, you should be sure to have prepped the concrete surface for the cleaning process first. This involves:
1. Tarping surrounding areas
If you have lawn or flower beds near your driveway, you’ll want to cover them with tarp. While plants can cope with water from a garden hose, water pumped through a pressure washer is likely to damage them, as will the water runoff. Protecting them from this is essential.
2. Remove debris from the area
Our driveways often end up with random leaves, twigs and other debris on them. To get your driveway properly clean with your pressure washer, you’ll need to remove all of the debris before you start pressure washing.
This is fairly easy to do, and can be done with a garden broom or a leaf blower. Simply direct all of the debris down your driveway and away from your home.
3. Spot treat stubborn stains
The best way to get a really clean driveway is to tackle the stubborn stains first, before you start to clean concrete properly. You can do this by using some of the concrete detergent that you have ready as well as some warm water. Dilute the detergent in a spray bottle and spray the stubborn marks on the concrete surface.
Leave these to soak for a while before you begin pressure washing for best results. This should help you to get paint stains, oil stains, rust stains, grease stains and other tough stains off of the drive.
Once you’ve left it to soak, use the pressure washer to rinse the detergent away and see whether or not the stains have faded or gone. If after 10 to 20 minutes you find that the spot treatment hasn’t done enough to remove stains, try again.
How to pressure wash your driveway using concrete detergent
Most pressure washers will come with a tank that you pour the detergent into to apply to the soap. If yours does not, simply apply the soap evenly to the driveway. You may choose to brush the soap into the driveway with a broom before you begin pressure washing.
It’s usually a good idea to only apply detergent to sections of your driveway at a time. This prevents the detergent from drying up entirely before you manage to reach it with the pressure washer.
Once the detergent is in place, either in your pressure washer or on the concrete driveway, you can begin pressure washing.
Step one: begin at the top of the driveway
It makes sense to start at the top of your driveway with your pressure washer, as otherwise the water runoff will just be travelling down and the dirty water will ruin any cleaning you did with your pressure washer at the bottom of the drive.
It’s also useful to keep the pressure washer closer to you at the top, higher than you are. This allows you to pull the pressure washer with you rather than having to manoeuvre it out of the way whilst also pressure washing your driveway!
Step two: in small sections, rinse the detergent away with the pressure washers stream
Section by section, rinse the concrete cleaner off of your drive using the pressure washer spray wand. Be sure to not miss sections as this will stand out and will get in the way of improving your home’s curb appeal.
Step three: slowly work your way down the driveway and out to the edges
When pressure washing you should start at the centre and work your way out. If your pressure washers spray handle has a nozzle, you will need to sweep the water back and forth as you go.
Step four: use a sealant on your driveway after pressure washing
You’ve finished pressure washing! Put the pressure washers away, and get your sealant out. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to apply sealant to the concrete. This will help to protect the driveway, meaning that driveway maintenance will be easier in the future.
Before you apply your sealant you should ensure that you’re done pressure washing and that your pressure washers are out of the way. You will also need to be sure that your driveway is completely dried.
Tips for pressure washing a driveway
Pressure washing is pretty easy but there are a few things that you should keep in mind whilst you work.
- Always wear safety goggles and safe shoes
- Be mindful of where the water runoff is going as you should not allow it to fall into the storm drain and enter your local stream as it will be full of chemical substances.
- Ensure that you are completely familiar with your pressure washer instructions and user manual before use so that you don’t damage your driveway and don’t hurt yourself.