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Article by Michael A / January 4th, 2023

How to pressure wash your driveway

Are the visible stubborn stains on your concrete driveway something that you, as a homeowner, find bothersome? Concrete stains, particularly oil stains, are not only unsightly but also detrimental to the surface of your driveway since they weaken the concrete.

Pressure washing is a popular option for homeowners who want to extend the lifespan of their driveways. It is a cost-effective approach that may improve the visual appeal of your house while restoring your driveway. If you are considering this cleaning method, here is a clear guide to pressure washing a driveway.

What are the requirements?

Before we go into the specifics of pressure washing a concrete driveway, you’ll need to know the necessary tools to get started. The specific requirements are as follows;

  • Pressure washer
  • Pressure washer hose
  • Cleaning soap or detergent
  • Stiff brush or broom
  • Garbage bags or plastic sheets
  • Safety gear
  • Painter’s paint
  • Garden hose

9 Simple Steps to Pressure Washing a Driveway

Here are nine simple steps to pressure washing your driveway:

  1. Clear the surface

Prepare the driveway and nearby surfaces by removing debris and items, then sweep the area to remove any excess dirt. 

  1. Protect the Windows and Doors

When pressure washing a driveway, windows, doors, and other delicate surfaces may be damaged. Due to the water’s pressure, tiny pebbles, trash, and other impurities may be propelled into the air and dispersed around your property.

Ensure that you cover the doors, windows, and all the susceptible surfaces using plastic sheets or waste bags to avoid this. This approach limits the danger of injury or property damage while pressure-washing your driveway, yet many novices overlook it. Use painter’s tape to fasten the plastic sheets or garbage bags and prevent water from entering the house.

  1. Read the Safety Guide and Assemble The Pressure Washer

Carefully read the instructions for your specific pressure washer. Each is unique and may need additional construction, preparation, or accessories. If incorrectly constructed or operated, a pressure washer might cause damage to your driveway’s surface.

When constructing, first connect the detergent spray tip to the sprayer. Choose a tip designed for washing that is often labeled “soap.” Then, snap it into position at the spray gun’s nozzle.

Then, connect the wand and the supplied hose to the pressure washer to attach the hoses. Connect a 50 ft garden hose to a water source of the pressure washer, and turn on the water.

Finally, set the pressure washer for the detergent. Place the detergent siphon tube, which is often provided with the pressure washer and linked to it, straight into the detergent container. As soon as the pressure washer is started, the tube will inject detergent into the spray wand’s water stream.  

  1. Wear Protective Gear

Before beginning the cleaning procedure, ensure you are appropriately attired and have the necessary safety equipment for pressure washing.

The noise produced by pressure washers is incredibly loud, and debris may splash back into the face. Putting on safety glasses, a hearing aid, gloves, and at least slip-resistant shoes is advisable. Pressure washers must be used carefully since improper handling might result in damage. Remember that kids should not be in direct contact with or touch pressure washers.

  1. Degrease the  Surface

Spray the concrete using a degreaser spray bottle while maintaining a distance of six inches from the area to ensure that the surface is well-cleaned. Apply degreaser to the concrete with a scrubbing brush or the machine’s attachment tool.

  1. Detergent Spray

Hold the spray handle down and spray the detergent from 8 to 18 inches away from the concrete. Work in a steady, controlled motion back and forth, and overlap each swipe by 6 to 8 inches. Allow the detergent to settle on the area for about five minutes.

Spraying the detergent will help remove surface stains, dirt, and grime. Scrubbing the surface with a broom is an option if the pressure washer you have does not come with a brush attachment.

  1. Pressure Wash the Surface

Since everything is in place, it is time to give your driveway a good pressure washing. Keep your hand on the sprayer’s handle as you move it over your driveway surface from side to side. Make an effort to overlap every movement by about a half foot. Remember that the correct tactics will change depending on the pressure washer you use. When removing stubborn stains, you may need to bring the spray nozzle of your pressure washer closer to the surface.

  1. Rinse the surface

Rinse the driveway to remove any residual soap, detergent, dirt, and grime that may have been left behind. After that, give the surface some time to dry. To prevent stains from forming in the future on your driveway, you may apply a sealer.

  1. Seal the Concrete

Pour waterproof sealant into the paint pan, cover the roller handle with a roller cover, and secure the extension pole. Then, beginning in the center of the space, roll waterproof sealant out to the sides of the concrete. Allow at least 24 hours to park.

Why it is Better to Consider Professional Pressure Washing

Even though some people may want to tackle all their home improvement projects by themselves for various reasons, others are better suited for experts to handle. One of them is cleaning the driveway using a pressure washer.

Here are the reasons why considering professional pressure washing services is the best option:

Saves Time and Energy

Many homeowners need to understand that cleaning a driveway using a pressure washer may unexpectedly turn into an all-day affair and usually doesn’t save time or energy. Pressure washing by yourself may mean that you sacrifice a whole day. When you have a full-time job, you would have to do the cleaning on the weekend, giving up your entire Saturday or Sunday, yet the least you would want to do on your off days is any extra work. Therefore hiring a professional to do the pressure washing work for you would help you save energy and time and not interfere with your resting days. 

No Injuries or Damages

When cleaning your driveway with pressure, a professional pressure washing service won’t harm anybody or damage any of your property. If such errors unexpectedly occur, they have complete insurance coverage and can make up for any damage they cause to you.

Professional-Grade Equipment

The professionals always use pressure washers of the highest quality and are eco-friendly. Also, they use other tools and items, such as protective garments that are of the best quality and most effective. You will need to invest considerable money to get something that even comes close to matching what the experts are using. 

Long-Term Efficacy with Relation to Cost

Hiring a professional pressure washer will be more cost-effective in light of all the dangers associated with do-it-yourself (DYI) pressure washing. If you end up scraping your driveway or breaking any doors or windows, you will have to spend extra funds to fix the damage.

How will you get access to professional pressure washing services?

Advantage Pro Services Inc. is a company that offers professional pressure washing driveways in homes and offices in Houston, Texas, and its metropolitan area. 

You can contact the team through the company’s website, and you will be guided on how to get the services.

FAQs

Q1-Is it okay to pressure wash the driveway?

Answer: Yes, it is safe to pressure wash a driveway. Pressure washing is the most effective method that you can use to clean your driveway. If done regularly, it helps extend the lifespan of your concrete driveway and keep it looking fresh. Also, pressure washing protects the concrete against the long-term effects of oil and algae growth, without forgetting its purpose of removing bothersome weeds and the soil they need to grow.

Q2- What chemicals are used while pressure washing a driveway?

Answer- These four chemicals can be used in pressure washing;

  • Sodium hypochlorite – disinfectant and stain remover.
  • Sodium hydroxide- dissolves oil and fats and cleans glass and steel efficiently.
  • Citric acid- removes stains from concrete roads 
  • Bleach – strongly sanitizes and disinfects

However, much caution should be taken when using such chemicals, especially to remove oil stains, since most chemicals cannot clear fats, oil, or grease stains entirely without possibly causing damage to the driveway. 

Q3- What PSI is needed to pressure wash a driveway? 

Answer- Use a pressure washer with a minimum pressure rating of 3000 psi and a minimum flow rate of 4 gallons per minute (GPM) to clean your driveway efficiently. However, an ideal PSI for a pressure washer depends on the type of work, and the most powerful pressure washer is only sometimes suitable for every task.

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