Pressure wash driveway
When you look down at your driveway, what is the first thing that you notice? If you see that there is a lot of stains from grease, dirt, and other substances from years of use, then you may want to think about cleaning it. Instead of calling the professionals, you may be able to handle pressure washing your driveway on your own.
If pressure washing is something you have never attempted in your driveway, you need to know that you can get incredible results with just a bit of know-how and preparation. Within only a few hours’ time and the right equipment, you can cross ‘pressure wash driveway’ off of your to-do list and have a clean, fresh look as the result.
Understanding Pressure Washing
This is a process, sometimes called power washing, where you can remove discoloration from stains, debris, and dirt from your driveway, home exterior, and other outdoor surfaces. A home pressure washing system will usually hook up to your regular garden hose, taking and boosting the pressure as it goes through the machine. This added pressure can be adjusted to help you blast away tougher grime and dirt. Of course, it is always going to be best that you familiarize yourself with your pressure washing unit before you get started. Some are gas-powered, and some are electric, while some will also come with higher pressure than others.
Safety is always paramount due to the amount of pressure that comes out of the nozzle. You should never direct spray this water at yourself or anyone else. The spray from a pressure washing system can cause wounds, and you may even break or splinter wood from your decking, fence, or handrails if you are not careful. It is also suggested that you wear goggles as a way to protect your eyes from any water or flying debris that may kick back at you while in use.
- Prepare Your Driveway
Before turning the water on, take some time to clear away loose debris like sticks, leaves, and stones that may be in the driveway. All vehicles, yard furniture, and children’s toys should also be set aside while the project is underway. Should your driveway be connected to any walls or doors of your home, you can cover them up with a tarp or plastic sheeting with masking tape to help eliminate the potential for damage. Finally, you can put a degreaser on any portions of your driveway that has tough stains.
- Using Your Pressure Washer
Always read your user manual if you are not familiar with the best practices for using a pressure washer. The low-pressure nozzle will allow you to apply the detergent to your driveway while the high-pressure nozzle is there to help you rinse it. Put the detergent into the right compartment, and you can then begin spraying the driveway with the low-pressure nozzle. Start from the area closes to your house and then work your way to the end of the driveway, overlapping with every stroke. Be sure that all of the detergent spray is spread across the surface in an even manner.
Note: It is best to remember that you should not point the nozzle while squeezing the trigger right at the point where you want to start. This can actually leave a harsh mark on the concrete. Instead, you can slowly press the nozzle while pointing it away from the driveway, then carefully sweeping into the stroke. You should also never spray into any of the shrubs, flowers, or plantings around the driveway, as this can cause severe damage to your landscaping.
You should see that the suds from the detergent will appear while you are applying each stroke. After the driveway is covered, you can let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, just making sure that it does not fully dry. Once you are done applying the detergent, you can then switch over to the high-pressure nozzle to start rinsing. Take your time, moving in the same stroke pattern that you did while applying the detergent.
Many homeowners will also add a sealant at the end of their pressure washing to help avoid stains and damage in the future. Once the concrete of your driveway has dried completely, you can then pour the sealant into a paint pan for application. It is best to use a paint roller designed for sealing a driveway. Just as you did with the motion cleaning your driveway, you can use the same pattern and work your way down the driveway. After you seal it, you should wait for at least 24 hours before you drive on the driveway or park any vehicles on it.
You never want to cause damage to your driveway, so you should know that regular pressure washing is a good way to cut back on the amount of damage that takes place over the years. Regular pressure washing and sealing the driveway can prevent wear and tear as well as potential damage from weather. Considering the average cost of installing a new driveway, you will see that a little bit of upkeep goes a long way. Not only that, but the way that your driveway looks will also impact aesthetics. Curb appeal can play a major role in the overall value of your home should you be planning on selling in the future. Anyone that comes to view your property for sale will often see the driveway first and form a first impression from there.
Even if you have never pressure washed a driveway in the past, you will find that this is a process that is not only easier than it seems but the results are also very satisfying. Instead of having to hire the professionals to do it for you, it is possible for you to get incredible results in just a few hours.
A driveway is always an important piece of the puzzle of your property. However, you should always take maintenance very seriously to ensure the driveway stays in good condition and remains as free from damage as possible. When you follow these steps for driveway pressure washing, you will have a clean driveway that looks as good as new.