How to Pressure Wash your Driveway

in 7 Steps

Helpful Guide

How to Pressure Wash your Driveway in 7 Steps

Helpful Guide

How to pressure wash driveway – a crucial part of ensuring you have a beautiful driveway that compliments your home is to find the best way to pressure wash without damaging your driveway surface.

Many people leave their driveway cleaning due to the time and considerable effort it takes; or simply bring in a driveway cleaning company.

It takes some time and effort to clean a driveway, but the results are well worth it!

As for hiring a driveway cleaning company – sure they’ll do the work for you, but for the price of two cleans you can pick up a decent pressure washer that will save you money for years to come.

We Reviewed the Best Pressure Washers  in 2021 so take a look!

pressure washer for driveway and patio


Pressure Wash Driveway – Step by Step – It’s all in the Preparation

1. Inspect the entire driveway.

2. Sweep the driveway or use a leaf blower.

3. Look for areas that have moss growth or any other ‘weeds’.

4. Remove these gently using a bucket and water, hard brush and scraper (if necessary).

5. If there is channel drainage (picture below) ensure all debris is removed. This is the most rotten bit of cleaning a driveway…….but it has to be done.

6. Simply lift up the grid lids and ‘scoop the gloop’ which will mainly be organic material towards the far end of the drainage channel.

WARNING: as tempting as it may be do not push any debris down into where the drainage channels drain to! This may cause a blockage!

7. Replace the channel drainage lids. To ensure a tight fit it may be necessary to scrape along the top of the drainage channels to ensure the drainage channel lids sit properly.

An Extreme Example! Drainage Channel Lids – Ensure all plant material is removed! The Lid should sit back Tightly.

 

If there are drainage gullys (usually kitchen sink waste drain into these) around the edge of your house ensure these are also clear.


Oil stains?

Firstly use a strong mix of washing up liquid.

Secondly, a suitable degreaser may need to be put into action. 

WARNING: Test a block at the edge of your drive for suitability, as some degreasers are quite potent and can remove colour pigmentation from blocks….Beware!

A Careless Block Paving Oil Stain Explosion – Better to Just Replace Driveway than to Clean!

 

At this stage you may be thinking, ‘why remove moss or other organic growth by hand?’…

Well, as tempting as it may be – it is a bad idea to just start blasting all over the place, especially along joints in block paving!

More on this below.

Pressure Wash Driveway – Step by Step – Ready to Go?…..Well Almost!

1. Ensure you are familiar with the safety precautions of your pressure washer.

2. Cleaning your driveway is also a good opportunity to clean your house and garage! If you choose to do this make sure there aren’t any gaps and that all windows and doors are firmly closed.

3. Tape down (masking tape will do) behind any gaps.

4.Start as high as you can and spray down the house and windows. To get a really nice shine use some mild detergent on windows and sponge off as needed. Then jet wash away left overs.

find a driveway cleaner in your area

Pressure Wash Driveway – Step by Step – Start at the Top

  • If your driveway has a gradient/slope (most do) start at the highest point and work your way across and down covering approximately 4sqm2 at a time.

  • Initially use a wide motion and then focus on more stubbornly resistant areas.

  • If possible try to ensure water drains off into bedding areas rather than sending all the water to drainage channels

 

  • With a block paving driveway – allow to dry. Re-sanding may be required for any areas that have lost jointing sand.

WARNING: Just to emphasise!

Do not (however tempting) blast down on high pressure setting. Doing this will lift jointing between blocks and can destabilize them. Likewise using high pressure on driveway surfacing such as pattern imprinted concrete may lift the colour off and plain concrete will show through.

So caution – with the trigger! The same caution should also be applied to resin driveways.

If you do have a block paving driveway – may be best to select a pressure washer with a ‘rotary head‘ attachment. This will minimize jointing sand loss.

Job done, well almost….time for a cup of tea!

pressure washer for driveway and patio

Pressure Wash Driveway – After Care

Once your driveway has been completely cleaned it will dry out and you may want to improve the look further.

Fortunately, there is a low cost solution.

Sealing a driveway has many benefits including protecting the colour (so less fading) and strengthening a paved area.

Tarmac Driveways

Over the years they simply dry out and with constant exposure to UV light can take on the appearance of a faded grey! 

Tarmac restorer (not paint) helps to prevent colour loss and improve durability. 

But not all tarmac restorers are equal.

This Black Tarmac Sealer is far superior to any tarmac paint. 

It both restores colour to the surface as well as improves surface durability.

Block Paving

Block paved driveways and patios don’t just benefit from the amazing visual transformation of a seal. 

An additional benefit is that sealing hardens the sand in between blocks. 

As a result of this, weeds are less likely to appear.

Another benefit (especially for blocks laid in the last 10 years) is that by sealing you minimize the deterioration caused by UltraViolet (UV) penetration. 

Can you think of a reason not to seal?

Decorative/Imprinted Concrete

For imprinted concrete driveways it’s always best to use Acrylic sealers. 

Moreover, it’s best to ‘reseal’ every 2-3 years or so and is an easy DIY job requiring only (you say only!) good weather and a soft headed broom.

As with most things not all sealers are equal.

Cheaper sealers are available but we suggest using the Smartseal sealer.

pressure washer for driveway and patio

Looking to Enjoy Summer 2021?

Of course you are!

Getting the surfacing right is just part of the home improvement journey and key to enjoying life outdoors.

In post pandemic times with endless restrictions in both 2020 and 2021 it’s increasingly important to make the most out of our outdoor living spaces.

That means getting your patio or back yard area in shape.

What really sets a patio area apart is how you develop your landscaping and importantly your outdoor dining experiences!

Don’t worry – we have you covered!

Read this outdoor living post to get inspirational ideas and make summer 2021 a summer to remember!

Homepage

 

Related articles