Power Washing Your Concrete Driveway
Your driveway takes a beating throughout the year from weather, high traffic, and rampant weeds. It needs a good cleaning to maintain its attractiveness and functionality.
Power washing is an effective and efficient way to clean concrete. However, improper use of a pressure washer can cause damage to your concrete or other surfaces. Read on to learn more.
1. Removes Dirt and Stains
Power washing removes dirt, oil, mold, and mildew from concrete surfaces that can cause serious damage to the concrete if it is not addressed promptly. When left untreated, these contaminants can crack and weaken the surface of your driveway. They can also cause tripping hazards. Power washing will quickly and efficiently remove these toxins to leave your driveway looking brand new.
For more stubborn stains, you can boost your cleaning solution with white vinegar, baking soda, or liquid laundry detergent and scrub the area. If you have a surface cleaner attachment, use it to disperse the water flow over the concrete. It will help break down and peel away thick filth, mud, or mildew so it can be rinsed away easily with the spray from the pressure washer.
If you have an acidic cleaner on hand, use it to neutralize hydrocarbon-based stains (like oil and grease) from concrete, making it easier to clean with surface cleaning equipment. These cleaners are also effective in removing rust, lime marks, and salt deposits from concrete.
2. Removes Weeds
A dirty driveway not only looks bad, but it can also be dangerous. Weeds can grow in the cracks of a concrete driveway and cause damage. They can also be a tripping hazard for pedestrians and vehicles. Regular power washing removes weeds and helps prevent their return.
Unlike a garden hose or elbow grease, the high-powered water blasts of a power washer can get down deep into cracks to remove any dirt that has settled there. This prevents the weeds from growing back and keeps your driveway looking good.
Power washing is also an effective way to clean oil and other greasy stains from concrete surfaces. But be careful not to overdo it as too much pressure can cause etching to the surface. Always test your surface in an inconspicuous area before cleaning. And don’t forget to rinse the surface afterward to avoid water spots. Keeping your property clean with routine power washing can boost the curb appeal of your home and increase its value.
3. Prevents Damage
Unlike a standard garden hose, a professional power washer has the right nozzle size to avoid damaging surfaces nearby. When washing concrete, the nozzle size determines how much pressure is applied and how fast contaminants are flushed away. If the wrong nozzle is used, it can etch concrete, especially when the surface is dry.
A dirty concrete driveway, patio, or sidewalk can create a safety hazard for people walking on it. Dirty concrete is slippery when wet and can also harbor mildew that can cause people to slip and fall. Power washing gets rid of all this grit, reducing the risk of injuries and accidents.
If you have a home that is listed for sale, regularly cleaning your concrete surfaces will add value and boost curb appeal. The clean, crisp look of your property will appeal to buyers and will make it easier for them to envision themselves living in your home. This is important, as well-maintained homes attract more interested buyers and sell faster than unkempt ones.
4. Saves Time
Concrete surfaces are prone to collecting dirt, debris, and oil spills that create an unsightly layer of build-up over time. Mopping and scrubbing won’t remove these elements, but power washing is a heavy-duty option that quickly erases the gunk from concrete.
A dirty-looking driveway, sidewalk, or patio can deter prospective buyers from showing interest in your home. Periodically cleaning your concrete with a pressure washer will keep it looking brand new for years to come, preserving its value and curb appeal.
Performing routine concrete power washing saves you from having to spend money on major repairs and replacements later on. The blast of hot water also makes it easier to clear stubborn stains and grime, including chewing gums, oil stains, mold, mildew, and more. For the best results, use a nozzle that delivers between 3,000 and 3,500 PSI. Always wear safety gear and read the equipment’s instructions carefully before beginning a power wash. Also, remember to spray at a constant distance from the surface for uniform results. Continue reading the next article.