The concrete around your property is usually the most expansive surface and can get dirty quickly. Do your driveway and sidewalks have unsightly stains? They may need concrete cleaning and pressure washing! Just like your home's siding and roof, mildew, pollen and grime can also attach to your concrete. If left untreated, the concrete can start to deteriorate. In this short guide, we will explain how to clean your concrete driveway using a pressure washer in 8 easy steps.
1. Remove all items from the driveway
This step might sound silly but lots of people forget to move things from the area to be cleaned until after they get started. This isn't a huge issue, but properly planning insures a more efficient job. i To get the best possible pressure washing of your driveway, you need to move any vehicles, toys, plants, or other clutter that may be blocking the concrete, as you will be cleaning every inch of the surface.
2. Clear debris and dirt from surface
The best method to remove any debris is a blower, however a broom works just as well. Rocks, dirt and pine straw are just a few examples of the things that should be removed to make the pressure cleaning process faster.
3. Get the Proper Pressure Cleaning Equipment
This may also seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at how many people do not properly prepare. They forget things they need to complete concrete cleaning such as safety items, the pressure washing solution, a broom, and dustpan, or needed attachments for the pressure washer itself. Verify you have all the parts and pieces together before you start the power washing process.
4. Prepare machine for utilization
Another essential tip in power washing your concrete is to prepare the machine for use. This means attaching the pressure washer hose and wand to the machine itself. Connect your garden hose to supply the water and make sure the water is turned on. Add the detergent tube provided with the device into the soap container. Ensure that you have your safety materials in place and then spray the solution about twelve inches from the driveway. Be consistent in your spraying allowing overlap. Let detergent sit for five minutes prior to starting to pressure wash.
5. Use a mold prevention solution
An excellent method to prevent microorganisms such as mold, mildew, and bacteria, as well as grime and the accompanying slippery surfaces is household bleach. There is nothing better than a 50/50 blend of bleach and water. The reason to use this solution is to kill the mold spores as well as other bacterial and fungal organisms that live on your concrete, whether it be your driveway, sidewalks, or concrete patio. By avoiding the use of a mold prevention solution, your concrete will appear clean, but it will not stop the fungal growth, and this invader will return.
6. Wear PPE
Nothing matters as much as your safety when performing any task and having the correct Personal Protective Equipment is essential. Goggles should be worn when spraying the bleach solution, so it does not make contact with your eyes. It is also important to wear a mask when spraying, as you do not want to inhale the detergent. Lastly, gloves are critical to avoid the chemical coming into contact with your skin and causing irritation or a burn.
7. Power wash often to prevent build-up and cracking
Take your time when cleaning your driveway, while it may take the entire weekend to clean it yourself with a residential pressure cleaning machine purchased at Home Depot or Lowes, the results will be worth it. Slow and steady, keeping the spray nozzle the same distance from the concrete the entire time will give great results with minimum streaking. There are surface cleaning attachments that allow you to clean a much larger path thus saving time and offering better results. The use of such attachments is highly recommended. When using a surface cleaner, go slow and try not to overlap as this will create stripes along the concrete.
8. Hire a Professional Pressure Washing Company Instead
Save your time and enjoy your weekend, what might take you 1 or 2 days will take a properly trained and equipped pressure washing professional a couple of hours with superior results!