Your driveway is more exposed to dirt than your home. As the dirt, webs, and other such things accumulate easily in a matter of days, many of us clean our homes on a regular basis. So, think about your driveway that is exposed to the ever-changing harsh weather much more than your house.
It results in a lot of grime, moss, algae, and mold on your driveway that makes it look ugly and top of that, it may pose health risks and damage to the driveway structure in the long run.
How often should you clean your driveway?
Cleaning your driveway depends mostly on weather conditions. If your residential area is prone to a lot of dust and moisture, you will need cleaning more often. While it is not possible to clean your driveway every month, it is recommended that you clean it at least once every year. If you see the grime and moss forming rapidly over the driveway in just a couple of months, it’s always better to get it cleaned through pressure wash as soon as possible because dirt, moss, and such stuff weakens your driveway structure by entering into the cracks and pores.
All it takes is a powerful pressure of water through a hose which enters into the cracks and pores removing any possible trace of dirt or moss. This method doesn’t require any chemical or surface cleaner and therefore, results in eco and budget-friendly cleaning.
You should always look for signs to see if it is the right time for cleaning. If there are stubborn stains on the driveway or if the surface is getting slippery, it may result in accidents. Sometimes the cracks in the driveway area also develop algae and weeds. You cannot remove them manually through any other way better than forcing them out with a high-pressure stream of water.
While you can clean your driveway at any particular time in the year, most homeowners prefer pressure washing in the spring or summer season. This is the time when temperatures are higher, and humidity starts to rise. Moss and algae grow at a faster rate due to this, so cleaning is the most necessary.
How long does a power washing last?
The duration of power wash depends on the size of driveway and the way it is constructed. Most driveways can be cleaned in just thirty minutes or even less but if the driveway is bigger and spacious, it might take even an hour or more. Generally speaking, if your driveway can accommodate more than two vehicles, you can expect at least one hour of pressure washing. For a driveway that can accommodate four cars or more, it will take around 2 hours.
It also depends on how the driveway is constructed, the material used, and how many joints are between each section. Some driveways are similar to the highway roads without a lot of joints, however, your driveway might be constructed with concrete bricks/blocks similar to the walls of homes. Here the brick or block driveways will consume more time as they require careful cleaning around the joints. Excessive water pressure can lead to broken seals between the joints of bricks/blocks that you may need to fix after cleaning to ensure the weed and moss don’t grow faster than before.
Before starting the pressure wash, it is also recommended to scrub excessive moss, weeds and debris to ease the washing process. This time is additional to the time taken by pressure washing. Another factor is the kind of pressure washer you are going to use. Pressure washers differ in power based on their type and working. An entry-level pressure washer is not going to do the job quickly as a full-powered rotary nozzle that projects significantly higher pressure of water. The same goes with the gas-powered pressure washer which is much more effective than the electric one.
How many PSI do I need to clean concrete?
Two of the most widely used pressure washers are electric or gas based. The gas-powered pressure washers are more powerful and get the job done quickly. It is important to know how much power you need to deep clean your driveway and to quicken the process, it is recommended to have both pressure and flow high enough to get a wider and powerful stream of water.
While cleaning a deck made up of softwood requires around 500PSI of pressure washer, the requirement for cleaning a concrete driveway is several times higher. You will need around 3000PSI of pressure rating if you want to deep clean the cracks and pores. Both electric or gas pressure washer are capable of performing this job but it is also important to see if it is providing a good flow rate too. A flow rate of around 3GPM(gallons per minute) with 3000PSI is sufficient but if there is a risk of damage to the structure, you can use 1500-2000PSI of pressure and around 1.5-2GPM of flow rate.
For this particular job, an electric pressure washer is adequate because most electric washers run between 1500 to 3000PSI with a flow rate of 1.5-2.5GPM. If there is no risk of damage to the surface of driveway, a gas pressure washer is recommended, as most gash washers are available in the range of 2500 to 4000PSI with 2.5 to 4.0GPM of flow rate. This will speed up the cleaning process as the stream is powerful enough to clean away any kind of stubborn dirt and moss and a wide area is covered at the same time.
The process can be further sped up by using a rotary nozzle that sends a water jet in a circular path instead of a standard fan nozzle that deflects the water at a particular angle, which slows the water stream. At the same time, always take safety precautions when using a high PSI gas pressure washer as a high-pressure water stream can cause injury.
Pressure washing a driveway can be time-consuming but it ensures your safety and maintains driveway’s appealing look. You can buy a pressure washer and do it yourself or hire a pressure washing company to do the job for you.