When Do I Need to Clean My Driveway?
Do you have large trees, shrubs or hedges that surround your property? If so, you driveway will need cleaning more frequently as the build-up of organic matter such as tree saps, pollen and leafs and twigs will happen relatively quickly and encourage the growth of moss and algae. Leaves can be especially problematic as the tannin in the leaves creates stains that cannot be removed by pressure washing alone.
If your driveway is very shady with lots of mature tree or hedge cover it will grow algae and moss much faster than a surface exposed to the sun many hours of the day.
For properties with driveways that get bathed by the hot sun all day it can create a very undesirable environment for algae, moss and other organic growth but they can still collect dust, dirt, mud, oil and other contaminants.
Driveways are also subject to radiator and transmission fluid leaks which leave ugly dark stains on any kind of driveway surface. Tire marks are notoriously difficult to get rid of with DIY methods. Oil and grease spots are erased with biodegradable degreasers. Rust and fertilizer stains can be removed with specialized cleansers.
When these stains and tire marks overrun the appearance of your driveway, it is time to get it cleaned. A good, professional driveway cleaning should last you two or three years.
If you are selling your home, you should have your driveway cleaned of oil, grease and grime before putting it on the market. A clean driveway will improve your curb appeal and send a message that your home is well cared for.
DIY vs Professional Driveway Cleaning
Although it is possible to clean a driveway using some DIY products, the outcome won’t restore the look of your driveway to like new condition. Homeowners also need to take care when using residential pressure washers as some pressure levels can harm concrete pavers and concrete.
Remember, concrete is actually a porous material and meant to actually absorb water and let it pass through, if you blast it with a high pressure stream out of a pressure washer you’re going to remove some of the surface which will roughen up the concrete considerably.
As professional power washing contractors we use a piece of equipment called a “surface cleaner” and it works to evenly disperse the high pressure flow of water over a much larger area (usually 12″-16″) and at a fixed height over the concrete.
Using a surface cleaner will eliminate the inevitable streaks that you’ll have all over your driveway from a less experienced hand. The surface cleaner also works to protect your gardens, garage doors, exterior walls and other landscape features from overspray.
Driveways can collect all kinds of dirt and grime and eventually stains develop from tree saps to automotive oils to chewing gum, dirt, mud, bird poop and more. All of these can all be removed using a pressure washer and the right detergents or degreasers on the driveway. In most cases degreasers and detergents aren’t necessary but they are available for really stubborn stains.