A Homeowner’s Guide to Cleaning a Driveway

If you want to sell your home, 92% of realtors agree that you need to invest in its curb appeal. In other words, make sure the exterior of the property looks as top-quality as possible. This includes the cleanliness of your driveway.

Maybe you’re not looking to sell your home. Even still, the condition of your driveway is a direct reflection of your level of care in the home overall. It’s your responsibility to prioritize driveway cleaning on a regular basis. 

That means you need to know how to clean a driveway in the first place. The good thing is that this article can help. 

We’ve outlined everything you need to know about cleaning a driveway the right way. Keep reading to get yours in top condition in no time. 

Tools and Materials

Cleaning a driveway requires a few tools to make the process easier and more efficient. The list of tools includes a pressure washer, a stiff bristle brush, a garden hose, and a bucket. You may also need a scraper to remove any gum or sticky substances from the surface of the driveway.

In addition to the tools, you’ll need the right cleaning solution to tackle the dirt and stains on the driveway. It’s recommended to use an all-purpose cleaner, a degreaser, or a specialized concrete cleaner. Avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage the surface of the driveway or harm nearby plants.

Before starting the cleaning process, safety precautions must be taken to prevent injuries or accidents. Wear protective gear such as gloves, safety glasses, and sturdy shoes. Also, make sure to turn off any nearby electrical outlets and cover any nearby plants or objects to prevent damage.

Pre-Cleaning Preparation

Before starting the cleaning process, it’s important to prepare the driveway properly. The first step is to clear the driveway of any debris, such as leaves, twigs, and stones. Use a broom or a leaf blower to sweep the surface of the driveway thoroughly.

Next, inspect the surface of the driveway for any stains or spots. Use a degreaser or a specialized concrete cleaner to remove any oil, grease, or rust stains. For tough stains, a stiff bristle brush may be needed to scrub the surface of the driveway.

While cleaning the driveway, it’s important to protect any nearby plants or objects from the cleaning solution or pressure washer. Cover plants with plastic sheets or tarps and move any objects that could be damaged by the cleaning solution.

If you have any grass or vegetation along the edges of the driveway, consider using a border edger to create a clean, defined edge. This will make it easier to clean the surface of the driveway and improve the overall appearance of your landscaping.

Pressure Washing

Pressure washing is an effective way to clean a driveway and remove dirt, grime, and stains. To pressure wash a driveway, begin by connecting the pressure washer to a water source and attaching the appropriate nozzle.

Next, start at one end of the driveway and work your way toward the other end, using a sweeping motion to cover the entire surface of the driveway. Keep the nozzle at a distance of 6-12 inches from the surface of the driveway to avoid damaging it.

When using a pressure washer, it’s important to take some precautions to prevent accidents or damage. Wear protective gear such as safety glasses and sturdy shoes, and avoid pointing the nozzle directly at people or objects.

Additionally, it’s important to use the right pressure and nozzle for the type of surface you’re cleaning. Using too much pressure or the wrong nozzle can damage the surface of the driveway or create streaks or marks.

Finally, be careful when pressure washing near edges or corners, as the force of the water can cause damage. Use a lower pressure setting in these areas and avoid spraying water directly onto nearby plants or objects. In some cases, it might be best to hire professionals like this Langley pressure washing service.

Scrubbing and Cleaning

For tough stains that are not removed by pressure washing, there are alternative cleaning methods that can be used. One method is to use a mixture of baking soda and water, applied directly to the stain, and scrubbed with a stiff bristle brush.

Another method is to use a solution of bleach and water, but it’s important to follow safety precautions when using bleach, such as wearing gloves and avoiding contact with nearby plants or objects.

When scrubbing and cleaning a driveway, start by wetting the surface with a garden hose. Apply the cleaning solution to the surface of the driveway and let it sit for a few minutes, allowing it to penetrate the surface and loosen any dirt or stains.

Next, use a stiff bristle brush to scrub the surface of the driveway thoroughly, focusing on areas with tough stains or spots. Rinse the driveway with a garden hose or pressure washer, making sure to remove all the cleaning solution and debris.

Consider the Maintenance

Maintaining a clean driveway is important to keep it looking its best and extend its lifespan. To keep a driveway clean, sweep it regularly to remove leaves, debris, and dirt.

It’s also important to clean up any spills or stains as soon as possible to prevent them from setting in and becoming more difficult to remove.

The frequency of cleaning a driveway depends on several factors, such as the climate, amount of traffic, and level of exposure to environmental factors. In general, it’s recommended to clean a driveway at least once a year, or more often if needed.

Regular inspection of a driveway is also important to identify any cracks, damage, or signs of wear and tear. Repairing any damage promptly can prevent it from becoming worse and causing more serious problems down the road.

Continue Your Research

Now that you know how to clean a driveway, you’re ready to include this task on your regular home maintenance schedule. In addition, don’t stop your home improvement efforts there. 

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