How to pressure wash driveway – a helpful step by step guide

pressure wash driveway
A beautiful block paving circle after pressure wash driveway cleaning has been completed

How to pressure wash driveway – a crucial part of ensuring you have a beautiful driveway that compliments your home is to find the best way to pressure wash without damaging your driveway surface.

Many people leave their driveway cleaning due to the time and considerable effort it takes; or simply bring in a driveway cleaning company.

It takes some time and effort to clean a driveway, but the results are well worth it! As for hiring a driveway cleaning company – sure they’ll do the work for you, but for the price of two cleans you can pick up a decent pressure washer that will save you money for years to come.

We reviewed the best pressure washers available – take a look!


Pressure wash driveway – Step by step – It’s all in the preparation

  1. Inspect the entire driveway.
  2. Sweep the driveway or use a leaf blower.
  3. Look for areas that have moss growth or any other ‘weeds’.
  4. Remove these gently using a bucket and water, hard brush and scraper (if necessary).
  5. If there is channel drainage (picture below) ensure all debris is removed. This is the most rotten bit of cleaning a driveway…….but has to be done.
  6. Simply lift up the grid lids and ‘scoop the gloop’ which will mainly be organic material towards the far end of the drainage channel. WARNING: as tempting as it may be do not push any debris down into where the drainage channels drain to! This may cause a blockage!
  7. Replace the channel drainage lids. To ensure a tight fit it may be necessary to scrape along the top of the drainage channels to ensure the drainage channel lids sit properly.
pressure-wash-driveway-drainage
Drainage channel lids – Ensure all plant material is removed! Lid should sit back tightly.

If there are drainage gullys (usually kitchen sink waste drain into these) around the edge of your house ensure these are also clear.


Oil stains?

Firstly use a strong mix of washing up liquid.

Secondly, a suitable degreaser may need to be put into action. WARNING: Test a block at the edge of your drive for suitability, as some degreasers are quite potent and can remove colour pigmentation from blocks….Beware!

block-paving-pressure-clean-oil-stain
A careless block paving oil stain explosion – Better just replace!

We think at this stage you may be thinking ‘why remove moss or other organic growth by hand?’…Well, as tempting as it may be it is a bad idea to just start blasting all over the place, especially along joints in block paving! More on this below.

Pressure wash driveway – step by step – Ready to go…..well almost

  1. Ensure you are familiar with the safety precautions of your pressure washer.
  2. Cleaning your driveway is also a good opportunity to clean your house and garage! If you choose to do this make sure there aren’t any gaps and that all windows and doors are firmly closed.
  3. Tape down (masking tape will do) behind any gaps.
  4. Start as high as you can and spray down the house and windows. To get a really nice shine use some mild detergent on windows and sponge off as needed. Then jet wash away left overs.

Pressure wash driveway – step by step – Start at the top

  • If your driveway has a gradient/slope (most do) start at the highest point and work your way across and down covering approximately 4m2 at a time.
  • Initially use a wide motion and then focus on more stubbornly resistant areas.
  • If possible try to ensure water drains off into bedding areas rather than sending all the water to drainage channels
  • With a block paving driveway – allow to dry. Re-sanding may be required for any areas that have lost jointing sand.

WARNING: Yes, this is a repeat!

Do not (however tempting) blast down on high pressure setting. Doing this will lift jointing between blocks and can destabilize them. Likewise using high pressure on driveway surfacing such as pattern imprinted concrete may lift the colour off and plain concrete will show through.

So caution – with the trigger! The same caution should also be applied to resin driveways.

If you do have a block paving driveway – may be best to select a pressure washer with a ‘rotary head‘ attachment. This will minimize jointing sand loss.

Job done, well almost….time for a cup of tea!

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