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6 Mistakes to Avoid when Pressure Washing Your Driveway

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  • Post published:June 15, 2024
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  • Post last modified:June 15, 2024

Everybody wants a clean and well-maintained driveway, as it adds to a home’s curb appeal and increases the surface’s lifespan.

Pressure washing your driveway is the norm nowadays, as it effectively gets rid of dirt, grime, and stains. However, pressure washing can also cause damage if not done properly.

Let’s talk about the mistakes to avoid when pressure washing your driveway.

Mistake 1: Incorrect Pressure Setting

The most important factor to consider when pressure washing a driveway is the type of pressure setting you’re using.

Excessive pressure will harm the surface, while insufficient pressure will not effectively clean the driveway. The right pressure setting varies depending on the material your driveway is made of.

Concrete driveways are best cleaned with a pressure setting of 1,500 to 3,000 PSI (pounds per square inch).

A lower pressure of 1,000 to 1,500 PSI is best for cleaning more delicate surfaces, such as brick or stone driveways.

Start with a low-pressure setting and only increase as necessary to prevent damage.

Mistake 2: Not Adhering to Safety Precautions

Pressure washing without adhering to safety precautions is downright foolish. The highly pressurized water stream can easily inflict injury, especially when it hits your skin or eyes.

Be prepared by wearing protective gear such as goggles, gloves, and closed-toe shoes to reduce the risk of injury when pressure washing. Also, familiarize yourself with your pressure washer’s safety manual to ensure you’re using the equipment properly.

Mistake 3: Using the Wrong Cleaning Techniques

Using the wrong cleaning techniques will not only give you unsatisfactory results but can also damage your driveway. The most common mistake is having the nozzle too close to the driveway surface. Doing this will cause etching or lines on the driveway surface, which is usually unwanted. Maintain a consistent distance of around 12 to 18 inches between the nozzle and the surface.

Another mistake is using the incorrect nozzle attachment. For general cleaning, use a wide-angle nozzle and a more focused nozzle attachment for tough stains. Remember to keep the nozzle in constant motion to prevent the water stream from focusing on one area for too long.

Mistake 4: Not Considering the Environment

When not done properly, pressure washing has some level of environmental impact. Some cleaning solutions contain harsh chemicals that are detrimental to plants, animals, and waterways.

If possible, use environmentally safe and biodegradable cleaning products all the time. Also, take note of the debris and wastewater you’re producing from pressure washing your driveway.

Don’t let the wastewater flow down the drain. It could possibly flow into the storm drain, which eventually leads to rivers, lakes, and the ocean. Direct the wastewater towards a drainage system or pour it on a porous surface like a lawn or gravel bed.

Mistake 5: Not Preparing the Area

Before you start pressure washing, prepare the area. Remove any obstructions on your driveway, such as potted plants, furniture, or toys. Also, cover nearby plants, electrical outlets, and vents to prevent water damage.

If your driveway has cracks and gaps, seal them with sealant to prevent water from getting underneath and causing more damage.

Mistake 6: Not Practicing Regular Maintenance

Pressure washing your driveway should be done regularly to maintain its pristine condition. The frequency of how often you should pressure wash your driveway varies depending on several factors, such as your local climate, the volume of foot and vehicle traffic, and overhanging trees that drop leaves and sap on the way.

Generally, pressure washing your driveway once a year is recommended, but more frequent cleaning is necessary if your driveway is prone to staining and harsh environmental elements.

You may also want to apply a sealant on your driveway after pressure washing to protect it from future stains and damage.

Why damage your driveway or injure yourself when you can leave the job to highly experienced professionals? Contact Cleaning Service ltd today!