Before we begin; however, it is important to answer a few questions that most people have so we can clear the air and get you on the right path. So, let's jump right into this.
DO I NEED SOAP TO PRESSURE WASH MY DRIVEWAY?
So you might be thinking " do I need soap to pressure wash my driveway?" Well, there's a short answer and a long answer. We will keep it short here. The short answer is "it depends". It will depend on your method of cleaning (which we will talk about a little later) and the driveway age. Are you cleaning brand new concrete? If so, you don't want to go blasting away at it with a 3500 psi pressure washer, you will leave lines in your concrete called "etching". So, you would need to use a quality surfactant (a.k.a. Soap) mixed with a quality Sodium hypochlorite (the active ingredient in bleach) mixed with water at a high concentration to kill algae and mold then rinse it all away.
WHAT CHEMICALS DO YOU USE TO PRESSURE WASH A DRIVEWAY?
This question comes up a lot when we visit our customer's homes. often times we have to explain the driveway cleaning pressure washing process because they want to know if the chemical will kill grass and plants. Our method doesn't kill plants or grass and makes your driveway look amazing! Again we will keep it short. The short answer to this question is, that you need quality Sodium Hypochlorite of at least 6% or better diluted with water to loosen up the dirt on the driveway and also kill the algae and mold on the surface. You don't have to look hard for Sodium hypochlorite, you can order it online.
Ok. now for the best part, the process. Don't take this information lightly, it could save the life of your driveway!
#1 Pre-Treat The Driveway
Now that you have your Sodium Hypochlorite you will want to mix that sodium hypochlorite 1:1 ( 1/2 Sodium Hypochlorite and 1/2 water ) in a High-Quality Pump Sprayer. Please make sure to wear the proper PPE when using Sodium Hypochlorite, it is corrosive, can turn your clothes colors, and can be harmful if you breathe in vapors for a long period of time. If you feel uncomfortable with using this product, please hire a professional. Start by watering down all of the grass and plants that could potentially get the sodium hypochlorite on them including going about 3 feet into the grass on either side. This will keep your grass from dying and keep the ph of the ground neutral. Apply the solution to the driveway evenly. If you have a pressure washer that has a soap dispenser that is separate from the washer you can simply draw the concentrated Sodium Hypochlorite through the injector and spray it on the driveway. Your Pressure washer must be 4.0GPM Pressure Washer with 3/8 Quick Connects that allows you to connect a downstream injector. After applying the Sodium Hypochlorite, let it sit on the driveway for about 5 to 10 minutes.
#2 Surface Clean The Driveway
Now here comes that part that takes most homeowners 6 to 7 hours. many of them want to use the red pressure washing tip to clean the driveway. Here's a hint, if the tip is red, it probably means that it can do damage so use it with extreme caution. Instead, use a Surface Cleaner that attaches to your Pressure Washing Wand. This tool will cut your clean time by more than half! Start by running the surface cleaner over the driveway in straight lines going over the line 2 times to ensure accuracy. Don't go too fast because you can leave lines in your driveway. (see picture below)
Move at a slow steady pace and don't stop the surface cleaner in one spot for a long period of time. Doing so will leave. a ring mark in your driveway. Be sure to cover the entire surface and use the want to get the hard-to-reach surfaces up against the garage door and the front steps.
#3 Rinse the Driveway
Once you finish covering the driveway with the Surface Cleaner, You will need to rinse the dirt from the driveway that you just extracted from the ground. Start at the top of the driveway and rinse the dirt away!
#4 Let It Dry and Enjoy!
After the work is done, its time to grab a glass of ice cold lemonade and let the driveway dry. When it's wet, it will still look a little discolored but as it dries it will brighten up really nice!
As you can see, this is an involved process that we at Dream Clean Windows and Powerwashing take very seriously. We have tons of experience cleaning driveways and the results we get will definitely make you happy. however, if you want to DIY this guide should get you on your way to getting a professional clean.
Dream Clean Windows and Powerwashing, LLC
5262 Buford Hwy
Norcross, GA 30093