The Do’s and Don’ts of

Pressure Washing a Concrete Driveway

This image shows a floor that is being cleaned using a power spray.

It’s easy to spot an older concrete driveway, just look for the one that has turned dark grey and resembles asphalt. It’s inevitable, as concrete wears it will show signs of aging on how porous it becomes and how it collects dirt and debris. One of the best solutions to eliminating that is resurfacing your driveway, but if that isn’t in the budget at the moment, Rock Star Coating Pros suggest a good pressure wash to bring it back to life.

We are going to discuss the do’s and don’t’s of pressure washing your concrete driveway so you can get it looking nearly new again and help its longevity. Let’s get to it.

Do – Up Level Your Home’s Aesthetic

A power washed concrete driveway will do wonders for your home’s curb appeal. Over time, concrete collects debris, mildew, and all kinds of grime in the nooks and crannies of its porous structure. A simple garden hose will have trouble getting rid that kind of ground in dirt which leaves your home looking unkempt.

Don’t – Carelessness Can Lead to Damage

Pressure washing units are a powerful tool that can lead to trouble if you’re not paying attention. While concrete has the appearance and feel of being indestructible, using a pressure washer on vulnerable areas of your concrete can make it deteriorate faster. Be thoughtful and look for damaged areas before you start this project and consider marking it in some way so you can avoid the area altogether.

Do – Plan Your Project

Most of us don’t have a power washer laying around the house, which means, many of us will be renting one. When you rent a power washer your project is on the clock and you don’t want to waste time with prep work that could have been done ahead of time. Before you pick up the unit, remove everything in the way of your power washing project, and mark areas that need extra attention or care. You can even plot your path so you’re directing all the grit to the right area and not getting dirty runoff over areas you’ve already cleaned. When you get to your home with the unit, you’ll be able to use it immediately without trying to beat the clock.

Don’t – Avoid Harsh Chemicals

It can be tempting to want to use cleaning agents to help you get the most out of a power washer but keep in mind these machines are pretty powerful with water alone. Also, using harsh chemicals on your concrete will only invite more wear and tear to your driveway making it more susceptible to cracking, crumbling, or weakening overall. Harsh chemicals are also tough on your vegetation and the environment.

Do – Consider the Strength of Powerwasher You Need

Whether you rent or purchase a powerwasher, know what level of power you think you’re going to need to get the job(s) done. It might be tempting to get an industrial strength one, but your concrete driveway or siding might not see it that way. In fact, you could create more problems for your driveway and strip the paint right off your home with the wrong unit. Light duty units will start at about 2000 PSI which should be okay for a car and patio surfaces. A medium unit will go up to 2800 PSI which is best for exterior spaces and your concrete driveway typically. If you get near a unit with 3000 PSI, consider that you might hurt yourself or damage your property with that kind of power.

Don’t – Avoid Powerwashing in Cold Weather

Your concrete driveway is vulnerable to moisture and you’ll want it to be able to dry completely after power washing it. When you power wash in the cold, the water could freeze in the tiny pores of the concrete breaking the product down which impacts the overall lifespan of your driveway. Ice expands and contracts, breaking the concrete down one dust particle at a time. All of that moisture and expanding and contracting will reveal more cracking, which opens your driveway up to unwanted moisture and potential and buckling.

With a little planning ahead and the right tools, power washing your concrete driveway can leave it looking almost new again with as little damage as possible. While power washing can cause minimal damage, leaving the debris and dirt will often do just as much, if not more, damage to your driveway. You can rent a unit a couple of times a year to preserve the life of your concrete driveway or just contact us today and let us handle it for you.