How to Pressure Wash Your Driveway

Written by: Toolsmith Direct

Want a quick tip to increase the value of your home, and improve curb appeal? The exterior parts of your home have a special penchant for getting grimy, especially the driveway. A Snap-On pressure washer is just what you need for preventative maintenance outside the home. It helps prevent dirt and grime from staining your property, and is an often overlooked part of preventative maintenance. When you sell your home, give the new owners something they can be proud of with a freshly washed driveway and garage.

Pressure Settings

The first thing you should do is review the user manual for your pressure washer to determine the optimal setting. Quality concrete can stand up to sustained sprays, but cheaper surfaces tend to develop abrasion faster. Sustained spray from a high pressure nozzle can make concrete less porous over time if you’re not careful.

Detergents are helpful to remove grime that would otherwise require too much pressure, like an oil slick. If you use detergents, make sure that they are intended for pressure washers and use a low-pressure spray to apply the detergent. Always spray from the top and work downward, so that the grime washes away without streaking.

Nozzles and Attachments

If you plan to use detergents, you will need to attach your detergent supply to the hose itself and disengage when you’re finished. Special nozzles can be used to direct the spray pattern, making it wider or slimmer depending on your needs. Clusters of caked on dirt, for instance, may require a direct blast from a stream of water as opposed to a wider arc. Also, keep in mind that you should direct your spray away from plants, animals, peoples, electrical wiring and any equipment in your home (like a water heater).

Further Treating

After you have finished the pressure washing, you can clean your driveway with a simple brush and some water. You can also use detergent, but it’s important to make pressure washing something that happens every once-in-a-while. Even the best electric pressure washer can eventually wear away at your concrete, facilitating earlier replacement. The best step is to treat only serious stains, and use manual cleaners for work in-between pressure washings.

Final Thoughts

You can use your pressure washing unit for other jobs around the house too, as long as you carefully adjust the pressure in the hose. A small air compressor can be used to dry the parts you work with, especially pipes and other precision instruments.