We here at Atlas Painting and Restorations Ltd. are certainly not newcomers to the pressure-washing scene. In fact, most of our employees can recount many a hot summer afternoon spent outside toiling in the burning sun, working steadily to ensure that every corner, nook, and cranny emerges looking brand new. And you know what? Despite all of the hard work, there are few things that are as satisfying as admiring a freshly cleaned driveway. Although pressure washing outdoors may seem relatively easy, there are a number of steps that should be carefully followed in order to ensure that The Joneses aren’t laughing from their immaculately cleaned slice of tarmac. Check out Atlas’ handy guide below and include it as a part of your personal summer home restoration project!
- First things first you’ll want some basic materials. These should include a broom, safety gloves, plastic sheeting (where applicable), spray degreaser, stiff brush, spray degreaser, detergent
- Start your driveway cleanup excursion by sweeping the area with a broom. Make sure to try to remove as much excess dirt, dust, and debris or else this may cause problems later.
- Things may get messy, so be sure to cover nearby walls, doorways, and lawn ornaments with plastic sheeting. We strongly recommend purchasing some painters tape when doing this as you will be able to obtain superior surface coverage. The last thing you’ll want is a fresh driveway but a front door covered in debris!
- Check your safety manual. Believe it or not, pressure washers are actually fairly heavy-duty pieces of equipment that have the potential to wreak ten types of havoc on your person and your property. Always remember that safety comes first, and that you should check your machines’ manual, especially if you have never used it before.
- Apply some spray degreaser to the surface you are looking to clean. Once it is applied, use your stiff brush (or brush attachment on the washer) in order to scrub the material into the concrete.
- Now for the fun part: assembling your pressure-washing device. They typically come with nozzle functions meant specifically for these situations, often labeled ‘soap’. Once this is all arranged to suit you needs, it is time to hook your washer up to a garden hose (we usually recommend using hoses 50ft or more in length).
- This step is quite easy. Turn on the water.
- Now it is time to set up your detergent. The best way to do this is to use the detergent siphon located on your washer, as you can usually dip it right into the detergent container. Once you have crank started your device, the tube will mix together water with the detergent.
- At this point, we usually recommend using safety gloves while you spray the detergent. While performing this action, try to keep about 10-20 inches away from the concrete. Working in a rhythmic, back and forth manner, you should slowly make your way across the driveway during application. Try to overlap each stroke by about 6-8 inches. Once the surface is well-sprayed, let it sit for about 5-10 minutes.
- Now the moment you’ve been waiting for: time to start pressure washing! Begin by switching your device over to the spray function, often labeled ’25 degree’. Then hold down the handle to release a steady stream of water onto the surface, moving back and forth from one side of the concrete surface to the other. If you come across tough stains such as paint, hold the tip close to the concrete in order to remove it.
- As an additional step, you can purchase waterproof sealer so as to fill out any crevasses in the pavement. Pour the sealer into a paint pan, then use a roller in order to apply edge-to-edge along the concrete.
So there you have it, those are the fundamental steps behind pressure-washing your driveway like a pro! It’s a little more complicated than many are lead to believe, but by carefully following these directions you’ll have your tarmac absolutely gleaming in the summer sun. If you’re too busy to complete/start your ‘honey-do’ list or just don’t have the equipment necessary, give us a call and we will provide you with a cost free estimate and can free up your time so you can spend more with your family/kids this summer.