How to Pressure Wash Your Driveway and Sidewalks
Updated: Sep 10, 2018
Today I want to talk about how to pressure wash your driveway and sidewalks. Living in Florida, the battle between maintenance and mother nature never ceases. It is hot, humid, and rains most afternoons in the summer months, which in Florida is most of the year. This creates the perfect environment for mold and algae to thrive and for you to be frustrated when your driveway and sidewalks need to be pressure washed once again. So, what do you do about it?
You have the option of hiring someone to come and clean your property professionally, or you can dive into a DIY project if you favor getting it done on your own. Regardless of your decision, I want you to have the valuable information of what to look for in a company you hire; or what equipment and methods will help individuals get the job done correctly and efficiently.
DIY: How to pressure washing your driveway and sidewalks
For those who want to tackle the task on their own, the first thing I would recommend is that you purchase a surface cleaner. This piece of equipment can cut your pressure washing time in half and produce a much better result than just using a pressure washer wand. The cost is a factor as a decent one will cost you a few hundred dollars depending on brand name and size. I would say a 20” that is rated for about 3-4 GPM and 3000-3500 PSI would be sufficient for the typical once or twice a year cleaning. The surface cleaner will need nozzles in coordination with the output of your set-up. For example, a 4 GPM machine would need two 2-gallon nozzles (one for each end) to work properly. Surface cleaners should come with nozzles, but if you need to replace them, you just unscrew old ones and screw the new ones back in their place. You shouldn’t need to do this often if you are only using it once or twice a year.
Another helpful tip is installing a ball valve on the end of your pressure washing hose so that you can switch back and fourth between the wand and the surface cleaner without having to turn your machine on and off. The surface cleaner has a quick connect on the handle and connects just like the wand would. The water pressure causes the bar underneath with nozzles on each end to spin at a high rate of speed. This creates a very effective cleaning process. You need to walk slow enough for the machine to complete cleaning before moving on. If you walk too quickly, it will leave circular swirl marks and you know you need to slow down. I suggest you go back over the same area from the opposite direction to ensure every little bit is as clean as possible.
After you have covered the entire area with the surface cleaner, you go back and rinse off the mess that is left over with the wand or you can take the same ball valve and open at a 45-degree angle and this will create a nice pressure for rinsing. If you have stubborn areas you can pre-treat the desired area with a bleach mixture to help loosen up the dirt and grime. Rust and stains from some trees and fertilizers will not come out with normal pressure washing. Sometimes they will lighten up but cannot be guaranteed. They can be removed, but you need chemicals to aid the process and these can usually harm your landscapes if you are not careful.
What should I look for in a professional pressure washer?
If you decide that you prefer having a professional handle the job, then there are some things you should know also. Pressure cleaning is interesting in the sense that you have many levels of businesses doing the service. This is one of the most frustrating things as a business owner in this industry because we have tens of thousands of dollars in equipment and thousands in monthly overhead on top of that, but people want to know why you can't clean their property for the same price as the guy that has a little pressure washer in his garage, but who does questionable work. The choice really lies with the home owner.
If you are only looking for the cheapest price I could throw a rock and hit 50 guys who match the 'guy with a machine in his garage' description. However, if you are more concerned with the quality of work and you want someone who is going to do a quality job every time, someone who is reliable and honest, you are going to have to pay a little more for that level of service. Our prices are around 10 cents a square foot for flatwork; and we think that is a fair price. If you go on Google and search for what this service should cost, you will find it is higher than our price, substantially. I don’t make a habit of speaking about others, but what I can tell you is what you can expect from us.
We plan on setting a new standard in the service industry. Meaning we will be on time, professional, pleasant, do what we say when we say, deliver a quality that is better than the rest and do so with a smile on our face. That is my promise to all our customers, current and future. You will never need to look any further than Dykes Pressure Cleaning if you want a reliable company who will maintain your home or business in a stress-free manner for the years to come.
Dykes Pressure Cleaning – (386) 847-3626