When it comes to buying, hiring or using a pressure washer, the blogs and guides available are endless. From companies marketing their services through to retailers trying to sell pressure wash equipment, the outdoor cleaning market is waterlogged with information – not all of it entirely useful.
But what about those who are new to block driveways and want answers to the most basic question – can I pressure wash a block driveway?
This blog helps to answer that all-important starter question and point you in the right direction to ensure the optimal clean for your driveway.
What does pressure washing involve?
Pressure washers rely on a high-pressure stream of cold water to blast away dirt and algae; particularly effective against moss which settles between paving slabs, and on grime which can cover outdoor driveways, patios and even outside walls.
The pressurised water is often enough to break down dirt on a surface and wash it away. However, it may struggle in comparison with the heated element of a power washer when it comes to oil stains or greasy marks – in this case, and a professional cleaner will be able to assess your driveway and recommend the best course of treatment.
Where are the dangers in pressure washing a block driveway?
Pressure washers, as with many outdoor cleaners, can cause hazards if misused. Due to the high pressure of the water flow, paintwork and jointing sand between block paving can quickly become displaced if the jet is angled too directly.
So we would always recommend that a new user consult the guidelines around optimum angling of the jet, or seek the aid of a professional.
Though a little cracked paintwork and displaced jointing sand may not sound like a big deal, an uneven joint between paving slabs can easily lead to unsteady surfaces which cause trip hazards, while cracked paintwork can quickly become unsightly and messy.
These can both become quite expensive mistakes to fix, and if left unattended can leave your driveway or paving untidy, unsteady and dangerous to walk on.
How can I best prepare my driveway for pressure washing?
• Clear any vehicles and loose items of furniture out of the way, including plant pots, benches and other moveable objects.
• Pick as many weeds from between your block driveway stones as possible, either pulling them or scrubbing at them with hot water and a hard-bristle brush. These can be effective at removing large items of debris as well as moss and any growing weeds, as the pressure wash uses a high-pressure stream of cold water which will quickly blast away anything you loosen or displace.
• Ensure you are aware of the most basic safety procedures, including wearing goggles to protect your eyes.
• Practice the angle of your jet stream on a small area first, ideally, one which will not be damaged if done incorrectly.
• Ensure you have all the necessary equipment and washes ready before you get started, and get to know the ideal timings for each stage.
So, can I pressure wash a block driveway?
In short, yes. Pressure washing a block driveway is an excellent way of restoring the surface to its former glory in a cost-effective way – though as with anything, you should address with caution and the correct level of knowledge.
If you are in any doubt about your ability to pressure wash your block driveway, seeking the help of a professional is a right way of ensuring a reliable service which will be executed safely and with an optimal finish.
Any final tips?
• Get in touch with a few professionals before settling on one company so that you can cross-compare quotes.
• If you are looking at purchasing a pressure washer for yourself, check the water pressure in your area is reliable enough to support the equipment.
• Read the reviews – whether you’re purchasing a jet washer or hiring in a cleaning professional. The word of other buyers is no doubt, the best way to truly understand what your money will buy you.