What do you see when you look at your driveway? Is it caked with dirt, mildew and algae? Maybe you have oil, A/C and other chemical stains resulting from years of use and neglect. Even your spilled coffee didn’t fully wash off when it rained. Did you know that these stains eat their way into the concrete and are often hard or impossible to remove? And they are not just ugly: Whether you have a regular concrete surface, stamped concrete or pavers, some aggressive liquids can even cause etching of your concrete which calls for a different approach than stain removal.
Just like other outdoor areas, driveways benefit greatly from regular maintenance with a pressure washer. In addition to regular cleaning, many surfaces such as driveways and walkways with pavers or other decorative concrete will benefit further from sealing. But before you do that, it’s crucial to understand a few things about those pesky stains and the preparation of your surface. Let's take a look first at cleaning these surfaces through pressure washing.
Cleaning Your Driveway Through Pressure Washing
Just how often you clean your driveway, patio, and other surfaces made of concrete, pavers and similar surfaces depends on several factors. Although concrete is quite durable, it is porous, so it readily absorbs liquids, which make it vulnerable to damage from a variety of sources. Oil, salt, fertilizer and other chemicals can discolor the surface and ultimately damage it. The intense sunlight that we get in the Clearwater area plays a part as does a high amount of foot or automobile traffic. Mold, mildew, salt and dirt easily embed in unprotected concrete, making the surface look dull, dirty and even grayish to black.
Preparing and Pressure Washing Concrete Surfaces
Before beginning pressure washing, make sure to pre-clean the surface by sweeping away loose debris such as leaves, sticks and stones. If you are cleaning a patio, make sure that outdoor furniture is placed away from the cleaning area. Cover adjacent areas especially those with decorative plants with a tarp to protect them.
To pressure wash concrete driveways, patio, sidewalks and the like, soak the area first with detergent and then clean it with the washer set at a maximum 3,000 psi. Setting the pressure higher can result in damaged concrete. Use a 25-degree nozzle for the cleaning and make sure to keep the stream of water moving during the entire process. Use a lighter pressure with brick pavers as these are made with a mixture of small aggregates and are more prone to damage. Also pay some attention to the sand fill in between the pavers as it can get easily flushed out when the jet of water is too forceful.
Dealing with Stubborn Stains in Your Driveway
Especially oil stains can give somebody a headache. They are often particularly stubborn and hard to remove. However, it is crucial to get them cleaned up as they have the nasty habit to seep back through to the surface after sealing and ruin the look of your newly sealed driveway or patio. Here are four ways to remove oil stains from concrete that we found on the concretenetwork.com:
*A poultice is a mixture of an absorbent powder and a liquid solvent. The solvent soaks into the concrete and breaks up the stain, while the powder draws the stain out of the concrete.
We are going to tell you more about these different types of concrete cleaning in one of our next articles.
How Long to Wait After Cleaning to Apply Sealant
Sealing your driveway after pressure washing will further protect it from the elements and any dirt and debris that stains the surface. The biggest mistake homeowners make, though, is applying sealant too soon after cleaning, which can result in the development of large cracks and other problems that require repair and additional costs. Any concrete surface should be thoroughly dry before applying sealant, generally between two and four hours.
Another issue that arises is not selecting the right sealant as many sealants available to homeowners may not provide the proper protection. Glossy sealants may simply enhance the surface and not offer stain protection. Penetrating sealers are the best choice as they contain a mixture of ingredients that provide multiple benefits.
Equally important is allowing the surface to fully cure and dry before walking, driving or placing furniture back on the surface. Wait at least 24 hours. You should also inspect the entire area to make sure you didn't miss any spots when applying the treatment.
DPI Pressure Washing Uses a Special Concrete Sealing System
The steps required to clean and seal your concrete driveway, patio or walkways are not something that every homeowner can do on their own. This maintenance task is time-consuming and can take all day if you have a lot of concrete surfaces to clean. DPI Pressure Washing can do the job for you, including sealing the concrete after pressure washing.
We use a process called Seal 'n Lock System, a unique, environmentally safe method that allows us to clean and seal your driveway or other concrete surfaces on the same day. Using this process, we can wash your concrete or pavers, sand the joints if needed and apply the sealer on the same day with no downtime. This water-based sealer can be applied while the concrete or pavers and joint sand are still wet, drastically cutting down the time required for the entire job. Your concrete surfaces will look like new and be protected.
What About Washing and Sealing My Tile Roof?
Tile roof cleaning is another tricky job as standing on the roof is not only dangerous for you but can also result in broken tiles that require replacement. Clearwater weather is harsh on tile roofs. Constant exposure to strong sunshine, rain and wind can leave the tiles faded and even filled with water, which might start leaking into your home. DPI Pressure Washing can protect the tile with a soft wash roof cleaning, followed by an application of a penetrating sealer called Protectosil that enhances the color and keeps away mold and mildew.
Contact Us For a Quote
When you search for pressure washing and sealing near me, you won't find many companies that can do both tasks in the Clearwater area. If you need both jobs done quickly, contact us by either calling at 813-991-7243 or filling out our convenient online form to get your free quote today!
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Cell: (727) 565-8722
We value your residential or commercial property in the greater Tampa Bay area and want to help you maintain and even increase its value, while offering professional and cost effective services.
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Ella May + Luna Marie + Amelie Rose Munoz:
We like to help our Dad to promote his pressure washing and window cleaning business in Clearwater and Tampa Bay. Hope you enjoy this blog ;-).
Charlotta Munoz + kids