Your driveway welcomes you home everyday. But is it really a welcoming sight? Unless you have recently replaced your driveway or had it cleaned, your driveway is probably a mess. Like anything else, your driveway will get dirty if it isn’t regularly cleaned. Grease, oil and dirt stains are common on driveways, but paint, rust and mildew can also be a problem.
And you might not think much of keeping your driveway clean, but it actually does a lot for your home’s curb appeal. A dirty driveway that’s poorly maintained can make even the best garden look unimpressive. So cleaning your driveway regularly will definitely help you put your best foot forward, especially if you’re trying to sell your house.
How to Clean Your Driveway
As mentioned oil, grease, paint and rust all regularly stain driveways. These stains are pretty tough, and removing them will take some effort.
Many people prefer to scrub their driveways by hand, as they believe it helps them save water. This is unlikely, seeing as you’ll usually have to repeat the cleaning process more than once to get satisfactory results from scrubbing your driveway by hand. However, if you really want to clean your driveway by hand, you can feel free to do so.
Your second option for cleaning your driveway is to have it power cleaned. Power cleaning machines use water under high pressures to blast away any dirt. While the process uses water under high pressure, it doesn’t necessarily use a lot of water when compared to hosing down your driveway and scrubbing it. The same amount of water your hosepipe would use can be blasted from the power cleaning machine’s nozzle more forcefully. This doesn’t mean the power cleaner uses more water, in fact, because the same area won’t need to be cleaned as many times, power cleaning is likely to use less water.
Power Cleaning vs Scrubbing Your Driveway
Now that you know what you options are, let’s compare power cleaning to scrubbing your driveway by hand. You already know that power cleaning doesn’t use more water, but how does it compare to scrubbing by hand?
Well, that depends on what your focus is.
So, here’s a quick review of how the two options compare in different areas:
- Price: If you want to be thrifty, your best option is scrubbing by hand. Perhaps you even have everything you need already, so it might not cost you a single cent to clean your driveway. One the other hand, power cleaning will require you to rent a machine or hire professional power cleaners to handle to job for you. Both of those options are more expensive than using dish washing liquid and a wire brush to scrub stains out.
- Time: If you want to spend as little time as possible cleaning your driveway, your best option is to hire a professional power cleaning company to do the job for you. And while renting a power cleaning machine and doing it yourself should take less time than scrubbing, learning to operate the equipment can take quite some time to get used to. Needless to say, scrubbing will take a very long time.
- Safety: Your safest option is to hire professionals to do the job. Power cleaning machines use water that’s under very high pressure, so the equipment is rather dangerous to operate. Getting down on your knees to scrub your driveway has some risks for mostly minor injuries. You’ll probably bruise your knees a bit and small stones or pieces of glass can cut into your knees while you’re on the ground scrubbing.
- Results: Hiring a professional power washing company is likely to get you the best results. Professionals know exactly what machine to use and at what pressure for the best results. However, renting a power cleaning machine or scrubbing can also have reasonably good results. Although scrubbing tends to leave faint stains and in most cases, you’ll have to repeat the process more than once for good results.
So, if you’re feeling adventurous and you’re up for a challenge, you can rent a pressure washing machine and get the job done yourself. However, this carries some risks, so don’t try pressure cleaning your own driveway if you’re scared of hurting yourself in the process. The injuries you can sustain from pressure washing machines can be pretty serious.
If your main focus is to save a couple of bucks, you’re going to have to spend time instead of money to clean your driveway. Scrubbing can take hours, and it’s a horrible job. You’ll feel dirty and your knees will hurt by the time you’re done. By the time you’ve finished, you’ll usually have to repeat the awful process. And no, you won’t save much water.
All in all, getting a professional to help you pressure clean your driveway is the best option. It’s safe, it’s convenient and you won’t have to spend any time cleaning your own driveway.
If you’re concerned about the appearance of your grass, be sure to ask the power cleaning company you choose to work with to use bio-friendly cleaning products that won’t damage your plants. This is generally a good call, as some products can stay in the ground for a long time without breaking down, making it difficult to keep a beautiful garden.