During the winter months, you’ll notice that outside your home there are areas that are getting progressively dirtier including paths, patios and driveways. Cleaning machines for these areas will take the back ache and hard work out of manually cleaning them with a scrubbing brush! And they are a lot more fun to use!
External surfaces like patio slabs, brick driveways, stone slabs and edging stones lose their sparkle and shine, while leaves and other debris such as moss from gutters fall on to them and gradually create patches of mud that become ingrained and potentially slippery.
Thankfully, with a bit of care and attention, a driveway – whatever material it is made from - can quickly regain its sparkle and make the front of your home look great again.
Here are some top tips for driveway cleaning.
Use the right tools for the type of driveway
Using the right tools for the job is essential. If you have a stone chip driveway then tools such as leaf blowers are great for quickly removing leaves and small sticks without unsettling the stones. A lot of driveways, however, are made out of smoother surfaces such as concrete, tarmac, brick or paving stones. We will focus our driveway cleaning tips mostly on these for the rest of this article.
Scrubbing and sweeping a driveway can be a lot of hard work and the best way to save time and avoid any physical injury is by using a pressure washer to clean a driveway. Power washers can take a few minutes to set up but once this is done, it’s the most effective way to clean a path or driveway. Power washers are also referred to as pressure washers.
Unlike manually sweeping, with a pressure washer, you also don’t need to use any cleaning liquids as the pressure from the water is sufficient to clean the driveway.
Clear the driveway first
Before power washing or using any other cleaning tool for your driveway, make sure to clear the area of any items first. Parking your vehicles on the road or to the side of the area you are working on allows you to avoid causing any damage to the vehicle - and it helps to see what needs to be cleaned! It’s also important to remove any excess debris such as large sticks or clumps of moss.
Wear the right clothing
This might seem trivial, but pressure washers can create a lot of splashback, especially when the water spray hits corners or the wall of the house. A good pair of wellington boots is a great way to avoid soaking feet and wet socks! Power washers should be pointed at an angle, away from the body and never at anybody else.
Spend more time on tough to clean areas
Some areas of a driveway are dirtier than others or take more time to clean. If you have a pressure washer with variable power then it’s worth turning the power up to remove stubborn marks. If your power washer is struggling to remove stains then it might be time to consider a more powerful power washer.
Visit our online store to view our pressure washers to buy online.
Work out where to start, and which direction to go in
Whether you use a power washer or the traditional hosepipe and brush to clean your driveway, you are likely to be using a fair amount of water which needs to run off the driveway. It’s best to avoid cleaning upwards on an incline as water will flow over the area you are working on, making it harder to see what has been cleaned. It also risks making the driveway dirty again as the water will be dirty, and it will carry debris back across the cleaned area.
Start in a corner and work your way across the driveway toward the end of the driveway where there is more likely to be drainage. If there is too much water build-up then consider taking a small break or working on a slightly different area of the driveway for a short period while the water drains away.
Seal the driveway
Once you have cleaned the driveway, consider using a driveway sealer. This will help to prevent moss and other plants like grass from growing between the cracks and will help keep the driveway looking great for longer.
Look after your tools
Power washers, leaf blowers and other tools aren’t just for one-time usage and, if looked after properly, they will last much longer. Make sure to clean your tools properly and unblock any pipes or air vents that might have debris stuck in them. All tools should be dried off before being stored away.
At John Miller Garden Machinery, we offer a range of tools to help you look after your driveway and other pathways - as well as your garden. Why not browse our full range of tools in our online store! * See individual products for the exact warranty and conditions