How to clean a driveway. Start to finish


Unveiling the Art of Driveway Cleaning: A Step-by-Step Guide

Greetings from Southeast Softwash! We're excited to add another how-to video to our series, focusing on driveway cleaning. Our goal is to demonstrate an efficient and effective method to achieve outstanding results for our customers. Let's dive in!

The Professional Approach

Unlike amateur attempts with a wand that leave unsatisfactory results, we advocate for a professional approach using a surface cleaner. Before starting, it's essential to inspect the area for potential issues like worn-out spots near gutter downspouts or exposed aggregate due to wear and tear. Identifying these beforehand helps manage customer expectations, as we aim to clean the concrete without promising a brand-new slab appearance.

Pre-Treatment Process

For pre-treatment, we use a sodium hypochlorite-based mixture with a surfactant, keeping the concentration around three to four percent. This step not only speeds up the cleaning process with the surface cleaner but also ensures a more uniform finish. However, be mindful of the surfactant amount to avoid excessive sudsing.

Important Tips

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Always wear a respirator, especially during hot days, to avoid inhaling vaporized chemicals. Waterproof footwear is also crucial to protect your feet from chemical splashes.
  • Lawn Care: Be cautious of overspray on the grass. Rinse any affected areas thoroughly to prevent lawn damage.
  • Runoff Management: Comply with the Clean Water Act by avoiding chemical runoff into storm drains. Consider using reclaimed systems to capture and dispose of runoff legally and ethically.
  • Cleaning Strategy: Address the low spots first to avoid dealing with large puddles later. Pre-treat, clean in sections, and rinse as you go to prevent dirt from resettling into the concrete pores.

Equipment and Techniques

Our tool of choice is a trusty 20-inch surface cleaner, paired with a four-gallon-per-minute pressure washer. This combination, along with pre-treatment, allows us to handle larger surface cleaners effectively. When cleaning, be vigilant about the equipment's condition—ensure the tips are not clogged or worn out, as this can affect the cleaning quality and even damage the concrete.

Post-Treatment and Pricing

For exceptionally dirty driveways, post-treatment with an SH mixture can enhance the final look, eliminating any remaining lines and providing a professional touch. The pricing for such a driveway cleaning task varies, but for a sizable driveway like the one we demonstrated, it would typically range from $300 to $400, depending on various factors.

Final Thoughts

Driveway cleaning is an essential skill in the pressure washing business, requiring attention to detail, proper equipment, and the right chemicals. While we've covered many aspects in this video, there's always more to learn. If you have any questions or additional tips, feel free to leave a comment below. Don't forget to check out our other tutorials and subscribe for more insightful content on pressure washing techniques.

Read more