On top of offering off-street parking for homeowners, driveways are always a great way to improve the looks and value of your home. Whatever the type of your driveway, tarmac, brick or concrete, the beauty of a driveway can never be overlooked. However, auto oil, weed, debris, paint spills and other forms of dirty can reverse this benefit, making the driveway ugly and old-looking. These green stuff and stains can be annoying, hence the need to make it your duty to show more love to your outer space in 2020. Unfortunately, cleaning driveways for most of us has never been a priority. Why do you need to clean the driveway in the first place?
Why do you Need to Clean your Driveway?
- To enhance your home appearance – One of the most effective yet ignored ways to lift our home aesthetic value is regular driveway cleaning and maintenance. Cleaning will get rid of mud, debris, stains, grime and mildew to restore the beautiful looks of your property.
- Increase driveway durability – When dirt accumulates in the gaps between the blocks or cracked pavements, it allows weed to grow damaging the driveways by creating or expanding the cracks. Cleaning the driveway often removes the dirt and any unwanted vegetation, saving you from future repair or replacement expenses. Moreover, chemicals in oil and other spills can react with the surface, damaging your outer space.
- Enhance safety of the property occupants – Algae and mould growing as well as some spills on the surface of your driveway can be slippery and a hazard to you and your family. Removing them by cleaning the surface as soon as you notice them will enhance safety within your home.
- Increase the value of your home – Your driveway is the first thing that home buyers notice when they visit the property. Therefore, keeping it as clean as new can be a good way to impress them and increase the chance of getting a higher offer when selling your property.
Before you Start Cleaning the Driveways
Driveway cleaning can be a bit tricky and time consuming but with the right tools and information, it will be simple and faster. First, it is important to understand the type or material of your driveway and identify the best cleaning that won’t damage the surface. If you have no idea about this, you can consult specialist for guidance.
Second, depending on your driveway cleaning needs, prepare all the necessary tools and equipment for the job. You may have to hire some of the equipment or hire professional driveway cleaning services to complete the job for you.
10 Useful Driveway Cleaning Tips
The following DIY driveway cleaning tips will help you maintain a clean and welcoming home throughout the year 2019 and beyond.
1. What is the best time to clean my driveway?
It is advisable to remove dirt and stains from the driveway as soon as you notice them. However, most home owners wait for the summer or spring months to power or pressure wash the driveway simply because algae and moss are more visible. It is also important to choose cloudy day for the washing to prevent quick drying, which can compromise the cleaning effectiveness. It should take you about 1 to 2 hours or an afternoon depending on the size of the space.
2. Preparing the cleaning tools and equipment
For the best result you will need to be armed with various driveway cleaning tools. You may require the following:
- Sawdust or kitty litter – absorbent.
- A quality scrub brush – grill brush.
- Outdoor broom.
- Hose pipe or sprayer.
- Dish or laundry detergent.
- A gallon size bucket.
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3. Removing grease or antifreeze spill stains
Brake fluid, oil and gasoline spills from your car can really compromise the attractiveness of your driveway. It is therefore important to remove them promptly to prevent ugly staining of the surface. To clean the grease and oil mess, scatter your absorbent of choice on the stains and leave it for a couple of hours to absorb as much of the oil or grease as possible. You can use saw dust or kitty litter, spreading about 2 inch layer of the absorbent. If possible, you may leave it for 12 to 24 hours to absorb much of the spill.
4. Sweeping off the absorbent and other litter off the driveway
Collect the sawdust or kitty litter and sweep the entire driveway to remove any loose dirt such as dry leaves, soil particles, mud and other debris. Use a strong stiff-bristled broom meant for outdoor works to ensure all the debris and dirt has been removed from the block gaps of cracks.
5. Use the detergent to soak and dissolve the stain
You can either use the powder dishing washing detergent over the stain or a solution of washing soda and hot water.
- The recommended solution ratio is 2 cups of the detergent in three-quarter full bucket of hot water. If your driveway is made of asphalt, it is advisable to strictly use expert-recommended detergents.
- Allow the detergent to sit for approximately 30 minutes, and the scrub the stained areas using the deck brush and the detergent solution.
- Finally, use a hose pipe at the highest possible pressure to rinse the driveway with clean water.
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6. Cleaning paint spills
Spilling paint on the driveway can leave unattractive patches that can become a headache to remove. Depending on the type of paint, you can easily remove the patches in the following ways:
For oil based paints, you will need to use a paint-stripping solution and scrub it off with a stiff brush. Allow it to sit for some time before rinsing with clean water. This is only recommended for concrete driveways as the stripping products may damage the asphalt material. In such a case you can use a sealer to cover the affected area.
For latex paints, use water together with the normal scouring powder and scrub the spill with a stiff brush. Rinse with clean water to wash away the spill.
7. Cleaning dry leaves and organic litter
Grass from the lawn and falling leaves can accumulate on the driveway making it look unattractive. Besides, when left for long, they decompose leaving a temporary stain on the surface. To clean the fallen leaves mess, you need to rake them away and sweep the entire driveway.
If you notice a brown stain on the surface, use a solution of dish washing powder and a bucket of hot water and scrub off the stain with a stiff brush. Using the hose pipe, rinse the driveway to wash away the dirt.
8. Removing rusty stains
Leaving any rust prone metallic object overnight on the driveway will form rusty spots on the surface. The most effective way to clean rust on your drive way is to use muriatic acid to scrub off the rusty spots. Carefully add a half-cup of the acid into approximately 4 cups of cold water. Use the solution and a stiff brush to scrub off the stains. It is important to follow the products safety precaution and use protective gears to prevent acid contact with your skin.
9. Pressure washing the driveway
You can effectively remove dirt, mud, mildew and other debris that makes your driveway look unattractive by pressure washing. It is advisable to read the pressure cleaner manual first to understand the best detergent for your specific models.
- First attach the hose pipe to the cleaner and pressure wash the entire driveway to remove loose dirt and debris
- Attach the soaping nozzle and soak the surface using the recommended detergent and allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Once the detergent has worked out the sticky stains and dirt, blast it off using the surface cleaner attachment.
- Finally use the 250-nozzle to rinse the driveway.
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10. Clean driveway maintenance
Driveways are exposed to a lot of dirt depending on the location and use, but with the right maintenance practices you can always ensure that the space remains clean and attractive. Here are a few ways to keep your driveway ever clean:
- Frequent sweeping – Make it a habit to sweep the driveway as frequent as need be, or at least twice every month. This will remove any loose debris such as small stones, soil, grass and tree leaves and prevents algae and mildew from growing.
- Cleaning up greasy and oily spill while still fresh – Removing fresh spills is not as hard as removing overstayed one. Additionally, this will prevent the oil or grease spill from spreading further prevent serious staining.
- Sealing cracks on the driveways – Cracks hold up soil which supports growth of weed in the pavement. By sealing the small cracks as soon as they appear will prevent accumulation of debris and save you expensive repairs in the future.
If you are sick of the green substances growing on your driveway or annoying rust, paint or oil stains, contact Complete Drives and Patios. They have the expertise and will restore the beauty of your outer space. When you work with them, they will keep your driveway clean and this will not only improve the looks of your home, but also raise the value of the property.