When cleaning a driveway we first must asses what exactly is on the surface?
At a quick glance we think it is dirt but upon closer inspection of the driveways concrete, pavers or other materials with pores we see it is actually mold and mildew from the built up humid weather. In most instances the unclean driveway will appear black and dark colored as well as green, from the algae and gleocapsmagma.
The best solution for this as with any cleaning is picking the proper tool for the job and the right chemical to achieve the best results.
Driveway Pressure Cleaning requires a professional pressure washer to push out the organic material in the driveways surface, typically concrete, paver or painted, then the chemicals usually being chlorine loosen the bacteria and kill it off. Making for a sanitized and clean surface.
Not only will the chemicals make the cleaning process easier but it will make it last longer. Water pressure alone will not kill the mold and mildew only remove it from the naked eye.
The primary cause of a dirty driveway surface is the weather and humidity that is built up day by day. After months without cleaning of untreatment the bacteria begins to eat at the salt mineral in the concrete and pavers, taking away its color and luster. A good driveway cleaning is recommended to be done every 6 months to a year. For homeowners looking for a lower cost alternative it may be best to rent a pressure washer at a local hardware store. For the homeowner tight on time it is best to hire a professional to get the job done right and with efficiency in mind. Common mold and mildew requires a low concentration of chemicals from a 1% to 3% with a high pressure cleaning and finish off with a low pressure rinse. For other organic stains like acorn stains, leaf stains and lichen bacteria a stronger mix should be used from 4% to 5% concentration of chemical mix. We caution you or the pressure cleaning professional to use caution while keeping the surrounding landscape in mind. There is nothing worse then being happy with a bright clean driveway but dead burnt grass all around and dried up shrubs along with burned flowers. When power washing any surface you must take into account the plants and painted surfaces, especially any organic paint from sherrwin williams paint that will stain just at the touch of any chlorine chemicals.
To recap this article we always recommend you use caution when handling pressure and chemicals this can not only harm you but your plants and property when handling incorrectly.