Concrete can be low maintenance – but not no-maintenance. That’s why you can take a few clear steps to keep it looking brand new all year round with proper driveway cleaning.
You have plenty of items in your home to clean, but it’s important not to overlook the essentials on the outside of your property, too.
After all, things like patios, walkways, and driveways are an investment in your home’s value, not to mention making it look great.
If you noticed that your driveway simply doesn’t look as beautiful as it used to, you don’t have to worry about a complete replacement or massive project. It’s surprising just how much a good, thorough cleaning can do to give a driveway a facelift.
But whether your driveway is a car length long or 20+ meters with ornamental features, it can be hard to know where to start with it comes to cleaning a concrete driveway. Luckily, you don’t need many supplies or a ton of time to get the job done right and your surfaces looking like new again.
Here’s how you care for your driveway.
How to decide if your concrete driveway needs cleaning
After all, these things are meant for the outdoors, exposed to the elements, and bound to get dirty, aren’t they?
Yes, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a time, place, or method for keeping up with the aesthetic you want to maintain.
A newly poured and professionally sealed driveway will have the look you want with the durability you’d expect from concrete. But there are some signs you can look for to know when it’s time to pay a little more attention to your entry surfaces.
- Dirt and debris build up
- Mildew or moss growth
- Grease or oil staining
- Tyre marks
Be sure to look for signs of these across the full spread of the driveway. For example, an oil stain in the middle where a work truck temporarily parked may be very noticeable. But discolouring in the corners where the driveway material meets your house can be harder to notice – and harder to clean up once you find it.
5 steps for proper driveway cleaning and upkeep
Not looking forward to cleaning up your driveway? Fear not. The process is not as drawn out, messy, or complicated as you might think.
And there’s another benefit beyond street appeal here, too. Some build up, especially algae or lichens, can create slippery surfaces that can become unsafe to walk on over time. Keeping things looking fresh will also keep your space safe for everyone to use.
When it comes to supplies, you won’t need too much to get started.
- Pressure or power washer
- Access to an outdoor water source
- Garden hose
- Concrete surface cleaner
- Wire brush
- Waterproof goggles and gloves
- Protective clothing and shoes
With that out of the way, let’s jump right into the steps to follow when cleaning your driveway.
Step #1: Remove debris
Start by eliminating any loose build up from the surface. Start near the home and work out of the corners, sweeping or using a hose to rinse away things like leaves and branches.
Step #2: Add cleaner
You can certainly choose to clean your driveway with pure water, but using a concrete cleaner product can help make the outcome even more effective. Many of these can be found at your local Bunnings or hardware box store and are non-toxic, making them safe even if you have kids or pets. Another benefit is that these cleaners can stop or help prevent the future growth of things like mosses and algae. So your cleaning is also preventative!
These cleaners are usually diluted or can be added to a reservoir on your hose or pressure washer. This brings us to the next step…
Step #3: Pressure wash
For the best results, you will want to use a pressure washer to force the dirt, grime, and grease off your driveway. Starting again with your back to your home, you can spray along with the cleaner to see instant results.
For concrete surfaces, be sure not to use more than 3000 psi of pressure. Power washing at high pressures can damage or crack the surface. This is especially true if you have an exposed aggregate concrete driveway.
Step #4: Rinse and repeat
You should be able to tell fairly quickly which areas may need more attention when it comes to pressure washing. But using a standard hose or lower pressure setting on your power washer to rinse away the loosened dirt and cleaning suds will help you make sure you didn’t miss anything. You can go over any stubborn stains from oil or tire tracks once more or target them with a bristle brush and a bit of extra cleaning solution
Step #5: Seal as needed
If your driveway is already or recently sealed, you can absolutely skip this step. However, if you have not sealed your driveway or it has been years since it was last done, now may be a great time to address this. Sealing concrete should only be done on a clean and dry surface, which you can come by fairly easily with this method.
Many concrete sealers can be either sprayed or rolled on in a thin layer to help protect the concrete from future spills and stains. You can also turn to a professional service to seal your driveway for you. This applies to everything from plain concrete to textured, coloured, and exposed aggregate applications.
Tips for keeping your driveway low maintenance all year round
Understandably, driveway cleaning is probably not something that’s top of mind for most Melbourne homeowners. That is until they start to notice dark streaks running toward the street or a large pile of something mysterious growing.
It can certainly pay when it comes to time and materials to do some basic year-round upkeep of your driveway so that any larger scale cleaning (see above steps) can be done minimally. Here are some handy tips to keep in mind:
- Make sure your driveway is properly and regularly sealed to protect the concrete underneath
- Sweep, blow, or rinse away dust and dirt so that debris does not continue to accumulate
- Ensure your cars are in good working order without oil or grease leaks when parked
- Check that you have proper roof plumbing in place so drainage is routes away from the concrete
- Ask delivery, maintenance, or work trust to park along your curb where possible
- Avoid sharp turns or hard breaking to prevent tire marks from appearing
- Schedule a spring and fall cleaning to properly wash and rinse your driveway for a pristine look
Seal the deal on your concrete driveway cleaning with Concept Concrete
At Concept Concrete, we specialise in all things driveways throughout Melbourne and the surroundings. Whether you are looking for a brand-new driveway or want to reseal your existing surface to look like new, you can call on your expert team.
Our family-run business puts the focus on high quality, professional projects that area done right the first time, every time. We also provide onsite quotes so you know exactly what it will cost for the work you want, when you need it, based on your specific driveway and specs.
Call us on 1300 366 343 or message us for a free quote today!