Clean Your Patio & Driveway Like a Pro
Your patio and driveway are exposed to the influence of weather elements all year round. This is the reason why they get slimy and messy in time.
It doesn’t matter how well the pavement is laid or how expensive the material was, there is no such thing as a true “maintenance-free” paving.
To keep these areas clean and looking how they’re supposed to, you will have to do some basic maintenance.
This will also keep them from deteriorating which translates into the need to replace them, an expensive option that is, with a bit of care, rarely necessary.
Some reasons you should take into consideration when debating whether it is necessary to clean the patio and driveway are:
1. Maintaining your home value
In the current economy it’s important to preserve property in the best condition ever, in order to maintain its value.
Home value is tightly related to perception, if the house or diveryway look unkept, potential buyers will pay less because they’ll undervalue it.
2. Keep them looking good and in good shape
The longer the time between cleaning and sealing your driveway, the greater chances of deterioration. Sealing will keep the grime, weeds, dirt and chemicals out of the picture. All of these lead to decay so by keeping everything clean you can extend the amount of time between full driveway replacements.
3. Avoiding accidents
Slimy driveways can lead to extremely dangerous accidents, especially in the rainy season. The mix between a decayed driveway, rain and mud can become dangerous for your property and life as well.
The best way to make sure your patio and driveway are in tip-top shape is to do regular maintenance at least twice a year. This recommendation is general, you have to take into consideration the amount of traffic your driveway receives as wall as what types of vehicles are parked on it.
Any fluid leaks should be cleaned immediately because they can seep into the paving, discolor it and break it due to the harsh chemicals.
HOW TO DO IT
Cleaning your driveway has to take into consideration the type of material used. There are different things you need to pay attention to.
Concrete driveways require little maintenance and routine care over its lifetimes. Even so, there is no such thing as maintenance-free paving material so you’ll have to give it a bit of attention in order to maintain its appearance and durability.
1. Clean and reapply sealer when it’s needed
The frequency to do this depends strongly on the weather conditions the concrete is exposed to and the amount of vehicle traffic.
Cleaning should be done once or twice a year to remove normal dirt and grime build-up, rust or other stains.
As a general rule, resealing should be required every 2-3 years, when you notice that the finish shows wear.
2. Remove stains as soon as you spot them
The sealer will protect your concrete from stain absorption but it’s still a safer bet to remove grease, oil, gasoline and other spills as soon as possible.
For oil, grease or antifreeze stains you could try putting kitty litter over the fresh stain to soak up most of it. If the stains are older,you can try several other methods of removal:
- using liquid laundry detergent on the stain, let it sit, scrub it after with a wet broom, rinse, let dry and then repeat as needed
- use dry dishwasher detergent after you wet the stained area; let it sit for a while and then pour boiling water, scrub and rinse
- scrub the stain with a grease solvent such as benzene. ATTENTION ! This can ignite easily so be careful and have a fire extinguisher close by!
- try a commercial product specifically designed for this sort of issue.
Rust stains can be removed by following some specific steps. First you need to wet the area and then sprinkle some wood bleach (found at hardware stores), spray some light water mist and allow this mixture to sit. After a while scrub, rinse and repeat if needed.
Tire marks are easily removed by spraying some automotive brake cleaner on that spot.
For mold, fungus, dirt and bird droppings you might find it useful to use a power washer.
3. Avoid using chemicals to de-ice the driveway
These can cause damage to the surface because the force the thawing and refreezing of moisture.
Ammonium nitrates and sulphates are a primary ingredient in this type of products but they actually attack the concrete chemically. Rock salt and calcium chloride are better options but they can still damage vegetation and even corrode metal.
You should try to avoid using any types of deicers in the first winter after a driveway replacement because new concrete is more susceptible to all the negative effects of salt. Instead, try replacing it with sand if you search for a solution to help you with traction.
4. Last but not least, treat your driveway with care!
Concrete is one of the most durable paving materials but the typical residential driveway isn’t engineered to support really heavy vehicles or large construction equipments.
Another thing you have to pay attention to is avoiding to chose a shovel with a metal blade on your driveway because it might scrape or scratch the surface.
If indeed you observe scratches or cracks in the concrete you have to repair them to maintain a structurally sound surface and limit the water intrusion through the cracks.
1. Avoid any petroleum derivatives!
Such substances will dissolve into the asphalt and ultimately destroy it. You have to be careful not only to cleaners but also motor oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid, gasoline and even household solvents.
If you spot a stain, your safest bet might be a biodegradable cleaner or even plain dishwashing soap.
If the staining is heavy or extensive, the best option is to actually coat the driveway with a black sealer. The coal-tar product (available at any hardware store) will cover any stains and give a black finish.
2. Sealcoat the driveway yearly
This way you’ll make sure it will be protected against damage, weather’s negative effects and staining and you’ll get to enjoy a new-looking black appearance.
CRUSHED GRAVEL OR CRUSHED STONE
This type of driveway is made from sand, clay, silt and larger aggregates. This type of pavement offers a more elegant look at a low maintenance cost.
There is no such thing as an oil or grease stain problem, these can easily be hidden with a shovel. The only thing this type of driveway needs is to add a new layer every few years.
EPOXY PEBBLE FINISH
This type of concrete overlays gives the driveway a more attractive look. The epoxy seal keeps the gravel in place and keeps the stains away as well.
For this type of surface you should use a TSP solution, a power washer and have it re-glazed every 2 to three years.
The most practical option is to hire a professional patio & driveway cleaning company to do the job the way it’s supposed to be done.
Since most types of paving slabs used to lay patios are extremely porous, they make a great environment for different surface growth such as weed, moss and algae, both on the surface of the paving and between the joints.
Fast Window Cleaning offers high quality patio and driveway cleaning services thanks to the latest high pressure cleaning machines and equipment. This way you can be sure you’ll have any surface growth or dirt removed.
Using the most fitted equipment, we are able to restore paving, brick, concrete and most of the other hard surfaces close to their original condition.
Besides the cleaning service, we also offer sealing options for your decking or driveway.
For more information – you can request a Free quote here.