Houses with high curb appeal sell for an average 7% higher than other homes. However, even if you’re not planning to sell your home, you should take care of the outside just as well as you do the inside.
Keeping up the outside of your house has a lot to do with the presentation of the driveway. Too many people let their driveways get dirty, damaged, or overgrown. Don’t let that be you.
Here are nine tips for keeping your driveway clean and your house looking great inside and out.
1. Cleaning Materials Depend on Driveway Materials
Driveways can be made of concrete, brick, asphalt, or paver block. Each of these materials should be treated differently while cleaning. You want to remove dust, dirt, and any other build-up without damaging the surface of the driveway.
We’ll go into some specific tips later on, but generally speaking, you should have the following tools for your driveway clean up.
- Pressure washer
- Broom and a stiff brush
- Pressure washer detergent
- Garden hose
- Gallon size bucket
2. Remove Grease Stains
The supplies listed above are great for a regular clean, but when it comes to special stains from grease, anti-freeze or other auto fluids, you’ll need an absorbent agent like cat litter or sawdust.
The key to removing grease stains is to take care of it right away. Don’t wait for your regular cleaning time because it might be too late to remove it. If you see a spill, apply the absorbent agent and leave it for up to 24 hours. This will give it time to soak up the grease or whatever fluid spilt.
You can then remove the absorbent and see the results for yourself. If the stain has set and you are unable to remove it yourself, consider hiring a professional service to help you with the job.
3. Use the Pressure Washer Correctly
If you’re renting or buying a pressure washer, look for something between 3,000 and 3,500 PSI. This is plenty of power to wash down the driveway and any other outdoor surfaces that need cleaning.
You’ll also want to use the green tip for the pressure washer when washing concrete. Anything less powerful won’t work and more powerful could cause damage.
If you notice lines of dirt on the surface of the driveway once you’re done, it probably means that you missed a few spots. Take your time and pay attention to detail when using the pressure washer. It will make a big difference in the long run.
4. Don’t Skip on Detergents
Detergents do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to a clean driveway. Use an all-purpose cleaner and apply according to directions. The detergent will actually lift the dirt or mold to the surface making it easier to clean.
Think about the detergent like your laundry detergent. It pulls out stains so that they can be removed during the washing process. You’ll want to give it at least 30 minutes to do its job before you continue.
For best results, use a brush after the detergent has set but before you wash it down.
5. Paint Stains
This list of driveway cleaning tips wouldn’t be complete without addressing paint stains. If it’s an oil-based paint, you can use a paint-stripping agent and a brush. Let the paint-stripping agent sit for at least 30 minutes before you pour water over it.
You should only use a paint-stripping agent on concrete driveways. It may damage asphalt or brick driveways.
For a latex paint spill, try a regular powder detergent agent. Scrub with a brush and rinse with water. Again, if these solutions don’t work you can find a local service in your area that specializes in removing driveway stains.
6. Rust Stains
Keeping your driveway clean means dealing with potential stains from rust. To remove rust stains, you can use a solution called muriatic acid. Be very careful when using this product as it should not come in contact with your skin.
Add a half-cup of muriatic acid to about 4 cups of cold water. Scrub the surface with a hard brush.
Although you can get rid of rust stains, it’s better to be proactive and not let rust settle on the driveway in the first place. Avoid leaving any metal objects in the driveway for long periods of time or overnight. This is what causes rust to appear and build up over time.
7. Consider Sealing for Concrete
If you’re tired of maintaining your concrete driveway, look into sealing services. The sealing acts as a protective coat on the driveway and prevents dirt, mold, or mildew from penetrating the surface.
You can keep your driveway clean with or without sealing, but it’s significantly less work after a seal has been installed.
8. Seal Small Cracks
It’s normal for small cracks to appear in the driveway over time. However, instead of letting them get worse, you should seal them as soon as you can.
You want to seal the crack before dirt, grass, or moss has time to grow inside the crack. The longer you wait, the more expensive and extensive the process is to fix it.
9. Sweep Often
Be proactive about your driveway cleanliness. You can use an outdoor broom on the surface of the driveway regularly to prevent the build-up of dust and dirt. It also removes leaves, soil, and loose grass from the surface leaving it looking clean and tidy.
You should try to sweep the driveway at least once every other week. It doesn’t take much time and will save you money.
Keeping Your Driveway Clean 101
We hope you learned a lot from these tips on keeping your driveway clean. Remember to use the proper equipment and protect the driveway in between cleanings.
Dealing with stains or cracks as soon as you notice them will prevent bigger, more expensive projects in the long run. However, if you do have a big driveway project, we are here to help.
Contact us today for all your outdoor cleaning needs.