The driveway leading up to your home is often one of the last things that comes to mind when you're thinking about improving the curb appeal of your property. This seemingly low-cost property maintenance task makes a dramatic visual difference though, and it shouldn't be overlooked.
How Often Should You Clean Your Driveway?
It can really depend on where your property is located and the surrounding environment. If your property has lots of mature trees that overhang the driveway there will be a lot of pollens, sap and other organic debris collecting on your driveway. This organic debris that collects on the driveway then contributes to algae and moss growth.
If your driveway is shaded with lots of tree or hedge cover it will grow algae and moss much faster and you should consider power washing it at least every 2 years, it wouldn't hurt to power wash the driveway annually but that's up to the homeowner, depending on the driveways appearance.
For properties with driveways that bask in the sun all day and have very little shade and organic debris that collects on top they create a very undesirable environment for algae, moss and other organic growth but they can still collect dust, dirt, mud, oil and other contaminants. Every 2-3 years is generally a good cycle for power washing an average driveway in Victoria, Saanich or Sidney.
Can You Power Wash The Driveway On Your Own?
Yes, of course! You just want to make sure you've got the right equipment and a few hours of spare time. While a regular pressure washer can work, it will also unnecessarily cause wear and tear on your concrete driveway which accelerates erosion. Remember, concrete is porous and meant to actually absorb water and let it pass through, if you blast it with high pressure you're going to effectively be removing some of the surface which will roughen up the concrete considerably, it will be clean, but much closer to requiring replacement!
As professionals we use a piece of equipment called a "surface cleaner" and it evenly disperses the water over a much larger area (usually 12"-16") and at a set height over the concrete. Utilizing a surface cleaner with the power washer helps protect our customers concrete from any damage and actually does a more thorough job of cleaning concrete surfaces anyway. The surface cleaner also works to protect your gardens, garage doors, exterior walls and other landscape features from overspray.
What Type Of Stains Can Be Removed From a Driveway?
Driveways can collect all kinds of stains from tree saps and oils to automotive oils to chewing gum, dirt, mud, bird poop and more. All of these can all be removed using a pressure washer and the right detergents or degreasers on the driveway. In most cases degreasers and detergents aren't necessary but are available for really stubborn stains.
How Much Will It Cost To Clean Your Driveway?
That's a tough question to answer over the Internet but we can certainly give you a rough idea. Power washing a driveway is usually estimated and charged by the square foot, this can vary from as low as .15 cents per sq ft. up to .25 cents per square foot depending on how soiled and dirty the surface is, what type of material it is (interlocking brick or concrete) the overall size of the driveway and working conditions.
Here are a few questions that we commonly ask clients
Is your driveway made with interlocking brick, or paving stones? If so, then the power washing process must be followed up with an application of polymeric sand. This greatly increases the cost of labor and materials.
Do we need to move any furniture or clutter before we can start?
Will there be vehicles such as RV's or Boats we need to work around?
Will you have gardens next to your driveway you need covered?
Do you have pets we need to be concerned about?
Ensuring that we have easy and unblocked access to the entire driveway the minute we arrive to your home definitely makes the job easier for us because it saves us time. We are happy to move items off your driveway or protect gardens and your property but we need to know ahead of time so we can account for this time in your estimate.
Let's consider this scenario for someone with a large driveway...
Let's say you're a property owner located in the Deep Cove area of North Saanich. You have a small acreage connected to the main road with a curved cement driveway that that is 90 feet long by 15 feet wide. Using those measurements you would have 1350 square feet of driveway (90 x 15 = 1350). The driveway hasn't been cleaned in a few years so it's fairly heavily soiled with algae, moss, dirt, dust and no longer resembles the new cement surface it once had. If the final estimate came out to .15 cents per sq. foot you'd be looking at a total cost of $202.50 + tax to have your driveway professionally cleaned and looking like new again. Not that bad for the immediate visual improvement it will bring your property.
If you have a large driveway or commercial property then you can expect to pay .15 - .20 cents per square foot.
Let's consider this scenario for someone with a much smaller city driveway...
Let's say you're a homeowner in Sidney with an average sized, typical city lot and a straight, flat driveway that measures 35 feet long by 20 feet wide. You have 700 square feet of driveway. The driveway is the same as the above scenario, it hasn't been cleaned in a few years. There are large trees that overhang the driveway and contribute to the algae and other organic growth the driveway seems to have. If the estimate came out to .20 cents per sq. foot you'd be looking at a total cost of $140.00 + tax to have your driveway professionally cleaned and looking like new again.
If you have a small driveway you can expect to pay .20 - .25 cents per square foot.
That's pretty good considering a good pressure washing machine capable of cleaning a driveway in any reasonable amount of time would cost upwards of $700-$1000. Not to mention the time you'll need to run it and the space you'll need to store it if you aren't using it frequently.
When you factor the cost of doing it yourself, hiring someone to come out once every two years and clean your driveway and concrete professionally isn't such a bad idea. You can leave for work in the morning and come back to a bright and clean driveway that evening.
Cleaning Your Driveway Will Increase Your Curb Appeal
If your driveway is heavily soiled and hasn't been cleaned in a few years then you've possibly forgotten about the hidden gem you've got buried under all that algae, dirt and grime. A quick power wash will return your driveway to it's original bright, clean and new looking appearance. Driveway cleaning is an excellent project for homeowners who might be looking to sell or for a neglected property that just needs some TLC. It's an affordable home improvement project that will make an immediate visual impact in just a few hours time.
Would You Like an Estimate To Power Wash Your Driveway?
Island Pro Mowing and Landscaping is a full service landscape contractor that offers driveway cleaning services utilizing one of our two pressure washing systems. We use special attachments called surface cleaners along with the appropriate (and environmentally friendly) detergents or degreasers to wash away years of dirt and grime from your driveway.
If you'd like an estimate to clean and power wash your driveway located in Victoria, Saanich or Sidney please give us a call or fill out our contact form today and we'll schedule a date for your estimate.
You do not need to be present for the estimate we just need to take a quick square footage measurement and get a good look at the driveway.