Tips for pressure cleaning concrete driveways
Plain concrete, stencilled, stamped
Small pressure cleaners can be deadly on concrete.
Concrete cleaning is by far one of the most difficult tasks a DIY home owner has to encounter.
The porous nature of concrete makes it almost impossible to clean without the proper equipment and in most cases; the area that has to be cleaned is a large driveway. This means days of bending over with a domestic pressure cleaner because they just don’t have the power to clean unless you hold it 50mm from the ground and the closer you hold it the smaller the cleaning area becomes. At this distance the contact pressure is deadly and will literally carve lines in your concrete if you’re not careful.
Surfaces like stencilled or stamped concrete have colour on the surface and if your technique is a little aggressive you can easily remove colour causing stripes.
This is why it can be difficult to clean yourself.
If you have a small pressure cleaner and you would like to DIY here are a few tips from an expert.
Firstly make sure you purchase some strong bleach, approximately 20ltr for an average size driveway.
You will need a low pressure garden sprayer to apply the bleach. Use a 4-1 mix. If you have lots of algae make your mix is more concentrated.
Then most importantly make sure you wear a respirator mask, glasses, nitrile rubber gloves and a raincoat with a hood.
Have your pressure cleaner ready to go.
This is how you can do it yourself.
Step 1: Using your pressure cleaner from a distance of about 1- 2 metres wet down your driveway this will soften up the contaminants.
Step 2: Using your pressure cleaner from a distance of about 150mm – 200mm clean the concrete overlapping as best you can. Don’t worry if the surface doesn’t come perfectly clean yet. You are in fact opening up the surface so the chemical can do the work for you.
Step 3: Apply a good wet coat of strong bleach all over surface. By the time you finish this step proceed to step 4.
Step 4: Using your pressure cleaner from a distance of 150mm – 200mm re clean the surface. If your bleach is strong enough you will find that the remaining stains will start to come away with ease.
Step 5: Using your pressure cleaner from a distance of approx. 1 metre rinse the whole surface.
There you have it!
Stenciled or stamped concrete needs sealing periodically with a commercial grade decorative sealer.So if you are planning to clean a concrete driveway, walkways around your home or the footpath across the front of your property, then you should be prepared to spend a lot of hours on the project.
Even though DIY projects can save you money, a concrete cleaning project probably won't save you that much unless you already have the equipment and don't have to go hire a pressure washer.
It is usually advisable to outsource this type of work to a professional pressure cleaning contractor that is experienced in cleaning concrete and already has the right tools and equipment for the job.
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