a woman walking down her driveway

How to pressure wash your patio, driveway and decking

Darius Negahbani Darius Negahbani Wednesday 12th April, 2017

If you’re a house-proud person who enjoys their property looking tidy and welcoming, then the dirt that collects over time across your patio, driveway and decking may be a source of irritation.

Maybe oil, petrol or water stains from your vehicles sully the overall look of your driveway. Perhaps your wooden decking is plagued with slimy algae and filth that’s gradually accumulated over the years. Or, it could be that moss, lichen and weeds are making your patio less appealing.

Thankfully, a pressure washer can help solve all of these issues with relative ease by eliminating dirt, grime and unsightly growth. You can achieve an excellent finish without having to sacrifice a full weekend to the task or resort to scrubbing on your hands and knees.

How to pressure wash a patio

Not used a pressure washer before? Follow these easy steps for a fuss-free approach to cleaning your patio.

Remove any furniture or potted plants from your patio

  • Use a broom to remove the largest pieces of dirt and debris
  • Depending on the material your patio is made of, whether it’s a classic marble paving, a warming sandstone, or a slick slate, you can choose a pressure washer detergent that’s formulated to match and protect its properties
  • Once you’re used to the speed and volume of water, and confident you’ve got the water jet under control, work your way systematically across the surface of your patio, starting at the furthest distance from your home and working your way back

A few extra patio cleaning tips that may go a long way to helping you keep your outdoor area as good as new include regularly brushing your patio and removing weeds as soon as they have taken root.

 How to pressure wash a driveway

Using a pressure washer to clean your driveway is the fastest, easiest route to pristine results.

Begin by soaking the entire area

  • Add a little detergent directly to the surface – this will help cut through oily stains which may be caused by your car
  • Then, starting with the lowest setting and working your way up to the highest, work your way systematically across the surface of your driveway

To ease the pressure washing process, consider driveway cleaning tips such as removing stains caused by fluid leaks immediately and regularly sweep your driveway to remove excess dirt.

How to pressure wash decking

Wooden decking is very popular in gardens right now but after a few heavy winters and plenty of use, real wood can begin to look tired and worn. Pressure washing is a useful option to help lift out deeply ingrained dirt and give your decking a new lease of life. However, because you’re dealing with a soft, natural substance, it’s a good idea to go gently.

Start off with the machine’s lowest setting and be sure not to place the water-jet tip too close to the wood

  • Most quality pressure washers will have a range of ‘fan’ settings, which determine how narrow the water-jet can be, and therefore how intense its power can become. Choose the widest fan (and therefore most gentle setting) when you’re cleaning wood

Other decking cleaning tips to remember are to follow the grain of the wood and have sandpaper on hand to rub out imperfections and errors once the main bulk of the job is completed. If all this seems like a lot of effort to take care of your wooden decking, you could opt instead for the luxury of woodstone decking, which provides the warm finish of real wood and the durability of stone.

Done properly, pressure washing is an easy and efficient way to take care of your outdoor space and make sure its aesthetic appeal lasts for years to come.

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