How Often You Should Pressure Wash Your Driveway, According To An Expert

Take a look at your driveway for a moment and realize what's actually on it. Every day, you pull into your drive, bringing dirt, salt, and other organic matter with you. Your tires push that material so deep into the porous cement that it no longer washes out with the rain. Over time, this can lead to the development of mildew or mold, as well as unsightly stains from oil spills. Home Depot further notes that these stains can lead to premature deterioration of your driveway's surface, which means you should keep it clean.

A simple hose and scrub brush may make some improvement to the cleanliness, but it's a lot of unnecessary work, and it may not produce the stellar, like-new look you want. Instead, there's real value in hiring a professional to pressure wash your driveway. Kyle Ballweg, the owner of Clear Vision ProWash, provides some insight into the details of this cleaning process in an exclusive interview with House Digest. He says, "Pressure washing your driveway is an important part of maintaining the curb appeal and overall look of your home." Here's his advice on how often should you do it.

Maintenance in harsh climates

Just being outdoors makes the driveway susceptible to dirt and debris buildup, but knowing when to invest in scrubbing it away isn't always straightforward. The frequency of cleaning your driveway depends on multiple factors, shares Ballweg. "It's important to consider the usage of your driveway, the climate you live in, and the environment surrounding your home. If you live in a region with harsh weather conditions such as strong winds, heavy rain, or snow — or if your house is situated near a beach where there is exposure to saltwater and sand — then more frequent washes may be necessary to keep it looking its best."

Conditions can change, too. For example, if there's temporary road construction nearby or you're having significant work done on your landscaping, that increases the risk of caked on dirt. Ballweg adds, "If you live near an area where a lot of dirt and dust blows around, more frequent washes may be needed as well." Living near a farm, for example, or an open field where the wind regularly whips through and blows leaves towards your yard can impact your timing and frequency.

Advice for milder climates

You may not live in an area where mud and leaves are a constant problem, but there are still advantages to keeping your driveway clean, says Ballweg. "In areas with more moderate climates, including places that don't experience any significant weather events or environmental hazards, pressure washing your driveway once every few years should suffice for maintaining appearances. Of course," he notes, "if you prefer that your driveway always looks immaculate no matter what kind of elements it's exposed to — such as mold, mildew, and grime — then a yearly pressure wash is highly recommended."

It's a very individual decision, though, because people use their driveways in different ways. "Also, if you have lots of traffic or you regularly park vehicles in the driveway, it's more likely to accumulate dirt, oil, and grime buildup. In this case, you may need to pressure wash your driveway more often to keep it looking its best," reveals Ballweg. If you're unsure, simply take a closer look at the cement. Use a brush and a bit of water to wash away the dirt from a small portion of the driveway. When there's a distinctive color difference, that could mean pressure washing makes sense.

Getting the job done right

Pressure washing, like most other investments you make in your home, can only benefit you if it's done properly. "No matter how often you choose to pressure wash your driveway, it's important to remember to use the right tools," shares Ballweg. "Pressure washers are extremely powerful and can cause damage or leave marks on the surfaces if used incorrectly." Improper use of this type of system can lead to injury, especially if you fail to use it as directed by the manufacturer. It can also be very frustrating when the job doesn't look as good as you know it could because you don't have a lot of experience with the process. After all, before and after pressure washing photos can be pretty impressive, not to mention satisfying.

You can certainly purchase a pressure washer and spend a long Saturday cleaning the driveway, paths, and other solid surfaces if you would like to do so. Or, there's that value in turning to a company, as encouraged by Kyle Ballweg. "It's best to consult a professional and use quality equipment for pressure washing jobs. This will ensure that you get the best results and keep your driveway looking great year-round."