Power Wash Your Driveway for Fewer Cracks

Time: 45-60 minutes

Spring maintenance — done. Up next — power washing your driveway. Over time, cracks in your concrete collect dirt and mold, which expand in high temperatures. Expansion turns hairline cracks into giant cracks that eventually destroy the entire concrete slab. Ugly? Yes. Preventable? Definitely. Just make sure to power wash your driveway once yearly.

What's in it for you?

  • Fewer driveway cracks
  • Improved driveway structure

  1. Remove debris from your driveway. Leaves, sticks, stones...toys — All have probably collected on your driveway over time. Remove them and sweep the driveway to get it ready for your power wash.

  2. Connect and fill the power washer. Find the inlet valve (a small, round tube that fits over your hose) and attach a garden hose to it. Open the door marked “soap” or “detergent” and pour in power wash soap. Forgot to get some when you rented or bought your power washer? You can pick up a jug at your local hardware store.

  3. Spray low-pressure water on the driveway. Slow and steady here, people — Don’t blast your driveway with high-pressure water right away. Turn the power washer to its lowest power setting and sweep across the surface of the driveway from left-to-right and front-to-back. For extra cleaning power, pull the trigger with the nozzle pointing six inches above your driveway and move it slowly downwards while the water is flowing.

  4. Apply the detergent. Turn on the switch labeled detergent and carefully cover the surface of your driveway using the same sweeping motions you used before. The goal here is to focus the spray on the mold and dirt in the driveway cracks so they won’t widen. Let the detergent sit for 10-15 minutes. You don’t want it to dry so spray your driveway with water every now and then.

  5. Rinse the driveway. It’s time to put the power in power wash. Turn your power washer to its highest setting and wash the detergent off of your driveway using slow and sweeping motions. Good job, your driveway is now gunk free and crack-resistant to boot.

Pro Tip: Don't be the kind of person who pushes their wash water onto somebody else's lawn or – even worse – into your town's sewer. Instead, push it onto your grass to give your hungry lawn a little extra water.

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