The cost of pressure washing a driveway
The cost of pressure washing a driveway has been broken down here by driveway size and also how long it will take to finish the job.
|Job Description||Material Cost||Labour Cost||Duration|
|Clean and seal a small driveway||£100-£130||£170-£200||5-6 hours|
|Clean and seal a medium driveway||£120-£150||£190-£220||6-7 hours|
|Clean and seal a large driveway||£140-£170||£220-£250||7-8 hours|
|Clean only a small driveway||£18-£25||£75-£90||1-2 hours|
|Clean only a medium driveway||£20-£27||£80-£100||1-3 hours|
|Clean only a large driveway||£25-£32||£100-£120||2-3 hours|
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Professional driveway pressure washing costs
Lots of people will have their driveway professionally cleaned at least once a year or even more frequently. At the end of winter is a good moment ahead of the spring and, at the end of the summer when dry weather inevitably leads to the build-up of dust and grime.
This doesn’t mean to say that you can’t wash down the driveway yourself in between time but somehow, they just always look better when they have been professionally cleaned and for many this sparkling finish is worth the cost of pressure washing a driveway.
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What factors influence the cost of pressuring washing a driveway?
Because professional driveway pressure washing costs are charged per square metre, it is easy to think that a particular sized driveway won’t cost more than a simple calculation of the square meterage multiplied by the contractor’s hourly rate. However, there are a lot of things which can influence the price and most contractors will only use the square meterage as a guide, usually professional cleaning costs are also based on how long the job is going to take. These variables include:-
- The condition of the drive – if it has not been washed for a long time and has ingrained dirt and debris
- Whether there are stains which need specific targeting
- The amount of moss or weeds which need to be removed first
- How long the driveway will take to clean
- Whether you are opting to have the surface sealed once it has been cleaned
- Where you live in the UK – London and the Southeast are invariably more expensive
What are the benefits of a professional clean for your driveway?
- Professional driveway cleaning companies have the right equipment for the job
- They know the appropriate products to use for your particular driveway surface
- They know the correct pressure to use to get the driveway really clean without damaging it
- They can tackle stains and other problem areas
What can a professional pressure wash for your driveway add to your home?
- A spick and span driveway will improve your home’s kerb appeal. Pressure washing lifts stains and grime to improve the overall appearance of the property
- Pressure washing will protect the integrity of your driveway. Algae and acidic grime, over time, will erode the surface. Pressure washing and sealing the driveway can prevent this from happening, improving longevity and helping to prevent cracks and pitting
- Pressure washing can prevent accidents such as slips, trips and falls by removing slippery residues from the driveway surface
- Regular professional cleaning reduces the likelihood of weed and moss growth
- Your contractor may also be able to undertake any patch repairs which will be much more visible after a thorough professional clean
Pressure washing the driveway yourself
Even if you rely on a very thorough annual clean for your driveway, it is perfectly possible to keep your driveway in check throughout the year with a simple clean if you do not want to front the cost of pressure washing a driveway professionally.
- First clear the driveway of any loose debris or detritus by sweeping it with a stiff brush
- Remove any weeds and grass growth either by hand or using a spot sprayer. Spray on weed treatments can take around a week to ten days to work and you will still need to remove the wilting plants either by pulling them out by hand or raking or sweeping them up
- Brush again, this time using a finer broom to lift smaller particles of dust and dirt
- Next, apply a degreasing agent, this helps to break up any stubborn stains. Some pressure washers have a dedicated attachment tool that can be used for degreasing, or you can use a stiff brush to work away at the stains
- Prepare your pressure washer, you will need to attach the right nozzle for your driveway surface. If you are not sure, then consult the instruction manual. The water can be supplied by your garden hose and if you don’t have a pressure washer then a garden hose with a spray attachment will do just as well for the majority of driveway surfaces
- Always wear safety equipment, gloves and goggles to avoid the spray or being hit by any flying debris. Start at the top of the driveway and work down, particularly if your driveway is on a gradient. Sweep back and forth from side to side with the spraying wand and detergent. Once the driveway is fully covered, allow the detergent to soak for around 10-25 minutes
- Rinse after the requisite period using the rinse mode on your pressure washer. Apply the same pattern of coverage to wash away the detergent. You can also spot treat any stains with the detergent and a stiff brush.
It is really important that you carefully follow the care instructions given to you by the driveway installer and only use the correct products on the driveway surface. Sometimes, if you have the guarantee and the name of the surface, you can check this out directly with the manufacturer. If the driveway was already installed when you bought the house, try and work out the type of surface so you can best identify a cleaning product.
If the driveway is going to be sealed after washing, then it will need time to dry. Sealing helps to resist stains. Sealant can be applied using an extended paint roller. It is usually necessary to wait 24 hours after the sealant has been applied before parking or driving on the driveway.
How to use a pressure washer without an outside tap
If you don’t have a hose pipe or outside tap, then you can use water from a bucket to draw water into the jet washer. Some models of pressure washer include a suction hose that allows you to suck up water from a source like a bucket or barrel. Screw the suction hose onto the pressure washer and then place the end of the suction hose into your bucket of water ensuring that it sinks to the bottom of the bucket in order to ensure a continuous stream of water. The suction hose should include a filter which will prevent any dirt or stones from being sucked into the water.
It is possible to purchase a suction hose and filter which is universal and can be attached to most pressure washers if yours doesn’t have one. The cost is around £20-£35. The user manual for the jet washer will confirm whether you can attach a suction hose to that particular model.
When to pressure wash your driveway
Most people have a professional clean once a year but there are tell-tale signs which could be an indicator that this should be done more frequently. Here are some indicators that your driveway could benefit from a pressure wash:-
- The driveway is slippery – driveways can become slippery as a result of water build-up and surface grease, a pressure wash can remove any potential slip hazards and reduce the risk of a slip or trip accident
- Staining – if there are lots of stains present on the driveway then its time for a power wash. Stains won’t improve, in fact, they will just become even more deeply bedded in. A power wash will help lift stains and if there are any marks still remaining then they can be removed by hand. Removing stains will transform your driveway
- A build up of moss or weeds – moss and weeds need to be dealt with first before pressure washing. Either pull the weeds and moss by hand or spray them with a spot herbicide or backpack sprayer and then once they have died, sweep or lightly rake the surface before washing
Checkout this short time lapse video of a pattern imprinted concrete driveway installation:
For more information on concrete print driveways costs, learn more about costs related to pouring concrete, design options such as pressed concrete driveways, what you can do if your driveway is crumbling.
It is really important that you carefully follow the care instructions given to you by the driveway installer and only use the correct products on the driveway surface.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I pressure wash a driveway myself?
Pressure washers are very popular household devices and have a multitude of uses around the home including keeping your driveway spick and span. Depending upon the surface, it is important to use the correct pressure otherwise you could cause damage. Likewise, make sure you use appropriate cleaning products for the type of surface. If you would only use a pressure washer once a year, then you can hire one. It is cheaper to wash the driveway yourself but if you have to hire in commercial equipment then it can be just as cost effective to book a professional contractor to wash it for you.
Is my driveway surface suitable for pressure washing?
Concrete or brick driveways are fine to pressure wash, these surfaces are strong and durable. Just make sure there are no large cracks where water could lodge or any loose bricks. Loose surfaces like gravel or crushed stone are not suitable candidates for pressure washing, all this will do is disrupt the surface and it is potentially quite dangerous with stones or gravel flying around. Debris can harm people as well as damage walls, doors, fencing and nearby cars. If you are unsure, ask a professional and see how they wash it then next time you will be able to do it yourself.
How to work out the square meterage of my driveway?
Measure the length of the drive and then the width of the area and multiply the two numbers together. A laser distance measure is the easiest way to do this if you don’t have a tape measure that’s long enough or someone to hold the other end.
Why does a contractor need to come out and inspect the driveway first?
This is to check the condition of the surface and to work out whether any additional services are required like weed removal or dealing with stubborn moss or algae. There could be repairs that are required or it could just take much longer to do basic cleaning if the driveway has not been touched for a long time.
Should I have my driveway sealed after it has been washed?
Some professional cleaning companies offer sealing as part of their service. This can help repel dirt and stains and keep the driveway looking cleaner for longer. The average cost for sealing is between £200-£300.
What kind of machine do I need to power wash my own driveway?
You will need a high-pressure machine to wash a driveway, look for a pressure washer that is 2500psi and 10 litres per minute of flow. Using a less powerful pressure washer is also fine but it will just take you a lot longer. Always make sure you brush off all the loose debris and dirt before you start. Some people hire a commercial pressure washer to complete the job, a good solution as you can hire something pretty powerful and then you don’t have to store equipment which you may only use once a year.
How do I deal with an oil or chemical spill?
Mop up the excess as soon as you can using either sand or cat litter. Keep applying until it has soaked up the liquid. Wash the stain with an appropriate cleaner. You will need to check the product that has spilled plus the manufacturer’s instructions about your driveway surface to identify the most appropriate cleaner.
I’m Mike – writer and part-time home improvement expert at Refurbb. Since owning and refurbishing my own property in 2018, I’ve since been developing rental properties, writing about my home improvement endeavours, sharing what I’ve learned and connecting readers to reputable tradespeople in the UK. I’m also head of marketing and technical at Raindancer Ltd