All pressure washers do phenomenal jobs of cleaning all types of surfaces, but to get one that works best for a particular surface, you have to do a little research. There are excellent pressure washers on the market today that clean concrete driveways, and as soon as you know what you’re looking for, the right one won’t elude you.
Best pressure washer for driveways
Always choose a pressure washer with a lot of power, described as pounds per square inch, or PSI. It is generally recommended that for cleaning concrete, you need a minimum PSI of 2,200, although 3,000 is naturally much better. The higher the number, the more pressure and power it offers.
PSI Is Important
The higher the PSI number, the quicker you get your work done because the more powerful the pressure is. Pressure washers offering more than 2,200 PSI can be expensive, but they are well worth it. Simpson Cleaning makes a great gas-powered pressure washer that offers 3,200 PSI, making it one of the most powerful washers you can buy.
Other things to look for when you’re shopping for pressure washers for your concrete driveway include:
- If you’re trying to decide between gas and electric washers, remember that electric washers tend to last longer than gas washers because they have no combustible parts that wear out over time. Gas washers can last anywhere from 300 to 3,000 hours.
- In addition to the PSI, you’ll want to look at two other numbers: the gallons of water per minute used (GPM) and the cleaning power units (CPUs). The GPM number should be low if you’re eco-conscious.
- It’s best to use either the white or black tips for pressure-washing. The red and yellow tips concentrate all of the pressure into one small area and therefore, they might etch the concrete as you’re working.
- Keep in mind that the maximum pressure, or PSI, should be no more than 3,000 to 3,500 PSI. For household use, this is all the power you’ll need regardless of what you’re cleaning.
Cleaning your concrete driveway with a pressure washer also shouldn’t cause you any concerns because as a general rule, concrete is practically indestructible. Although 3,500 PSI pressure washers are the most powerful ones you should buy for household chores, these are perfect for driveways, sidewalks, and even some decks and patios.
Look at the Features of Each Pressure Washer
Different pressure washers have different features, but most of them have features in common that are considered important if you’re looking for the best one out there. These include the following:
- A lightweight, easy-to-assemble unit.
- Different spray tips that wash the driveway at different angles.
- Dual tanks to accommodate two different types of detergents.
- Extension spray wands that make the job more comfortable for you.
- Total Stop System (TSS), which means when you’re not engaging the trigger, the unit turns off and saves both energy and the lifespan of the pump.
Comparing the features of several different brands is the best way to find just what you need every time. Researching pressure washers online makes these comparisons a lot easier and less time-consuming, so that’s where you might want to start. Since they come in all price ranges, you should never have trouble finding one that doesn’t mess up your budget.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Learning how to use your pressure washer to clean your concrete driveway isn’t difficult once you get in a little practice with it. If you’d like to learn some additional tips on buying and using your pressure washer, the following FAQs should help.
Should I use a detergent or cleaner on my driveway?
A: Yes, if you have mold, mildew, or any type of oil stains. A good all-purpose detergent will lift up the stains from underneath the concrete, and the pressure washer will do the work of removing everything on top of the concrete.
Should I use my pressure washer to remove the sealer on my concrete?
A: No, you should not. This will require too much pressure and may etch the concrete in the end. It’s best to leave your sealant or coatings right where they are.
Can I seal my driveway after I clean it with a pressure washer?
A: Yes, you can. In fact, right after a good cleaning with a pressure washer is the best time to go ahead and apply a coat of sealant on top of your concrete driveway.
Why do I have lines in my driveway now that I’m finished with my pressure washer?
A: This is usually caused from not taking your time during the wash job or from using the wrong nozzle. To take care of the problem, use a turbo nozzle, which rotates the water and cleans a much bigger area, reducing the chances that lines or etches will form.