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The Driveway Doctor is shocked sometimes

Three common Mistakes People Make When embarking on Cleaning a Driveway or Patio

1. Using The Wrong Cleaning Company

This might sound obvious but trust us, there are many naive and untrained operators out there, many of whom wrongly assume that buying a cheap single lance pressure washer and pointing it at your attractive driveway is a quick way to make a fast buck. Customers think that a driveway surface is almost bullet proof, cars drive over it after all so it must be able to stand a little water pressure right? Sadly not. These surfaces are often quite delicate and intricate and without the right skills and equipment, long term damage can easily be done.

At The Driveway Doctor we do not clean roofs, gutters or bins. Instead we specialise in what we know best and thats the professional cleaning and sealing of driveways and patios.  Our advice? If you want the job done properly, make contact with us now.

2. DIY & Using The Wrong Equipment

How not to clean your driveway or patio
The right way to clean a driveway or patio

The first thing many people do when they think their driveway or patio needs a spruce up is to reach for the the pressure washer… It’s what every one uses right? Well, yes but while a typical pressure washer has its place, mainly for cleaning cars, it is probably the worst thing you can use on a driveway or patio.

Why you might ask? Well, simply put, a typical pressure washer directs all its force through a single jet which if pointed at the gaps between paving blocks for example it will blow out all the delicate sand in-between them. Not only that but if the jet is powerful enough, water will get under the blocks and dislodge the sand foundations on which they sit resulting in a wobbly and uneven surface. Even tarmac or concrete surfaces can be damaged if high pressure water forces its way into small cracks. Water can then sometimes pool for months under the surface and when winter comes, it expands in the form of ice and yes you’ve guessed it, the surface breaks and raises like a miniature earthquake!

Our advice? Call the Driveway Doctor. We have the right tools combined with 20 years experience so you are safe from these pitfalls.

3. Using The Wrong Chemicals

People read somewhere that using bleach, caustic soda or even brick acid for example will remove embedded stains from a driveway or patio surface, in some very rare cases this is true but more often than not the surface will be left looking very patchy and generally worse than before because the stains have diluted and spread out further.

Even cleaning chemicals sold on the High Street often branded as generic driveway or patio cleaning solutions can be damaging to your surface. What might work on one type of surface can be equally as destructive to another. Further DIY pressure washing can force stains further into the surface.

Our advice? Call the Driveway Doctor. We only use the right tools and correct cleaning solutions, most of which are harmless to the environment.

A Real Life Experience

A Driveway Horror Story

The last thing we want to do is scare people or suggest that every driveway cleaning company is bad. There are some pretty skilled people out there but we feel it our duty to let you know the pitfalls of employing a company with little experience and offer an example of what can happen if you get the wrong people in to carry out work for you. Here we see a picture of a job we attended. The customer was livid that a previous cleaning company had left his driveway in such a mess and refused come back to put it right.

Looking at the image you might be forgiven to think whats wrong? In fact the bright areas you see are not sun reflections but sand. Sand that had been blown out of place following a typical careless jet wash then even more sand haphazardly applied and then SEALED in place UNDER a sloppily applied resin coating!

What followed was 4 days work painstakingly removing the rock-hard resin and cleaning the driveway inch by inch until we were back to bare block and able to start the cleaning process again – but this time in the correct way. The blocks were re-cleaned with our rotary cleaner and then carefully re-sanded and then sealed again with our unique UV and weed protection formula. This will keep the customers surface satin matt finished and weed free for some time to come.

Needless to say, the customer was very impressed with the finish we achieved but unfortunately out of pocket due to the necessary corrective work and re-cleaning cost.

DIY Driveway or Patio Cleaning

If you want to have a go at cleaning your own driveway or patio, we would recommend leaving the pressure washer in the garage or shed. For a non gravel driveway, arm yourself with a large bucket of hot water and an expert-recommended detergent, some expert-recommended sealant, a stiff brush or broom and a garden hose. If you can, choose a warm but not too sunny day to clean your driveway, this will stop the water from freezing or drying too quickly while you work. For stains, you can try a scattering of clay based kitty litter and leave for 12 hours before rinsing off. Next, brush the surface clear of debris and leaves and dispose of them. The rest is pure and simple ‘elbow grease’ scrubbing and more scrubbing with the wet brush regularly dipped in the bucket until you start to see an improvement… Then scrub some more and rinse with the hose.

The result of your efforts depends purely on how long, and how many times you are prepared to scrub the surface and after all your hard work you will no doubt see an improvement, but whether its anywhere as as good as you’d imagined, it’s hard to say.

Then it will be the time to think about sealing your surface to preserve all your hard work, but is the finish good enough? Are the stains completely gone and does the surface ‘pop’ to your eyes? Is any sand present looking clean or does it need replacing?

Once sealed, there is no going back without expensive corrective work so this would be the time to step back and say yes I’m happy with my work or maybe I should call in the experts before it’s too late.

We will always be happy to offer free advice or do all the hard work for you – and at a price you’d like. So why not sit back, relax and watch your driveway or patio transform back to its former glory safe in the knowledge that we have the correct equipment and knowledge to get it right first time, every time.

Press the little contact us button on the bottom left of your screen to email, WhatsApp, text, Facebook message or even phone us and we look forward to speaking to you soon..