If the first thing people see when they arrive at your property is an unkept driveway, this can set a bad first impression. While it often feels like a dull chore, proper care for your driveway will level up your kerb appeal and give it a longer lifespan!
Regular cleaning and maintenance on your driveway is the best way to keep it looking good, and lasting longer. However, there are many types of driveways, that all come with their own unique set of challenges. We recommend treating your driveway once every 2 years, though this can vary depending on material.
How to clean a driveway?
Clear away debris on your driveway, such as leaves and sticks. This is because wet leaves can stain and build up can lead to fungal growth. Ideally this can be done by gloved hands, and you can look for damage while completing the task. Alternatively, you can use an outdoor, bristled brush and sweep your driveway once every 8-10 weeks.
All sealants will wear off, especially in a high traffic area, so for best results aim to reseal every 3-5 years for the average property. A quality sealant will not only make it easier to remove stains in the future, but it also protects from UV damage to ensure your driveway stays brand new for longer.
While some driveways can be sprayed or scrubbed, we recommend a quality fungicidal wash to remove moss, algae, lichen, and mould. If you do have any landscaping nearby, we advise you find a product that is grass and plant friendly. This can usually be applied with a brush.
How do I maintain different types of driveway?
Block paving Driveway
If it’s cared for, block paving is a really durable driveway option. While stains are inevitable, from mud, oil, or algae, block paving can simply be cleaned and resealed to avoid further damage. Once the cause of the stain is gone, the only problem is likely just cosmetic. For block-paving, we recommend sealing it every 2-5 years. With sealant, the surface is a lot smoother, so clearing leaves in Autumn is a much easier task!
Over time, the sand between the blocks will erode. Though this is inevitable due to exposure to the elements, pressure washers do tend to speed up this process. Though, getting this fixed is relatively easy, simply refill the gaps. You’ll need some kiln dried sand and a fibre brush or backpack sprayer to clear the gaps for refilling. Re-sanding will allow a block-paving driveway to maintain its shape.
Weeds are often present in these gaps and should be carefully disposed of straight away to avoid further damage. Although, be mindful of scratching the block paving, as this can be done just using a fungicidal wash.
A concrete driveway is considered the easiest to maintain, but to make it last and keep it looking nice, you will need to be washed and sealed every 2 years, and pressure washed once a month. As the surface will easily stain, you’ll need to clean any fluid leaks straight away. As with any driveway types but particularly for concrete, de-icer chemicals can deteriorate the surface of your driveway, instead we suggest using plastic shovels and rakes. Avoid metal as this can cause cracks and chips.
You can maintain a brick driveway with some light de-weeding once a week with a general weedkiller. Use a hard bristle brush to remove any debris that can stain, such as mud. For any existing stains use hot soapy water. We advise you don’t use a pressure washer if your driveway has any loose bricks.
Gravel is great value for money and simply requires some light weeding each week. You’ll also need to rake it to redistribute the stones so that it stays looking fresh and keeps its shape.
Otherwise, known as asphalt driveways, tarmac is a more durable surface, however UV rays can cause discolouration. When it comes to tarmac, you can quickly hose down once a week and remove any vehicle spillages. If there is any damage such as cracks in the driveway it will need to be sealed. If there are no cracks, sealant every 1-3 years will ensure your driveway lasts longer, and looks it best.
You’ll need a specialist sealant for tarmac to protect from UV damage, but once done it will be easier to clean stains and algae as the surface is much smoother and less absorbent. In addition, many people consider a coat of paint to further protect against fungal growth and weeds.
Avoid using a pressure washer on flagstones and instead opt for hot soapy water and a bristled brush. Any stains will need to be dealt with using the proper equipment for the stone, but be careful with specialist cleaning products, such as Patio Magic, that contain concentrations of acid. As this can react with natural stone, concrete, and clay surfaces.
Why not call the professionals in to clear, clean and seal your driveway? We get the job done quickly and know all the tricks to get it done right. Book a one-off or regular fixed price driveway cleaning appointment with us and take the stress out of caring for your driveway!