The first thing any visitor sees when they enter your home, besides the front elevation, is the driveway. If it is unkept, dirty or full of oil stains, it will leave a bad impression on your guests. Cleaning your driveway at the right time with the right tools and techniques can help it keep clean without much effort. If you are looking for some quick tips to clean your driveway, you have landed onto the right page. Stick with us till the end so that you don’t miss out on any key information.
How to Keep Your Driveway Clean?
A dirty driveway is quite unappealing, especially if you have guests visiting your house for the first time. Old stains become even more difficult to remove and therefore you must carefully remove stains from the driveway then and there. Check out some of the best driveway cleaning tips for below-mentioned problems.
- Oil spills
- Paint problems
- Decomposed fallen leaves
- Dirty driveway
- Rust stains
Let us discuss these driveway cleaning tips in more detail.
If your driveway is made of asphalt, it has a black colouring that can hide away the stains or spills. But if it is made of concrete, the motor oil and gasoline leaks are more visible and prominent. Moreover, oils spilled from any vehicle or automobile mix with the petroleum base of asphalt which loosens the stain and with a little scrub the stain is lifted. For any type of driveway, it is advisable to remove the stain promptly to avoid any permanent markings.
First soak up the fresh oil using tissue paper or any absorbent. One of the best ways to absorb the oil is to lay out some sand and let the dry sand soak up the oil. Scoop up the sand and sweep the area.
If the hardscape material in your driveway is asphalt, use any biodegradable cleaning agent on the spill and let it sit for about 30 minutes before your garden hose does the rest of the job. The cleaning agent loosens the tough stain from the oil spill, so that it is easily washed away by water and some soap.
Just like the porous nature of concrete allows the moisture to seep in, any excess oil on the surface also penetrates the concrete flooring. If it is concrete moisture that is bothering you, then check out our detailed blog on the subject: Tips to Prevent Moisture in Concrete Flooring.
One of the best tips to keep your driveway clean for concrete flooring is to let the cleaning agent penetrate the surface, dissolve the stain and then draw it out. Mix a moisture absorbing product into the liquid TSP to create a thick paste. Spread the paste over the stain area. Work it into the surface using a soft nylon brush.
Use an additional thin layer of the paste on top and let it dry out completely. The TSP will break down the solvent components and the absorbing agent will bind it. The paste can take a few couple of hours for the stain to dissolve. Use a putty knife to scrape off the stain and then use a garden hose to wash it away.
You might need to repeat the process a couple of times if it is an old or stubborn stain.
Paint splatters left behind from a recently painted furniture piece that you brought outdoors can be a big problem for both asphalt and concrete driveways. If you were using a latex based paint spill, it can be removed by making the splatter go wet and then sprinkling some household cleaning powder. Scrub it with a stiff nylon brush and then rinse it with a garden hose.
The oil and acrylic based paint splatters are quite tough to remove. For an asphalt driveway, coat the paint splattered area with an asphalt sealer. This will not only cover the splatters but also renew the black colour. If you use any agent that cleans the oil paint, it can damage the asphalt covering.
Removing any paint from concrete is easy. You just have to strip it off. Pour a thinner or any paint-removing solution on the paint splatters and using a nylon brush, quickly work its way around the paint stain so that the stains inside the pores also loosen up. Let it rest for a few hours or as mentioned on the bottle of the paint-stripping solution.
Decomposed fallen leaves
If you did not pick up fallen leaves from the last autumn season, or felt lazy to rake up the mess of fallen leaves and piles of mulch, then it can leave bad brown stains behind – leaving your driveway unappealing. Tannin is slowly released as a byproduct of the natural decaying process of fallen leaves. Asphalt driveways can mask away the rust stains. The colour however, is quite prominent on concrete.
Sweep the floor first and then with the help of a garden hose, spray the stained area to rinse away the dirt. In a bucket, add ½ cup of liquid dish detergent into 3 gallons of hot water. Rinse the area with water and when the concrete is still wet, sprinkle some detergent and scrub it off using a nylon brush. Let the detergent rest on the stain for a few minutes and then wash it away. Repeat the process a few more times until the driveway is clean.
When your car tracks dirt or mud, it hardens like a rock when it dries up. Use a stiff bristle brush and scrub off the dirt from the floor and then wash it away with your garden hose. In case you have a power washer, it is best to use it to clean the driveway.
This technique works best for both concrete and asphalt driveways. First, sweep away any debris from fallen leaves or dust, then wet the surface where you see the caked on mud. Allow the water to soak in for a few minutes, then scrub the loosened mud with a broom to soften it. You must use plenty of water to loosen the edges. Then simply rinse it off with water.
Rust stains are not much of an issue on an asphalt driveway, but on concrete they are quite visible. The fact that rust stains can develop overnight is even scarier. Keeping a tin out in the rain can develop a rusty ring. Muriatic acid quickly removes rust stains without any trouble.
However, wear protective gloves when handling muriatic acid as it is quite harsh. Slowly pour ¼ cup acid into a bucket filled with 2 cups of water to avoid any injuries from splashes. In case the solution splashes on your skin, rinse it off with cold water to avoid any irritation. Let the acid sit on the rust stain for some time and then rinse it away with a garden hose.
So, what are you thinking about? Grab the right tool and start cleaning your driveway straight away. You can also check out different ways to enhance the curb appeal of your home. Subscribe to the Zameen Newsletter appearing on the right hand side of the page. Do you have any other driveway cleaning ideas to share? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also stay tuned to the best real estate blog in Pakistan for latest happenings in the real estate sector of the country.