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How To Clean Your Brick Walkway Or Driveway

March 02, 2020 by Straight

Driveways and walkways see a lot of abuse throughout the year. Pressure washing your brick driveway or walkway is the easiest way to remove layers of grime that build up from one month to the next.

In winter, if you use salt or other chemical ice removal products, these can leave a layer of scale on the brick’s surface. Foot traffic tracks dust and mud over the bricks; lawn mowing can cause a buildup of grass clippings and organic matter; and vehicles not only leave dust, but sometime stains from rubber, oil, etc.

If you’re wondering how to clean brick driveway and walkway surfaces with a pressure washer, keep reading.

Cleaning Tips

Once you have the power washer set up and ready to go, there are a few tricks to pressure washing brick driveways and walkways properly. Brick is a porous material, which means you don’t want soaps, cleanser or  detergents soaking into the brick. The objective is to clean the surface only. Start by rinsing the brick with plain water and a low-pressure spray. The water will soak into the brick, preventing detergents from absorbing later.

After this is complete, apply a soap, cleanser or detergents or meant for power washing brick using a soaping nozzle. You may need to dilute the solution before applying. Read manufacturer instructions to make sure you let the detergent sit for the proper time. time.

Once you’ve let the cleanser soak, it’s time to power wash the grime away. Use a 25-degree spray nozzle movingove in a back and forth overlapping motion to blast soap and grime. After you’re done, it helps to go back one last time with lower pressure nozzle to give the driveway or walkway a final rinse.

Avoiding Damage When Power Washing Brick

When you’re learning how to clean brick driveway and walkway surfacing, the most important information to know is how to prevent damage. Brick is a relatively sturdy material — but if the joints between bricks or pavers are mortared, be doubly careful not to damage that mortar. 

Damage usually happens in one of a few ways: 

  • The water pressure is set too high on the power washer
  • You’re using an extremely high-pressure nozzle — such as a turbo nozzle, jet nozzle or something with an angle less than 25 degrees
  • You’re holding the tip of the wand too close to the brick’s surface

Keep the wand at least 12 inches from the brick’s surface. Take care to use the proper nozzles and a moderate amount of pressure to prevent cracked or broken mortar. 

Power washing is the quickest, easiest way to remove tough dirt from brick surfaces, especially surfaces like driveways and walkways. This is a job that is easy to DIY, too. 

If you’re interested in owning a pressure washer, check out SIMPSON’s line of residential machines. With a variety of models  from which to choose, you’ll find a pressure washer perfect for this and all the rest of your outdoor cleaning projects!

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