Pressure washing your driveway is a great way to restore its appearance and clean away dirt, grime, oil stains, and other debris. However, many homeowners wonder – how long does it actually take to pressure wash a driveway? The answer depends on several factors. In this blog post, we’ll provide insight into the variables that affect the duration and give you an estimate for how long the pressure washing process typically takes.
How Long Does It Take To Pressure Wash A Driveway: Average Timeline
On average, pressure washing a driveway takes 1-4 hours depending on several factors and the specifics of the surface and cleaning tasks required. These factors include the size of the driveway, the concrete or asphalt material, the amount of built-up dirt, the degree of staining, and the power of the pressure washer. For a standard two-car concrete driveway of 400-500 sq ft, the timeframe to pressure wash typically takes 2-3 hours with a 3000 PSI consumer-grade washer or 1-2 hours with a 4000+ PSI professional pressure washer. Variables like extra grime or oil stains can increase the duration.
Factors Affecting Pressure Washing Process Time
When determining how long it will take to pressure wash your driveway, there are several key factors to consider:
Size of the Driveway
The total square footage of the driveway area will have a direct impact on the overall time needed to complete the job. A larger surface area simply takes longer to cover than a smaller driveway.
Concrete vs. Asphalt
Concrete driveways tend to require more time and effort to pressure wash compared to asphalt. Concrete is a porous surface that absorbs stains, grime, and debris. Asphalt is smoother and nonporous, so built-up dirt rinses off faster.
Amount of Built-Up Dirt
Driveways that haven’t been cleaned in years will have more caked-on grime and stains to tackle. Heavily soiled driveways take longer to pressure wash versus a lightly dirty surface.
Type of Stains/Blemishes
Oil drips, tire marks, grass stains, and other tough blemishes take more time and targeted cleaning to remove. A driveway covered in stubborn stains will lengthen the washing timeframe.
Power of Pressure Washer
Estimate for a Standard Two-Car Driveway
For a typical two-car concrete driveway (about 400-500 square feet), you can expect a complete pressure washing job to take 2-3 hours. This allows sufficient time to clean the entire surface area, re-hit stubborn spots, and rinse away all debris and suds.
With an electric pressure washer in the 3000 PSI / 2 GPM range, cleaning time would be on the longer end at about 3 hours. For a gas-powered pro-grade washer 4000+ PSI and 4+ GPM, the job could be completed in 2 to 2.5 hours.
Keep in mind every driveway is unique. A smaller or lightly dirty driveway may only take 1-2 hours. A larger driveway coated in oil drips and years of grime could run 4+ hours.
Price Per Square Foot for Professional Service
If hiring a professional pressure washing company, costs typically run $.10 to $.30 per square foot for a basic driveway cleaning. This covers labor costs for an experienced technician using commercial-grade equipment.
For a 400-sqft driveway, you would pay $40 to $120 for standard pressure washing service. Here is a rough breakdown for pricing:
- Basic Cleaning: $.10 to $.20 per sqft
- Heavy Cleaning: $.15 to $.25 per sqft
- Degreasing Treatment: $.20 to $.30 per sqft
- Additional services like sealing or staining would incur added costs
Reputable companies like Sullins Suds Pressure Washing have transparent pricing and offer free quotes. Rates vary based on your area and the specifics of your cleaning needs.
Tips to Reduce Cleaning Time
Here are some tips to help speed up the pressure washing process:
- Pre-rinse the driveway with a garden hose to clear off loose dirt and debris. This makes pressure washing more efficient.
- Use a rotary surface cleaner attachment on your pressure washer wand. This cleans in a smooth sweeping motion instead of small spots.
- Adjust to a 15-degree or 25-degree pressure nozzle for a wider spray pattern. This covers more surface area per pass.
- Pressure wash during warmer weather when surfaces are dry. Avoid early morning when dew is present.
- Work in sections and do final rinse passes to prevent dirty water from drying and streaking.
- Pre-treat oil spots and stubborn stains with a degreasing agent before power washing.
Proper technique and the right pressure washer accessories can cut your cleaning time significantly.
When to Hire a Pro for Pressure Washing
While DIY driveway pressure washing is certainly achievable for many homeowners, there are some situations where it pays to hire a professional:
- For extremely large driveways over 1000+ sqft, it’s more efficient to let the pros handle it. They have commercial-grade equipment designed for rapid cleaning.
- If you need more than just a basic cleaning, professionals have the skills and tools to tackle oil stains, chewing gum, rust spots and other blemishes.
- Professionals are experienced working around landscaping features and delicate surfaces like patio furniture and vehicles. They take care to avoid damage.
- For busy homeowners short on time, hiring out saves you the hassle and hours of rental pick-up, cleaning, and returns.
- You want to invest in sealing or re-staining after power washing. Professionals can often bundle and package these services at a discounted rate.
For most homeowners, DIY driveway pressure washing is perfectly adequate for periodic cleaning and upkeep. But for those needing heavy-duty cleaning or wanting to save time, hiring a company like Sullins Suds Pressure Washing is money well spent.
Contact Us for a Free Quote
We hope this overview gave you a better understanding of how long it takes to pressure wash a driveway. With the right pressure washer and technique, you can restore the clean look of your driveway surface without excessive effort.
For homeowners in Dawsonville and nearby Georgia area needing professional pressure washing services, contact Sullins Suds Pressure Washing today for a free quote. Our technicians have the knowledge, equipment, and experience to efficiently clean your concrete or asphalt driveway. Let us handle the hassle while you relax and enjoy the results!