Your driveway is a crucial part of your property’s curb appeal. Your initial curb appeal accounts for about 20% of its market value. That’s more than enough motivation to do everything you can to keep it looking as clean and appealing as the day it was first installed.
However, no matter what you do, no matter how well you care for, sweep and clean a driveway, it is probably not enough. Debris, oil stains, and moss build up over time, causing your driveway to lose its looks gradually.
Only an invasive cleaning process like pressure washing can refresh your driveway. Using a pressure washer or power washer, you can get rid of those stains and get your driveway looking new again. But most of us don’t have either of these at home.
Plus, if you don’t know how to use them properly or don’t understand the other aspects of the driveway cleaning process, you probably won’t get the best results. So, welcome to our driveway cleaning cost guide. It will prepare you for what to expect when hiring a professional driveway cleaning company.
What is the cost to power wash a driveway?
|Driveway Dimensions (square metres)||Cleaning only (£)||Total (£)|
The average cost to clean a driveway is between £125 to £216 at £2 to £4.5 per square metre. However, as you can see from the table above, you won’t be hiring for cleaning alone. There are also additional tasks (like sanding and sealing) which we referred to earlier as “other aspects of the driveway cleaning process.”
These additional tasks can cost anywhere from £150 to £400, depending on the condition of your driveway. That last bit (the condition of your driveway), along with its size and other factors, will decide how much the entire project will cost you at the end of the day.
Labour Costs and Timescales
|Driveway dimensions (square metres)||
Cleaning (only) labour
|Cleaning (only) time (hours)||Total labour costs (£)||Total time (hours)|
Factors affecting driveway cleaning costs
Now, it is time to talk about why prices vary. Generally, different professionals will charge different rates. That’s just how businesses work. It’s why we always recommend comparing multiple quotes from local and reliable trades-people. But the main factors that decide how much driveway cleaning costs are:
Size of Driveway
One way to explain how driveway size affects the price is to say, “cleaning larger driveways means more work, which means more material and labour costs.” However, since we have already given estimates of the cost per square metre (£2-4.50), all you need is the dimensions of your driveway to calculate cost. For example, if your driveway measures 70 square metres, it will cost you about £140 to £315 to clean it.
Condition of driveway
The worse the condition of your driveway is, the more labour and material it will cost to get it back in shape. Now, this doesn’t mean you have not taken proper care of it. Sometimes, it’s just old age, weather and heavy use.
It doesn’t matter how your driveway got into its current situation. What matters is how much a professional cleaning service will charge you to make it look new (or as new as possible) again.
Rates for any service will always vary by location. However, in this situation, we are also talking about another aspect of this cost factor. For example, it may be hard to find driveway cleaning companies near you. When this happens, a company coming from afar may charge callout fees.
So to put this clearly, driveway cleaning costs may vary depending on your location and how far it is from a driveway cleaning company. Also, for example London will typically cost more than somewhere like Plymouth.
Driveway materials and type
Another factor that can affect the cost is type. To put it simply, cleaning puts some strain on the driveway, especially on the surface. Powerful washing equipment like pressure washers can wear and wash away the sealant, surface, sand, and even some loose blocks on your driveway.
So cleaning some driveway types requires more tenderness, skill and time. That means depending on the material your driveway is made up of, it might take more or less time.
We can’t go into the different driveway types in this article, but we can do a quick comparison. Let’s use block paving, gravel and concrete driveways as examples.
The sealant and the kiln dried sand in a block paving pavement can easily be washed away by the highly-pressurized water and heat. They can also easily turn the stones in a gravel driveway into projectiles, which is neither good for the driveway nor safe for anyone. Finally, a concrete driveway can withstand the stress (of cleaning) better than the others, but even the sealant and part of the surface can still be affected.
Secondly, after the washing, a concrete driveway needs little to no care, except to allow it to dry and maybe add sealant. However, a gravel driveway will definitely need refilling, and block paving will need both resealing and resanding.
Additional costs of cleaning a driveway
Driveway cleaning companies rarely provided driveway cleaning and sealing services alone. This is because they understand that there is always something else to fix or upgrade after the cleaning is done. These are where the additional costs we have been talking about come from.
These additional costs include resanding, resealing, weeding, removing stubborn stains, resurfacing damaged parts etc.
To help with that, we have prepared an estimated budget for these additional costs. It may cost up to £50 to £200 for labour alone. Remember that the cleaning service may also provide some of these services. For some, you may have to hire another professional. Or you can save money by doing it yourself. In fact, you can do the entire process by yourself, but that is a subject for later. For now, here are the additional driveway cleaning costs.
- Moss and weed removal: You need these done before cleaning starts. It will make things easier, faster and less messy. Removal may cost any amount from £4 to £12, depending on the size and condition of your driveway. This can be done yourself with a scraper and a stiff brush.
- Stubborn stains removal: Some diesel, chemical and oil stains may be so stubborn that even power washing can’t get rid of them. In such cases, you may need to treat the stains individually. However, you can save money by seeing what washing can achieve first (for the stains) before taking other measures. Stain removal prices range from £14.50 to £16.50 and most charges will be per stain. There is also the option of handling the task yourself. Selling prices for stain removal is about £10 to £25 per bottle.
- Re-sanding: Let’s go back to block paving or any other driveway material that have sand holding the blocks together. During cleaning, some of that sand will get blown and washed away. So they need to be replaced. Professional work will cost about £2 to £3 per square metres. But like everything else, you can DIY it. All you need is kiln dried sand or any other appropriate jointing sand.
- Resealing: Driveway sealants make all the difference. They keep the elements and features safe from weather, traffic and other factors while also adding aesthetic value. Like sand, sealant can also get washed away during cleaning. Plus, it also wears with usage. For both reasons, this is a perfect time to reapply sealant on your driveway. Professional sealing cost is between £150 to £260.
- Window cleaning: You can also use this opportunity to clean your windows. A jet washer will do them some good. For these, expect to be charged £15 to £200 depending on the numbers of, position (interior vs exterior) and size of the windows.
- Driveway gate: This is another non-essential option that can increase the curb appeal of your property. A new driveway gate can set you back by about £400 to £1000.
DIY driveway cleaning
Now that we have answered your question of “how much does driveway cleaning cost“. It is time to answer the underlying question of how much it will “cost to do it yourself”. From our projections, labour is the main cost that will eat up your budget.
So you can save some money by going DIY. You will need a jet washer and some other cleaning and sealing materials. A jet washer goes for around £100 to £800, but you don’t have to buy it. You can rent for £20 to £150 per day. You may also see a slight bump in your water bill. However, it will still be less than the cost of a professional driveway cleaning.
Cost of sealing a driveway
As stated earlier, sealing costs £150 to £260 and it is a crucial part of driveway cleaning. Without it, parts of the driveway exposed by wear or washing will be vulnerable. The bricks will become less stable, and cracks will become more prominent. And finally, weed and water will have an easier time penetrating and causing damage.
After your driveway has been pressure washed, allow it to dry before sealing. Then wait for about one day before you start using it (the driveway).
How long does it take to clean a driveway?
It takes about 1-2 hours to clean a small (25 square metres and lower), 2-3 hours to clean a large and 1-3 hours to clean a medium-sized driveway. However, these timescales are for cleaning alone. For both cleaning and sealing, expect about 4-6 hours for a small, 7-8 hours for a large and 5-7 hours for a medium-sized driveway.
Remember that this can also vary depending on the driveway type.
Is it OK to pressure wash a driveway?
Yes, but only occasionally and carefully. A pressure washer is a powerful piece of equipment. Use it too often or too intensely, and it may damage your driveway. For a pressure wash, you need a water pressure of 2500psi and a flow rate of 10 litres per minute. That’s the balance.
You can use lower parameters, but it will take longer to clean your driveway. However, going too high will put a lot of strain on the driveway. Parts, especially ones already not well-held together, may start coming off.
Even when you get the balance of water pressure and flow rate right, you can still cause damage if you use the wrong nozzle or hold it too close to the driveway surface.
How often should I power wash my driveway?
One or twice a year is more than enough. Think of cleaning as the time to give your driveway an all-around professional facelift. Then set a schedule for around the same time every year or six months.
Here is a tip: the weather is the harshest and most variable of all the elements that put stress on your driveway. Spring brings rain, summer brings heat, autumn brings leaf debris and winter brings snow. Spring and winter are the harshest but the rain and snow can also serve as natural cleaners for your driveway.
So we recommend cleaning your driveway in late spring or late autumn. Or both, if you want to clean it twice a year.
What is the difference between power washing and pressure washing?
A pressure washer uses highly-pressurized water, while a power washer uses heated highly-pressurized water. Because of the heat, a power wash is more powerful. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is better.
That extra kick translates to efficiency but it also means additional costs and more stress on your driveway. So, if you are looking to be more delicate, pressure washers might be more appropriate.
How to care for your driveway
Apart from a professional wash, here are other maintenance tips for keeping your driveway clean and healthy.
- Sweep to get rid of debris and dirt
- Use a hose and detergent to remove oil stains or any other type of stains
- If the latter doesn’t work, user WD-40 or cat litter
- Curb weed growth by uprooting or using weed killers like glyphosate, zinc sulphate
- Curb moss growth using salt, baking soda and vinegar. They also work for weed.
- Always rinse away detergent or chemical residues after having your driveway cleaned
How much does it cost to resurface a driveway?
It costs between £150 to £195 to have a driveway resurfaced. However, here is something else you need to know. The driveway surface and sealant are not the only parts that need care. The subbase also does. As the surface feels worn and tears, so does the lower parts.
So any driveway specialist will tell you that renovating the surface alone is not a great idea. For a better and cheaper long term fix, you also need to find out the condition of the subbase and fix any niggling issues.
Do I Need to Jet Wash My Driveway?
Despite our recommendations, you can get away with not jet washing your driveway every year. Some people go for extended periods without letting power washers and pressure washers near their driveway. But their driveway will suffer for it, both in terms of looks and longevity.
So, if you can’t follow our recommendations, here are some signs that show it’s absolutely time to jet wash your driveway. Despite all your maintenance work, is your driveway-
- Riddle with stains?
- Riddle with moss build-up?
- Riddle with weeds and dirt?
If your answer to one or more of these questions is “Yes,” it is time.