What PSI Do You Need to Clean a Driveway

Driveways are usually made of concrete, pavers, or asphalt. Most homeowners find that pressure cleaning this area is the most effective and efficient way.

You need 3000 psi (pound per square inch) to clean a driveway. Some will say that 1500 psi will do the job, as most pressure cleaners sold for domestic use can only go up to that. If you want to make sure that the pressure cleaner will clean your driveway thoroughly, an industrial pressure cleaner is what you need. Industrial pressure cleaners can be hired from most local equipment hire shops.

Before and after driveway pressure cleaning
Before and after driveway pressure cleaning

What is PSI?

PSI or pound per square inch is one of the units of measure used on pressure cleaners. Some use bar or pascal.

PSI refers to the force that the machine is expelling water from its nozzle or surface cleaner.

Pressure cleaners for domestic use usually come at a psi of around 1000 to 1500 maximum.

Industrial pressure cleaners can have a psi of 2000-3000 or higher.

Domestic vs Industrial or Professional Pressure Cleaner

If your pressure cleaner only goes up to 1500 psi at maximum, you can still clean your driveway. However, take note that it may take a little longer and more effort, and there may be some dirt and stains it will not get out.

You cannot simply use a pressure cleaner with lower psi and add a bit more time on the area with stubborn stains. 

Even with a relatively low psi, staying on an area longer will cause damage to your concrete.

You will need to be quite patient and keep going back to the area. However, if the psi is not enough, it will not take the stains out and clean your concrete effectively even if you make several passes.

Why PSI matters

It is the immediate pressure that will clean the surface, not the number of times you passed on it.

To make the comparison of lower and higher psi, imagine an ordinary garden hose: even if you make a pass at an area using the garden hose, stubborn stains will not come out because the water pressure is not enough.

The same goes for pressure cleaners with lower and higher psi. 

The domestic pressure cleaner can be likened to a garden hose in performance when compared with industrial pressure cleaners.

Industrial pressure cleaners can clean and take out more dirt and stains much better than domestic pressure cleaners.

Industrial pressure cleaners can have at least 3000 psi, which is the recommended psi for effectively cleaning a driveway.

If you need help pressure cleaning your driveway reach out to Harwood’s Lawn Care today. We can have most driveways cleaned within 5 hours or less. More information about our pressure cleaning service here.

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