Driveways and Sidewalks: The Red Carpet to Your Home
Updated: Oct 30, 2020
There's a reason they have to roll out the red carpet for the prestigious and esteemed. There's a reason they keep it stowed away. Frankly, there's a litany of reasons, but (for the sake of this article) it's to keep it clean when not in use. Free of stains and scuffs, rips and tears. General wear, in short.
Your driveway, sidewalk, and front walk too, is the red carpet to your garage, your front door. Unless you're hopping a fence and crawling through a window, these are the paths you will take each day when you step out to face the world. They're frequently in use to say the least, and despite your best efforts, rolling up the driveway and stowing it in the closet on a daily basis would be a monumental task. Unfortunately for the driveway, it's going to need to stay outside in the weather, in the dirt and rain.
The good news is that your driveway won't rot away like an outdoor rug. The bad news is that it can and will harbor plenty of growth, just like a wet rug. It needs to be kept clean, or, much like the siding, it will begin to fall into costly disrepair.
If you live in part of the country that experiences all four seasons, you'll know the winter can be rough. Most noticeably, the cold can take an awful toll on our skin and sinuses, and if you're a warm weather person, your happiness. Regardless how the weather makes you feel, freezing temperatures and ice formation can shatter anyone's happiness when that small split in the driveway turns into a canyon.
We are a power washing company of course, and you might be wondering what this has to do with anything. Are we suggesting blasting away the ice with...water? No, unless you're looking for an ice rink, and we don't provide that service (yet). Here's the thing: even though you may take great care to throw down rock salt in the winter, the potential for damage doesn't stop there. Spring is right around the corner.
April Showers Bring May Flowers (And Weeds)
Finally, warm weather! It's back to work on the lawn and garden, but let's not forget about any paved surfaces that took a beating over the prior few months. The splits, cracks, and canyons brought about by the wet winter weather are ideal spaces for plants to take root. Those roots will act as a wedge through the cement, causing further damage while providing even more room for water to pool and ice to expand next winter.
We've all seen these weeds growing between cement slabs on the sidewalk and through cracked, sunken driveways. I can barely keep a potted plant alive in the living room, yet there's a jungle growing through the sidewalk.
Grass and sedges are the most obvious offenders here, but moss is much more inconspicuous. It crawls steadily along, taking shallow root in the dirt and grime that's collected on your walkways and drive. Mosses, harmless as they seem, will chip away at the lifespan of paved surfaces by retaining moisture against the pavement surface.
Mold growth is similarly destructive to paved surfaces. As thin layers of dirt and pollen build up on your driveway over time, fungus moves in to break down the available organic material. Acids are then produced as a waste byproduct of the mold which in turn degrade the cement surface further. Now, your driveway or patio aren't going to deteriorate overnight because of a little fungus or moss growth, but it could affect your plans for family day.
Slip N' Slide: Concrete Edition
This is not a backyard favorite on hot summer days. We generally stick with the Midwest staples, like horseshoes and cornhole. But when moss takes over the pavers and patio, from personal experience, just a few minutes of rain and you're in for a wild ride.
Also the case for our fine Missouri clay that tends to settle on sidewalks after heavy rains, it's important to keep designated walkways and living spaces clean and free of dangerously slick hazards like moss, lest someone slips and injures themselves. The perfect end to a long summer day is BBQ and a trip to Ted Drewes, not an ER visit or pending lawsuit.
Furthermore, if you're an allergy sufferer, it's massively important to clean the dirt, pollen, and mold spores off these well-trafficked surfaces, as you'll bring them into the house on your shoes and distribute them through the air once the A/C stirs everything up. If you have a cat or dog, they'll become walking pollen mops after laying down and rolling about the floor. As someone who's seemingly allergic to the air itself between the months of March and May, it's vital to keep the paved surfaces around your home clean.
Plus, Curb Appeal
The difference between a pressure washed sidewalk and driveway is night and day from a dirty one. It's a stunning clean that adds a bright pop to any property, more noticeable that a house clean of algae and mildew in my opinion. Similar to a new fence, a sparkling sidewalk establishes a clean and orderly border. A clean driveway and front walk? There's your red carpet.
Pavement cleaning is a fairly labor intensive routine that many homeowners are all too familiar with. Perhaps you're one of them! You're handy, you've got a Saturday afternoon, and you're spending hours plugging away at the driveway, inch by inch until the job is done. Despite the effort, the oil stains remain and the driveway resembles a familiar striped safari exhibit. Pressure washing a driveway is no small task. Tell me about it.
There are plenty of pressure washing companies in the area who will be more than happy to help get the pavement outside your house looking brand new and in just a few minutes' time, however; this is where you ought to be careful. What they won't tell you is that they're often bleaching your driveway, spraying acids to brighten it, and then rinsing it all off into the storm drains and your lawn. It's a big no-no, and you don't want to find out the hard way when the EPA fines you thousands of dollars for the improper runoff.
This Sounds Like a Hassle
It doesn't have to be.
It may take you an afternoon with a string trimmer, trowel, and harsh cleaning agents to successfully rid a patio of moss and dirt, but Orange Power Wash can get that job done much quicker, much easier, and with zero cleaning agents. Instead, we use jets of high pressure washer to blast away not only the moss, but the fine layer of grime it was growing in. Once we're done, we highly recommend you consider sealing the cleaned area so it's less likely to become an issue again so quickly, and it's much easier to clean with a garden hose alone in the future.
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