How to Clean Your Driveway with a Pressure Washer

Take a good look at your driveway. Do you see grime, mildew, dirt, and stains? Pressure washing your driveway will increase your home’s curb appeal without spending tons of money, and restore it to its former condition. Before you run out to start pressure washing, keep in mind there are two types of driveways – concrete or brick. Let’s look at the correct ways to pressure wash both.


Pressure Washing A Concrete Driveway

Attach your garden hose to the cleaner, and ready the nozzle. Make sure it’s the 25 degree nozzle. To start, turn on the hose, and give the driveway a first blast to remove any loose debris that might be there, like grass, pebbles, any small branches, or leaves. Once the driveway is clear of debris, this is when you apply the detergent. Keep in mind, that your pressure washer will require specific detergents, so make sure you’re using the right one. Change nozzles too – attach the soaping nozzle before you use the detergent. Using the soaping nozzle allows the driveway to soak with the detergent, rather than blasting it clean. 


Once the detergent is on the driveway, let is sit for about 5 minutes, and soak in. After 5 minutes the detergent will have broken down the stains, grime, and dirt on the driveway, and now you’re ready for the clean. You should have a surface cleaner attachment on the washer at this point, which will allow a faster and better clean. You can also buy a rotary cleaner. Both of them do similar things to the water flow, which is pulsing or rotating the water to push the dirt and grime from the surface. Now that your driveway is clean, it’s time for the final rinse. Re-attach your 25 degree nozzle, and rinse away. With that final thorough rinse, your driveway will be as good as new. 


Pressure Washing A Brick Driveway

With a brick driveway, you need to soak it down with water, using the most delicate spray nozzle you have. This is so you can get the entire brick surface wet, so that the detergent will not be absorbed. Now use the detergent nozzle to apply the correct detergent, making sure to cover the entire driveway surface. Like with the concrete driveway, let it soak in for 5 minutes. 


Once it’s done soaking in for 5 minutes, bring out the 25 degree rinsing nozzle, and use that to hose the driveway to remove all the detergent, along with the dirt, mildew, and grime. The key to cleaning a brick driveway is to use more detergent, and less water pressure, so that the mortar will not be destroyed. And that’s it. Your brick driveway is going to look like a million bucks. 


Finally, this should go without saying, but before you start any kind of power washing, ensure that you move your cars, any toys, or anything else that might be sitting on your driveway. If this is your first time using a pressure washer, read the manual beforehand so you know how to properly use it. And always know what chemicals are safe to use in the detergent tank.


How to Fix a Sliding Screen Door that Sticks

Most of us at some time or another, have experienced a screen door that is sticking. An ideally operating screen door should function easily, with a smooth gliding motion, allowing you to open and close it with one hand. You shouldn’t have to use any force. If your screen door is sticking, it’s probably more than just inconvenient – maybe some parts or materials have worn out or broken. If you have to continue to use force to operate the door, then chances are something will break anyway, and you’ll have to replace it. Learning how to fix a sliding screen door will save you unnecessary expense. 


First, pay attention to whether your screen door is making any unusual sounds. Is it just the sounds, or is it also difficult to move? If it is one, or the other, or both, you may benefit from the following tips and techniques.


  1. Check the track to see that it is clean. This I one of the most common issues with a sliding screen door – dirty track. Over time, that’s where dust, pet hair, and other small debris can accumulate, make the door stick, and hard to move. Vacuum the track using the crevice tool, and scrub gently to remove any dirt that is caked on. 


  1. Your sliding door will have a lightweight metal frame, which can bend or warp with a lot of use. If you want to check whether the door is bowed, you will have to remove it from the track. To do this the right way:
  • Grip the door from both sides, and gently lift up to engage the spring assembly;
  • When the wheels are clear off the track, pull the door toward you, then downward, until it is free from the frame;
  • Lay the door on a flat and level surface, then check if any of the corners are lifted;
  • If there is any bowing, gently bend the frame in the opposite direction until it lays flat;


  1. The tension on the door may need to be adjusted. Use the adjustment screws near the wheels, either on the top or the bottom of the door, to adjust the tension. Turn the screw clockwise half a turn, to raise the door, or counterclockwise to lower it. Then test the door to see if it stops sticking. 


  1. If the wheels are broken, or the spring-load needs to be replaced, you will need to remove the door. Use the method described above to remove it. To remove wheels, use a screwdriver to pry them out, and take them with you when you go to the hardware store, so you know you’re getting the exact replacements. 


If the problem is the spring-load, you will need a workable replacement part. If you have the parts, you may be able to drill the rivets out, and then rivet in a replacement. 


A sliding screen door that won’t shut all the way, doesn’t do anything to keep insects, dust, and debris out. With a few simple tweaks, you should be able to keep your door in good shape for years to come. 


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