Can concrete be damaged by power washing?

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asked Aug 4, 2023 in Maintenance/Repairs by punpkinpatch (1,080 points)
Can concrete be damaged by power washing?

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answered Aug 5, 2023 by 23rounds (16,450 points)
Concrete can be damaged by power washing if you're not careful.

While concrete is pretty tough and can stand up to rough conditions it's possible to damage concrete with pressure washing.

If you're not careful the pressure washer can cause etching in the concrete.

Because a pressure washer is 30-80 times stronger than your hose, it can cause damage if used improperly.

And if the concrete becomes etched during the pressure washing, you should stop before causing further damage and reduce the pressure.

Sealing your driveway after pressure washing will further protect it from the elements and any dirt and debris that stains the surface.

After the concrete has dried for at least 24 hours, you can effectively apply a concrete sealer.

A sealer helps prevent future stains and potential damage from products like ice salts.

In general you'll want to pressure wash your concrete at least once a year.

This lets you treat sunbaked dirt, grime buildup, and stubborn oil stains, making regular cleaning in between washes much more manageable.

Of course, you can always schedule extra pressure washing services as needed.

Some things you can spray on concrete before pressuring washing are.

Acidic Cleaners. Acidic cleaners are heavy-duty mixtures that remove stains, dirt, and contamination soluble in acidic solutions.
Alkaline Cleaners.
pH-Neutral Cleaners.
Bacterial Cleaners.

Any pressure washer capable of producing at least 1,500 pounds per square inch (psi) of pressure can clean concrete, but the work will go much faster if you choose a model producing 2,500 to 3,000 psi, like the gas-powered pressure washer.

Powerful pressure washers with too much PSI will damage concrete when power washing.

Most residential driveways require no more than 3000 to 3500 PSI for proper and thorough concrete washing.

Heavy-duty commercial pressure washers and other power washing equipment are too strong for the average residential driveway!
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answered Feb 18 by bubalex (5,210 points)

Hey there! Power washing concrete can definitely cause damage if you're not careful. The high-pressure water can erode the surface and cause pitting. I'd start with a wider fan tip and lower pressure and work up from there, checking the concrete frequently. You want to get it clean without ruining the integrity.
Speaking of power washing, I recently had Pressure Cleaning Acacia Ridge do my driveway and they did an amazing job. The tech was really knowledgeable about finding the right pressure and technique to get years of grime off without damaging the concrete. My driveway looks brand new now! So I'd recommend giving them a call if you need any exterior cleaning done.

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