How Much does it Cost to Clean or Pressure Wash a Driveway?
|Low$0.08 – $0.19/s.f.||Average Cost Estimate$0.27 – $0.33/s.f.||High$0.34 – $0.44/s.f.|
|Driveway Size||Any Size||Over 600 square feet||Up to 600 square feet|
|Stains||DIY||Moderate||Moderate to Heavy|
|Vegetation in Cracks||DIY||Little to Moderate||Moderate to Heavy|
|Metered Water||Yes or No||No||Yes|
|Vacuum or Filtration||No||No||Yes|
|Pavers||Yes or No||No||Yes or No|
|Cost of Living||Low to Average||Low to High||Average to High|
Overview of Driveway Pressure Washing
Pressure washing takes power washing to the next level.
Power washing is done with a power washer, wand and nozzle. The wand is swept back and forth to remove dirt, debris and vegetation from the driveway surface and cracks.
Pressure washing involves using a high-pressure surface washer attachment for a pressure washing wand. There are two types. The first type has wheels and uses rotating nozzles. The second type has brushes. Both use pressurized water from a pressure washer. A gas-powered machine is suggested due to the much higher pressure (2,100-4,000+ PSI) they deliver.
Here’s how pressure washing is done. A section of driveway is washed, the washer is removed, and the dirty water is sprayed off or down the drive. The washer is re-attached, and another section of driveway is washed. There’s a video link in the DIY section below.
Did you know there might be local restrictions? According to Legal Beagle, “In California, it’s against the law to allow wastewater from power washing to flow into storm drains and natural bodies of water. Doing so is not only a violation of state laws, but also federal and municipal regulations and could possibly result in fines.”
Where run-off into a storm drain or body of water is possible, some driveway washers will vacuum up the dirty water or put down a filtration boom to clean the water that filters through it. This is the best way to avoid scrutiny and a potential fine.
This Costimate, or cost estimate, focuses on pressure washing, but again, the cost to power wash a driveway is roughly the same, as are the results. Pressure washing specialists, landscapers and handyman services are among those that advertise this service.
Retail costs for a pressure washer and accessories are discussed for those that want to own the equipment for about the cost to have a pro wash your driveway.
You’ll also find cost factors and professional pressure washing estimates from around the internet for the purpose of comparison. When homeowners share their cost, we post it. You’re invited to chime in with the cost of hiring the work done too.
Pressure Washing Cost Factors
There are cost factors related to hiring a professional and DIY factors too.
Pro pricing factors:
Size of your Driveway – The larger the driveway is, the more it will cost to wash it. However, some pros have a minimum fee for very small driveways of $50-$75.
Whether Stain Removal is Needed – Treating oil and other stains raises the cost based on the number and size of the stains. This is especially true if the cleaning is done prior to sealing your driveway.
Whether a Vacuum or Filter is Used – As noted above, you’ll need one to employ one of these methods if the dirty water might enter a body of water or storm drain. These increase the price by up to 33%.
Vegetation in Cracks – Digging stubborn vegetation out of cracks takes time and raises the cost.
Metered Water – Quite a lot of water is used, so those on a municipal water supply can expect a higher water bill for the month. This expense applies to DIY driveway cleaning too.
Pavers – Using standard methods on pavers can damage the surface. The proper method is using steam and low-pressure spray. This approach is time-consuming and cost.
Asphalt – Just a note about asphalt driveways: Pressure washing could remove sealcoat and leave the asphalt unprotected from the elements and chemicals like oil and de-icing agents. Pressure washing asphalt makes sense if you are cleaning it to prepare it for sealcoat. Otherwise, it might lead to the need to sealcoat it, and that’s an extra cost.
DIY Cost Factors:
- Rent vs Buy – Power sprayers and surface washers can be rented or purchased. See costs below. Renting costs less in the short-term, but you’ll pay more to rent over the years than you would to purchase it. This is especially true if you have a patio, walkways, deck, pool deck and other areas to periodically wash.
- Equipment Type and Quality – There are a few styles, and price varies. Cost ranges are discussed next.
- Accessories Needed – Depending on the condition of your driveway, you might need degreaser for stain removal, detergent for very dirty surfaces – but it is optional, and a garden hose if you buy or rent a machine fed by one.
Cost of Equipment and Supplies
If you own a power washer, then the most economical approach is to rent or buy a surface pressure washer.
If you don’t already have a power washer, then renting a power washer and surface cleaner are economical in the short-run. Over a decade or two, owning the equipment will pay for itself.
We think you’ll appreciate owning a power washer because of its versatility – washing the driveway, siding, decks and other flat surfaces, the roof, the car/truck/RV, etc.
- $24 – $40 | Surface Cleaner Rental per Half-day and Full-day.
- $26 – $44 for Electric / $50 – $80 for Gas | Power Washer Rental per Half-day and Full-day.
- $250 – $700 | Residential-grade gas pressure washer 2,100psi to 4,000 psi. Cost rises with pressure rating.
- $40 – $60 each | Wand attachment / handle connecting the surface cleaner to the power washer hose.
- $75 – $160 | Surface Cleaner for Gas Pressure Washers (not typically rented). Brush types cost less than those with wheels.
- $14 – $30 per gallon | Driveway Detergent and Degreaser.
Permits, Inspection, and Labor Costs
- $0 | No permit is required to pressure wash a driveway. The issue is whether precautions must be taken to remove or filter the wastewater. Pro contractors in your area should know. Call two or three. If you get mixed information, contact your county office or environmental office.
The time it takes to pressure wash a driveway depends on how much prep there is.
For an 800 square foot driveway, expect:
- Up to 2 hours | Removing vegetation from cracks; treating heavy stains
- 1.5 to 3 hours | Driveway pressure washing
A paver driveway will take 4-7 hours, since each paver is washed individually to prevent forcing slag out of the spaces between them.
DIY or Hire a Pro
Home project enthusiasts should definitely consider DIY driveway pressure washing. As this video shows, it is easy, and you can even have some fun with it. What a difference it makes, and it’s much less than the cost of replacing a concrete driveway, that’s for sure.
Renting the equipment will save you about half to two-thirds the price of hiring a pro.
If you buy your own pressure washer, you will find many uses for it, as we noted earlier. And it will pay for itself in time.
The surface washer attachment can be used on any flat surface where water isn’t an issue – The garage floor, driveway, walkways, deck, patio, pool patio and possibly the basement floor.
Pressure Washing a Driveway is a DIY Project. What do You Think?
Driveway Pressure Washing Costs from Around the Web
|Average/s.f.||Total Cost Range/s.f.|
|Costimates||36 cents||$0.27 – $0.44|
|Homewyse||34 cents||$0.31 – $0.38|
|Porch||31 cents||$0.28 – $0.34|
|Home Guide||40 cents||$0.35 – $0.77|
|Angie’s List||30 cents||$0.20 – $0.40|