DIY Or Professional: Which Is Best For Driveway Pressure Cleaning

A man pressure washing a driveway.

Pressure washing may look easy, but it’s not. Professionals and do-it-yourself enthusiasts must brush up their skills on its proper use if they want to keep it safe and efficient.

A high-pressure water stream can reach forces of up to 3,000 pounds per square inch (PSI), which is about 200 times the air pressure circling us. Imagine how it can be more effective in removing stains and dirt that persist even after you’ve tried to scrub them out.

As a powerful cleaning tool, a pressure wash can be harmful if it falls into the wrong hands. So whether you plan to use it on your driveway or any other sections of your outdoor living space, here are some points to help you decide whether to DIY or leave it to professionals.

DIY Or Professional Pressure Washing: Cost

According to, hiring a power washer professional can cost you anywhere from USD$200 to USD$400, according to And because of the continued demand, cleaning service contractors have become available in almost all cities and suburbs. So, whether you need pressure washing in New Orleans or any other key city in the US, you’ll be able to find the right contractor for your needs.

Comparatively, power washer rentals cost anywhere from USD$50 to USD$100, while an entry-level electric pressure washer for residential use will cost you anywhere from $100 to $400. A gas-fed pressure washer may cost you $300 to $600. However, costs vary wildly depending on the power source and capacity, with some mid-level washers setting you back up to a few thousand.

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The Verdict: At face value, renting a power washer and using it for one day to clean your driveway can be a cost-effective solution. However, if you don’t know how to use it properly, you might end up renting again to clear out tough stains and dirt. In this case, you’ll be spending as much as you would in hiring professionals who can do the work better.

If you plan on using power washers regularly, it might be better to invest in one. However, apart from the upfront costs, you’d have to spend for maintenance and repair works, which increases your spending dramatically.

DIY Or Professional Pressure Washing: Time

Depending on the size and condition of your driveway and your skill level, cleaning could take a few hours. However, it’s relatively rare for homeowners only to wash the driveway and not include the rest of the outdoor section. If you’re pressure washing your outdoor area to boost your property’s curb appeal, cleaning time can dramatically eat up your time if you’re doing it yourself.

Conversely, hiring professionals can free up your time, so you’re free to do the things that matter. Instead of spending the whole day washing your outside walls, patio, windows, and driveway, you can spend some time with your family or work on other urgent matters.

The Verdict: Instead of taking time to shop around for the best pressure washer rental deal, call a professional cleaning service to do the job for you. These professionals can help you save time or free up your weekend schedule.

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DIY Or Professional Pressure Washing: Results

Before using a pressure washer, it’s crucial to know how the equipment works, including its capacities and proper settings. This ensures that you get the best results from using this powerful cleaning tool.

However, you should also note that rentable machines often lack heating and have lower pressure levels to make them less dangerous. While safer, this also means that these pieces of equipment may not be as powerful as you’d want them to be.

Removing oil stains from your driveway and other persistent dirt needs higher pressure and the proper technique. Different surfaces need different PSI levels and nozzle angles to make cleaning more effective. For instance, some need to be soft washed, which requires low pressure but higher concentrations of cleaning compounds. Meanwhile, some surfaces need different nozzles to ensure deep and better cleaning.

Familiarity with these methods, alongside cleaning compounds available only to professional companies, you’re sure to have an immaculate home. Besides being effective at removing dirt, your property will also be free from other contaminants such as mildew and molds.

The Verdict: While doable, cleaning your driveway with a rented machine may not give you the results you’re expecting. On the other hand, professionals are trained to use any cleaning equipment and boost effectiveness using proper techniques and cleaning chemicals.

As mentioned, making power washers effective requires adequate knowledge of the equipment and its capacities. Expert power washers also make sure they’re cleaning safely, avoiding potential damage to properties, human beings, pets, and other living things that may come into contact with the pressurized water stream.

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A man is pressure cleaning his driveway.

DIY Or Professional Pressure Washing: Safety

Power washers, as mentioned, can be dangerous if they fall into the wrong hands. It’s highly pressurized, and the strong stream of water can injure an unsuspecting user. In some cases, it can also damage your property and plants. Hence, you should never attempt to use one if you’ve never used it before.

A power washer can generate cracks in wood, plastic, and even concrete if used by untrained hands. It could even damage the neighbor’s windows. When unforeseen circumstances such as these happen, a professional cleaning company can cover the repair costs because they’re appropriately insured against staff injuries and property damages.

The Verdict: Because pressure washing professionals take precautions in minimizing, if not avoiding, any damage, you can rest assured that your prized possessions and family members can stay unharmed. For instance, your exterior paint and sidings will remain intact and won’t become warped.

Final Thoughts

Driveway pressure cleaning takes more than just spraying the surface with a power washer. Like any other job, the user must know how to choose the pressure levels and technique. If you don’t know both, you might end up spending massive amounts of time and still not getting the ideal results. Worse, you might end up inflicting damage on your driveway. You won’t be facing any of these issues with professional help.

Hiring a professional cleaning company can provide results that can’t be accomplished by D-I-Y power washing. As such, they provide the easiest, safest, and fastest way to clean your exterior—giving you peace of mind and better control of your time.

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