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Last Updated on December 12, 2020
Driveway Cleaning Cost – Compare Prices & Services
You ever walk down a street or drive somewhere new, notice a sparklingly clean driveway and think “oh wow, look at that! It’s like brand new”? Guess what? So does everyone: there’s something about a recently jet washed or newly lain surface that is just so satisfying. In fact, whether it’s brand new or just looks like it, it is estimated that a fresh-looking driveway can add anywhere between 5 and 10% to the overall value of your home – now that’s the kind of industry insight that we can get behind.
So, if the condition of your driveway can genuinely affect how much your home is worth, then why doesn’t everyone have a squeaky clean drive?
Well, part of it is because people assume they need to jump right to replacing or resurfacing their driveway altogether for it to make any real difference, whether that be aesthetically or an actual valuation. We’re here to tell you it doesn’t have to cost you much to get your drive looking spick and span. Here’s how much driveway cleaning costs:
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How much does driveway cleaning cost?
Obviously, any quotes you get for driveway cleaning are going to vary depending on the size of your driveway and the severity to which it needs cleaning. Nevertheless, the average cost for driveway cleaning in the UK is approximately £300 – this includes rough labour costs and any potential sealing.
If you’re looking for a quick jet wash just to brighten up the tarmac/stonework, then this shouldn’t be too costly a job and could definitely be done for cheaper: around £75-120. However, if your drive has been neglected for a while and needs some serious TLC, the prices can start to go up. Even with a smaller drive, if it requires proper wash and sealing, after labour is added on, you’re looking at around £250 and upwards the larger the surface area.
Other factors that can affect cost
There are a number of other factors that can start to affect the overall cost of your cleaning. That being said, it’s always worth taking the time to research local tradesmen to see how prices vary – some may try to undercut the competition but this might come at the sacrifice of the overall quality of the job. Here are four key things to keep in mind when budgeting for a driveway cleaning:
1. Size of the driveway
Pretty self-explanatory: the bigger the drive, the more materials, water/energy used and the longer it will take. Whilst we mostly keep to the rough categories of small, medium and large drives in this article, the majority of companies will charge you per m² (square metre). It’s worth measuring your driveway and being as accurate as possible to make sure you save wherever you can/don’t overpay.
Again, it’s common sense: the worse a state your driveway is in, the more extensive the cleaning job will be. If the surface is just subject to some natural weathering – regular build of dirt, grime and rubber from your car etc. – you shouldn’t have too much to worry about. However, if the stonework is covered in moss, weeds, oil stains and so on, it’ll need a stronger wash and obviously take more time, not to mention sealing to make sure it lasts.
Like anything, every local tradesman will have a different price-point, but by considering the size of your drive, as well taking into account labour and the estimated time it will take to clean from start to finish, you can start to judge who will provide the most cost-effective service. Alternatively, you can always choose to DIY, which will mean you only have to pay for equipment, materials and a bit more on your energy bill.
Unfortunately, where you live can always make things more complicated if you’re paying for a professional service. Whilst this may not be as troublesome as having load building materials driven out to a rural home in the countryside, you may still encounter some people charging the equivalent of a call-out fee if your nearest driveway cleaners isn’t so local.
Equally, just as with the adjusted living wage and virtually everything in the capital: if you live in London, you can expect to pay a small premium. You’re looking at, on average, another £25-50 on top of the typical total – though, as always, these figures are likely to vary from business to business.
How often should you pressure wash your driveway?
Ideally, every six months. This approach takes into account the changing of the seasons: look to clean your driveway in the spring and given that the summer won’t present drastically different weather conditions, it should stay looking relatively good throughout.
You can then clean it again at the start of autumn; of course, you can expect things like leaves to build up but this is still easily maintained with a good sweep. Moreover, the rain, sleet and perhaps even snow that you can expect over the next few months leading into winter, can actually help wash away some of the mud, moss, dirt and grime that can build in these harsher conditions.
However, if you don’t feel you have the time to wash your drive every six months, or don’t have a pressure washer yourself and tend to pay for a cleaning, once a year is still sufficient – you’d be surprised how many people leave it even longer than that.
How long does it take to power wash a driveway?
As is often the case, this depends entirely on the size of your driveway. Whilst pressure washing your drive, on average, can take anywhere between 1 and 3 hours, a proper, professional wash with all the bells and whistles, can take up to as much as 8 hours – especially if you’re sealing it afterwards. The more intense the clean and the more coats of sealant you want, the longer it will take.
What’s the difference between pressure and power wash?
Heat. Whilst pressure washing uses – you guessed it – high pressure water, power washing not only tends to be done at a higher PSI (pounds per square inch), but combines this pressure with heated water. It is a faster and more effective way of cleaning your drive, however, power washers are more expensive to purchase and to hire as a service, so it’s up to you whether you want to spend the extra.
How much does it cost to clean and seal a driveway?
Once again, these estimates are going to depend entirely on how large your driveway is but we can give you a rough approximation to use as a baseline:
- Small: £200
- Medium: £300
- Large: £400
These figures will obviously fluctuate from company to company – even more so if you choose to splash out for a high-end power wash. However, as with all home improvements, you can choose to try DIY driveway cleaning. For this, you will obviously need to own some form of jet washer and purchase some driveway sealant for yourself.
Outside of industrial models used in the trade, you can find good quality pressure washers from anywhere between £50 and £500. Driveway sealer is even more affordable, retailing from as little as £11; you can, of course, spring for the heavy-duty stuff, which tends to max out at around £275 for 25L – this will last you for years to come (as will the pressure washer), so think of it as a more of an investment. Though it will likely take you longer than a professional, it does remove labour costs: there are pros and cons to both options.
When should I replace/resurface my driveway?
If you are wondering whether you should replace/resurface your driveway completely, there are a few signs to let you know it might be time:
- The stonework has significant cracks and/or signs of permanent weather damage.
- If the weathering and discolouration can’t be fixed through cleaning.
- There are waves/bows in the surface of your driveway, indicating the foundation needs replacing.
- Your driveway is over 20-30 years old.
Resurfacing is almost certainly the cheaper option between the two, especially if you have a tarmac/asphalt one – in fact, some people simply ‘patch’ their driveways in areas that have seen more wear and tear than the rest i.e. where you park your car.
However, these are often only temporary fixes and if done frequently and anything less than perfectly, it can lead to your drive looking like a rushed job or patchwork quilt. Furthermore, if cracks are thick and deep enough, it usually means that the foundation is no longer good either, in which case a full replacement is necessary – any resurfacing would be short-lived and, ultimately, a waste of money.
How much does a new driveway cost – UK?
The average cost for a new driveway in the UK is around £3,100, with asphalt driveways ranging anywhere between £1,250 to £3,000 alone. However, not everyone is after the same kind of finish, so here’s a quick breakdown on what you can expect to pay depending on the surface.
Average cost per m²
We hope you found this useful and at least helped you figure out whether your drive needs cleaning, resurfacing or replacing altogether. Of course, as always, you only work with what your budget can allow, but at least now you know there are several options and ways to give your driveway a new lease of life.
Get Your Driveway Cleaned Today
Save up to 40% by comparing quotes from trusted companies.