Advice on jet washing patios, driveways, decking and other outdoor surfaces

Jet washing is a great way to get your outdoor spaces ready for summer. It clears the dirt, grease, moss and algae that can cause you to slip and fall, while making the surface look cleaner and brighter. But while jet washing may seem like a simple job, many people find the process more difficult than they expected. Before trying to do the work yourself, be sure to read our advice on jet washing patios, decking, driveways and more.

We run through what can be jet washed, the benefits and challenges of using jet washers (also known as power or pressure washers), and why it’s sometimes best to rely on experienced tradespeople.

Jet washing patios, driveways and decking

What surfaces and materials can be jet washed?

Most hard outdoor surfaces can be jet washed. Our experts frequently jet wash patios, driveways and paved pathways, as well as glazed pots, garden walls and balconies. We also jet wash garden furniture and climbing frames.

However, you should always use the right pressure level for the type of surface you’re cleaning. For example, wooden decking needs less pressure than concrete, and too much pressure can damage the wood. There are also different nozzle attachments for use with different materials.

Can I jet wash roof tiles?

We wouldn’t recommend jet washing your roof. You could damage the tiles by removing the protective coating (a process called ‘delamination’) or through erosion, which will reduce their lifespan. You could also shift the tiles out of place and increase the chance of a water leak.

Jet washers should always be held downwards, so naturally, they’re a poor choice for roof cleaning. If you’d like to get rid of moss and other debris, call a professional roofer with the tools and techniques to do the work correctly and safely.

Should I use a patio cleaner?

You might be tempted to try a patio, driveway or decking cleaner to kill off algae, weeds and moss. In our experience, these cleaning solutions provide only limited results. They won’t typically damage your paving or decking, but they also won’t clean the surface properly.

We recommend jet washing as the most effective way to clean your outdoor surfaces, and any cleaning agent you’d like to use is simply optional. Just make sure it’s specially formulated for the task at hand.

What are the benefits of jet washing?

1. It can make your surfaces look new

Loose stones, dirt, mud, algae and oil stains can cause your surfaces to look unsightly. Jet washing cleans them away to reveal the true colours of the surface underneath. The results are immediately noticeable, and homeowners are often surprised by how much brighter their decking and paving look afterwards.

2. It helps prevent further damage

Moss and algae can damage the surfaces they grow on. Jet washing limits this damage, reducing the amount of repairs needed in the long run. Patio jet washing could also reveal issues you hadn’t noticed yet, such as broken or missing mortar in a block paved surface. You can then get these issues resolved before they become bigger structural problems.

3. It beats scrubbing or using a garden hose

A hose might get rid of loose dirt, but it won’t have nearly the same impact as using a jet washer. Manual scrubbing is back-breaking labour and even if you complete the whole surface, you still might not get the results you’re after. In the right hands, a jet washer is simply the fastest way to remove tough algae, moss and debris that’s accumulated over time.

4. It removes slip hazards

The last thing you need is for someone to trip or fall on your property. Unfortunately, moss and algae can make your outdoor surfaces slippery, creating a slip hazard for anyone visiting or making a delivery. Jet washing is a good way to keep the surface safe for you, your family, and anyone visiting your property.

5. It can make your home cleaner

Algae, dirt and grime can collect on your shoe as you walk through your driveway. Even if you take your shoes off as you enter, it’ll still have found its way into your home. By jet or ‘pressure’ washing driveways, patios and paths, you’ll bring in less debris and be able to clean your floors less often.

How often should I get my surfaces jet washed?

We recommend jet washing your outdoor surfaces every two years. This applies to driveways, decking, patios, paths and garden walls. Jet washing actually removes a very fine layer of the surface, so we wouldn’t recommend doing it more frequently. Doing so could shorten the lifespan of the surface you’re cleaning.

We wouldn’t suggest waiting longer than two years either, because UK weather helps algae and moss to grow quickly.

What are the risks of jet washing?

A jet washer can easily damage your surfaces when used incorrectly. The water jet could blast the woodgrain from your decking, and it can break up the mortar pointing between paving slabs. Damage is likely to happen if the pressure is too high for the surface you’re cleaning, you’re using the wrong nozzle attachment, or if you’re holding the device too close or not at the correct angle to the surface material.

There’s a technique to jet washing that often comes with experience, but some people only discover this once they’ve already damaged their decking or paving. That’s why we’d recommend booking an expert if you’re unsure. Otherwise, you could end up doing more harm than good.

Important! These devices can also cause harm if you don’t take safety precautions. The jets can cause injury at close range, so it’s important to handle them properly. The high pressure can also send loose stones into the air, which is why the experts always wear eye protection!

Should I buy a jet washer?

You should only buy a jet washer if you’re confident you have the time and energy to clean your patio, driveway or decking to a high standard. Jet washers have quite a kick, which makes them tiring to use. We’re often called to properties where the owner purchased a jet washer, only to give up once they realised how challenging it was to use.

Jet washers also have pumps that can sometimes break down. A replacement pump can be just as costly as a replacement jet washer, making ownership more costly than you’d expect. The nozzle attachments can also wear out quickly, at which point they’ll need replacing.

We make jet washing easy…

Cleaning your driveway, patio and other outdoor surfaces with a jet washer can be complicated. You’ll have to use the right pressure level and accessories, wear the proper gear, and spend time and effort to get the results you want. There’s also the cleanup to think about!

With Aspect, you won’t have to worry about any of that. We carry out the jet washing services you need, using reliable techniques that only come from experience. We even collect the mess in bags, meaning no cleanup and a beautifully cleaned surface that you enjoy right away.

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