Concrete cleaning calls for powerful pressure washers featuring high pressure levels of 3000 PSI. However, if you will be using the power cleaner to maintain a range of surfaces in addition to concrete, choose one with adjustable pressure levels and set it to about 3000 PSI when you need to clean concrete.
Soft surfaces, such as decks and siding, usually require more cleaning power than harder surfaces such as driveways. For hard surfaces, such as concrete and brick, a higher PSI pressure washer with 2000-3000 PSI of water pressure is ideal. Such a device can effectively clean dirt and grime from these hard surfaces.
Any machine 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 option below.
To clean concrete, exterior siding or an asphalt driveway, you'll want at least 2,000 to 2,800 psi and 2 to 3 gpm (4,000 to 8,400 ECUs).
Often more affordable than higher strength concrete, 2,500 PSI can be useful for driveways and walkways. However, some may choose a stronger concrete, like 3,000 PSI, to avoid excessive cracking. A good use for this concrete is a walkway on the side of a home that doesn't receive excessive traffic.
Our recommendation ranges from as low as 3,000 PSI to as high as 4,000 PSI.
There's no doubt that electric pressure washers from 1,300 to 2,300 psi can wash a concrete driveway, but it'll take longer. If you have a large driveway with lots of stains, you'll want more power to do the job faster. I chose the 3,100-psi gas pressure washer and cut the job time in half.
The quick answer is yes, power washing can degrade a concrete surface.
Medium Duty 2000-2800 PSI
This classification ranges from as low as 2,000 PSI to as high as 2,800 PSI. You can use a medium-duty pressure washer for almost any surface. They're great for cleaning concrete, brick, and wood.
What PSI pressure washer do I need to clean concrete? To clean concrete effectively, use a power washer with a pressure rating of at least 3000 psi and a flow rate of at least 4 gallons per minute (gpm).
You can find multiple brands like the Mi-T-M WP 2500 which uses 2.3 GPM while still offering a powerful 2500 PSI making it perfect for driveway, home, and vehicle cleaning.
A strength of 4,000 psi (pounds per square inch) after a one month cure is the industry minimum for concrete driveways, slabs, and sidewalks. However, 4,500 psi as the ideal. According to guidelines published by AsktheBuilder.com, a home foundation requires a thicker pour of 8-10 inches and a psi of 3,500-4,000.
A medium-duty pressure washer is strong enough to blast greasy, grimy stains from residential areas. Homeowners can safely clean sidewalks, concrete driveways, decking, and siding with a 2,000 to 3,000 PSI washer.
If you want to clean your driveway quickly and efficiently, use a pressure washer of at least 3100 PSI. Using pressure washers with pressures ranging from 1000 to 2300 PSI will also help you clean your driveway, but it will take a long time.
Simpson SuperPro Roll Cage 3600 PSI 2.5 GPM Gas
The best pressure washer for concrete and driveways is partly about combining mid-to-high-level PSI with excellent flow rates. As a professional, if you can score one that's easy to roll on and off the trailer multiple times a day, you're in business!
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!
An effective pressure wash cleans the pores of your concrete. Make sure to apply concrete sealer after pressure washing.
Pounds per square inch (psi) measures the compressive strength of concrete. A higher psi means a given concrete mixture is stronger, so it is usually more expensive. But these stronger concretes are also more durable, meaning they last longer.
3000 PSI concrete is widely used in residential applications such as sidewalks, patios, and driveways if you aren't expecting to drive or park heavy equipment on it. 3500 PSI is less common in sidewalks and patios.
Your pressure washer should have a minimum pressure rating of 3000 psi to effectively clean your sidewalk. There are a few situations where a higher pressure rating might be needed, but exterior cleaning experts all agree and recommend that 3000 psi is appropriate for residential use.
1:3:3 (cement: sand: stone) is one of the best concrete mixing ratios for producing a 3000 PSI mix. The mixing ratio is not only appropriate for a shed slab, but it also works for the majority of footings, concrete patios, and foundation walls.
Concrete typically takes 24 to 48 hours to dry enough for you to walk or drive on it. However, concrete drying is a continuous and fluid event, and usually reaches its full effective strength after about 28 days.