Can You Pressure Wash Asphalt?

Asphalt is one of the top two paving options in the world and for good reason – asphalt is strong, affordable, and looks great. A beautiful and shiny new blacktop can increase curb appeal and make your property look great, but what does a homeowner need to do to keep that appearance up?

Clean, beautiful asphalt that lasts multiple decades won’t happen unless you take care of minor chores, like cleaning and sealcoating your asphalt. There are a few different options for cleaning asphalt but what about the pressure washer in your garage? Can you pressure wash asphalt?

Can You Pressure Wash Asphalt?

Let’s learn if pressure washing asphalt is a good idea, alternatives to pressure washing, and other steps to keep your asphalt shiny and strong.

How to Pressure Wash Asphalt

Yes, you can pressure wash asphalt but before you wheel out your washer and crank it up, you need to take certain steps for the most thorough job that won’t harm your asphalt.

Alternatives to Pressure Washing Asphalt

Pressure washers make quick and thorough work of cleaning a driveway but not everyone has a pressure washer available. If you’re lacking the power of a pressure washer you can still clean your asphalt but it will take longer.

You’ll need:

  • Large bucket
  • Push brush
  • Asphalt-appropriate cleaner – available at your local home improvement store

Like pressure washing, you’re encouraged to work methodically from one area to the other and uphill to downhill. Follow the directions for the cleaning solution and get prepared to sweat while you scrub up months of caked on dirt.

After you’ve finished scrubbing, work down the driveway again with a garden hose and spray off the excess dirt and grime. It’s going to take more time and sweat but a proper cleaning is how you get your asphalt ready for the next step.

Resealing Asphalt

Resealing asphalt, not cleaning, is the most important step to keep your asphalt durable and beautiful for many years. Sealing asphalt provides a fresh new protective layer on top of asphalt that will not only look great but protect your asphalt from common issues like fading and gouges.

Don’t hit yourself if you’ve put in a lot of elbow grease to clean your driveway, as that’s the first step for a proper reseal. After you clean your driveway, let it dry out completely (12-24 hours) before applying sealcoat.

Homeowners can clean and reseal their driveway by themselves, but it’s recommended you leave resealing asphalt to a professional. A professional can inspect your asphalt, fix any issues that could harm resealing, then apply sealcoat with a professional hand to make your asphalt look brand new.

If you choose to reseal yourself read over the instructions carefully and be sure to purchase a product that is only intended for asphalt.

How Often to Pressure Wash and Reseal Driveway

Many homeowners choose asphalt thanks to its beauty and great value, but that asphalt needs to be maintained to look and perform its best for years. For most homeowners this means a thorough cleaning and reseal every 1-2 years. If possible, talk to the original asphalt installer to determine how often you should clean and reseal your asphalt.

Power Washing Asphalt

Homeowners can use a pressure washer to clean their asphalt but should always use caution to not damage the asphalt and should always reseal after a thorough cleaning. If the homeowner can take care of cleaning and sealing every one to two years, your asphalt will reward you with strength and a gorgeous jet-black shine for years to come.