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Car park, forecourt and pavement cleaning

First impressions count for a lot in business, as in all walks of life. What impression does your office, shop, garage or factory exterior give about your business?

In our experience most businesses think about entrances and signage, but often forget about the impact for the approach to the building, whether it’s a car park, pavement, or forecourt. Like anything else, these areas get dirty but dirt and grime builds up gradually, we tend not to notice it when we’re using the area it or walking across it every day.

Cleaning the car park and other external areas can really make a difference to appearance of the outside space of a property – so what to do?

Pressure washing pavements, patios and forecourts

Pressure washing is fast and effective. To tackle the problem, the first thing to do is to remove weeds and moss from between any slabs or pavers, then sweep the surface to get rid of surface debris – if you don’t do that, pressure washing will just move the dirt around. Whilst it is appealing to blast the dirt away and get it over with, you really need a more gentle approach to avoid damaging the surface. Use a pressure washer with high water volume and lower pressure to reduce potential damage to concrete or block paving.

Cleaning Block Paving

Block paving is becoming more common in car parks and forecourts, as it looks good (as long as it's maintained) and can also be used as part of a water management system to make sure any water runoff is not harmful to the environment.

The ideal way of cleaning block paving is to do it regularly, say about twice a year, by giving the area a good sweep and scrubbing with soapy water. In the real world however, it is hard to be so disciplined and so more robust cleaning methods should be employed such as a pressure washer. The pressure washer is a powerful machine and should be used with care, over enthusiasm can damage the stone work and remove the jointing sand. It should be used at an angle to the paving or even better, be used with an attachment like the Whirlaway which distributes the spray more evenly over the surface.

Whirlaway flat surface cleaners

Pressure washing naturally creates a lot of water and there can be a tendency for overspray, so whilst you’re cleaning one thing, you might be spraying dirty water on to something else. To avoid this, flat surface cleaners like the Whirlaway rotary surface cleaner will focus the water where you want it (on the ground!) and will also enable you to cover a large area of concrete or paving, quickly.

Whirlaway Flat Surface Cleaner

These pressure washer attachments pass the spray via rotating tubes which spread the pressurised water evenly over the surface. The tubes are contained within a cover which sometimes has a nylon skirt and the machine is operated on a similar principle to a hover mower. Very easy, quick and controllable.

Depending on the type of surface, it may be that additional cleaning may be required using proprietary stone cleaner, but in most cases this isn’t necessary. There is always a possibility of some sand being removed, and this should be replaced after cleaning. The paved area should be sealed with a good quality sealant after cleaning to preserve your hard work. It is really sweeper, wash, seal – after which you promise yourself that you will do it more regularly before it gets out of hand.

Is chewing gum a problem?

Gum Blasterpressure washer accessory

Another useful pressure washer accessory is the Gum Blaster chewing gum removal machine. This works with any hot or cold pressure washer (although we recommend 150 bar pressure and 12 litres per minute flow for best results) and enables the user to focus in on the gum through a viewing window, “blast” it, then the machine stores the gum in a collection chamber. See our Gum Blaster video demo to see how easy and effective it is.

Pressure washers for car parks and larger areas

For larger areas, where cleaning may be required some distance from a water source, bowser pressure washers are the best solution.

Bowser pressure washer - Grimebuster

The Grimebuster for example is a trailer mounted pressure washer (or jetter) which is diesel powered and can carry up to 900 litres of water in its bowser. Contractors use these, e.g. for general car park cleaning and also specific cleaning up e.g. after road works or pavement works. Hiring equipment for car park cleaning For most businesses, this type of cleaning isn’t something you need to do every week, so hiring a pressure washer is probably your best option. We offer flexible hire periods from 3 days, and you can see our hire price list here.