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  • Writer's pictureChris Martin

How to Clean An Exposed Aggregate Driveway Without Causing Damage

Cleaning an exposed aggregate driveway can be a daunting task as what makes exposed aggregate so fantastic as a feature of your home is also what makes it so difficult to clean. Exposed aggregate driveways are made up of a mixture of cement and other material, usually stones. This gives exposed aggregate that spectacular speckled look.

exposed aggregate driveway cleaning
Exposed aggregate driveway cleaning

Unlike cement, exposed aggregate is not a uniform slab and the stones within the cement can be damaged or loosened by strenuous cleaning. This is something to think about if you want to attempt DIY driveway cleaning.

While exposed aggregate driveways look fantastic, like most driveways they can start to stain over time and lose their original appearance. The best way to protect your exposed aggregate driveway is to clean the stains as soon as possible. To help with this we’ve put together some information for anyone that wants to attempt DIY exposed aggregate driveway cleaning without causing damage.

Common Stains on Exposed Aggregate Driveways

Bore Water Stains

These often look reddish-brown and are caused by bore water pooling on your driveway, then drying and leaving behind the minerals in the water. In most cases, the mineral left behind is iron, and once it begins to oxidise and rust, you’ll see these reddish-brown stains start to show up on your exposed aggregate driveway.

Cleaning an exposed aggregate driveway
Cleaning bore stains from an exposed aggregate driveway

To clean rust stains from your driveway, you’ll need to use strong acids to break down the rust to allow it to be washed away. These chemicals can be extremely toxic, so we advise either wearing full protective clothing when cleaning your driveway or getting a professional exposed aggregate driveway cleaning company to take care of it for you.

Oil & Grease Stains

Oil and grease stains on exposed aggregate driveways are primarily caused by vehicles parked on the driveway that has an oil leak. If left to sit on your driveway for too long, it can cause permanent damage to the exposed aggregate.

The best way to clean oil and grease stains from your exposed aggregate driveway is to apply a driveway cleaning solution that will break down the oil. Luckily, you can make this mixture using household products like dishwashing liquid or baking soda. If you’re not confident mixing this up yourself, you can either buy a chemical degreaser from a hardware store or get a quote from a Perth driveway cleaning company to remove the stain with the lowest risk to your exposed aggregate.

Tyre Rubber Marks

Tyre marks on driveways are highly common but can be extremely difficult to remove as the rubber stains left on your driveway are water-resistant. To clean the tyre stain from your exposed aggregate driveway you’ll need a strong chemical degreaser, protective clothing, a hard broom or brush and a high-pressure cleaning machine.

Make sure before you use any chemical driveway cleaning solution that you carefully read the instructions and safety warnings. If you’re not sure you’ve got the right product for cleaning an exposed aggregate driveway, talk to a driveway cleaning company before potentially causing damage to your driveway.

Algae & Mould

These are one of the most common stains that require cleaning off exposed aggregate. Any moisture that is left to settle on your driveway can start to form mould, especially if there is very little sunlight. Algae and mould are common to find near the edge of the house where the driveway can remain in the shade all day or at low points in your driveway where water can pool.

Algae and mould stains on your exposed aggregate driveway will need to be cleaned using a chemical solution and either a hard broom (and some elbow grease) or a high-pressure cleaner.

How to Safely Clean Your Exposed Aggregate Driveway

Here are some general tips for cleaning an exposed aggregate driveway. If you’re using a store-bought chemical cleaning product, ensure you read and follow the instructions on the product.

drive cleaning exposed aggregate
Before and after cleaning an exposed aggregate driveway
  1. For every stain that occurs on exposed aggregate, your cleaning process starts with sweeping away all of the surface dirt, debris and other material that is going to stop you from removing the stain.

  2. Put on your protective clothing: safety/glasses/goggles, water-resistant gloves, water-resistant boots and a mask.

  3. Further clean the exposed aggregate with water using a garden hose or, if available, a high-pressure cleaner. Be very careful when choosing to use a high-pressure cleaner on exposed aggregate as if your pressure is too high, you can cause damage to the cement and the loosen the stones from your driveway. View our guide for advice on what pressure to use when cleaning your exposed aggregate driveway.

  4. Apply a driveway cleaning chemical or water-based cleaner, depending on the type of stain you have. Before you apply the driveway cleaning solution, carefully read the instructions and warnings on the product. We recommend speaking to someone at the hardware store or seeking a quote from a Perth driveway cleaning company before attempting DIY driveway cleaning.

  5. Leave the solution on your driveway for the recommended time from the cleaning product instructions.

  6. Using a hard brush or broom, scrub the surface of your driveway to loosen the stain. This may take several minutes to dislodge the stain from the cement and stones in your driveway. When you’re scrubbing it’s best to start gently and become more forceful if the stain isn’t coming off but be sure to not damage the exposed aggregate.

  7. If the stain remains after scrubbing, refer to the driveway cleaning product to see if you can reapply the product.

  8. To remove the driveway cleaning product and the stain, use a high-pressure cleaner to wash the surface of your driveway. Start with your back to your house and clean towards the road, pushing the dirt and chemicals towards the street.

Sealing Your Exposed Aggregate Driveway

Once you’ve finished cleaning your exposed aggregate driveway, the best way to prevent further staining and damage is to have a sealer applied to coat the driveway. By having your driveway professionally cleaned and sealed, you’ll be extending the life of your driveway and improving your home’s street appeal.

For a free quote for exposed aggregate driveway cleaning, contact DJL Services, a local Perth driveway cleaning company that has a great reputation for customer satisfaction and high-quality work.


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