Downward Sloping Driveway

We did a full house wash, roof, driveway gutter clean. Was a small house, but the homeowner was a pain in the butt. I gave her a fair, reasonable price for what I thought would be 4 - 5 hours worth of work.

We finally got to the driveway and tried to use a submergible pump to transfer the water from her downward sloping (backstops against the garage), she didnt have power outside so that was a no go. The pretreatment and water pooled and ran off into the grass and caused a huge pool / puddle of water. The result was that all of the grass ended up being burned. What can be done differently other than not pretreating her driveway?

She also mentioned her house now smells terrible due to the SH, which is frankly true. She trusted us to get the job done right, and I feel like we let her down. Granted she was a HUGE pain in the butt, asking us to do all types of other things not related to pressure washing (which we obliged because she is an older woman). The house is clean, the green algae is removed, but feels like I should just tell her its on us. Anyone ever do this for burning grass?

How hot are you pretreating? I usually just do HW mix for pretreatment then a hotter mix for post after the nearby grass and vegetation has been saturated from cleaning and rinsing. Never burned any grass.

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2-3%, issued was everything just pooled there. What arr you calling a HW mix? 1-2%

HW mix for me is like .8%. That’s why I post treat heavier with the 12v and a good amount of surfactant so it sticks and doesn’t run very much.

I should probably bring my HW mix way down then. I have been using 2% from a 12V system. Will probably save me lots of $ and reduce the smell of bleach one finished.

2-3% post treatment - less than 1 for pre-treat. Standard HW about .7% William is right, by the time you’re ready to post treat all the grass should have been flooded by then from the surface cleaning. If you cleaned it well may not have even needed much post treatment unless it was really bad to start with. %0% of our drives we post treat with the hw again and usually that’s enough. You also use the pre-treatment to determine water flow and runoff ahead of time so you can plan how you handle it.

Realistically the grass will grow back probably in a month. Go by and spray some liquid fertilizer on it. We use ‘plant wash’ which neutralizes the SH as well as stimulates the grass.

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Uh yeah probably. 1% will clean a lot. I’ve had some stuff that just wouldn’t let go before but usually second or third story fascias on houses that haven’t been washed in 15-20 years.

Abso-freaking-lutely. I’ve gone into a job thinking I’m gonna do it one way then that pretreat reveals it drains in the complete opposite direction so I adapt the plan. Happened to me the other day on a huge drive. Thought I could rinse it all one way but turns out the very center was the high spot so I had to clean and rinse one half one way then the other the other way.

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Thank you both, very helpful. Will definitely lower my SH ratios

Despite only being in this for three years, I’ve learned to ‘scout’ my jobsite and identify problematic drainage areas.

Last year I was called to do a back driveway and it had a shallow ‘V’ shape, but the water just wasn’t draining and I was having to stop and ‘super sucker’ the water into the bushes, took forever. Ironically after I was done the older gentleman was stabbing the grass with a screwdriver so I went to have a look, lo and behold there was a perfectly functional drain covered in grass.

Also, consider getting the 12v bilge pump off Amazon. It’ll keep running while you’re washing which is a godsend.

No puddle stands a chance against my BG56. Must have on any rig.


I have a submergible pump, but her outlets were turned off. So broom it was.

No I’m talking about a leaf blower. There handy things for concrete to blow leaves away and redirect puddles when needed, also helps when you don’t have to rinse sludge. You would be surprised what sitting on concrete before it’s cleaned.

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I second this. Leaf blowing only takes a minute and it saves your surface cleaner from getting damaged from rocks and sticks hitting the bar. Additionally it makes rinsing faster. I like my Milwaukee fuel leaf blower.

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I use the sludge pump. Works great and I can reach backyard areas that a cord wouldnt.