Kane Construction

Can You Power Wash A Tarmac Driveway?

Maintaining the appearance and well-being of your tarmac driveway is essential to maintain or even imporve the overall curb appeal of your property. Over time, dirt, debris, moss, and other contaminants can accumulate on the surface of your tarmac driveway, making it appear worn and neglected. One common question that arises among homeowners is whether power washing is a suitable method to clean a tarmac driveway. In this blog, we’ll delve into this question and explore the best methods for keeping your tarmac driveway looking its best. 

Understanding Tarmac Composition

Before diving into the cleaning methods, it’s important to understand the composition of tarmac. Tarmac, also known as bituminous pavement or asphalt, is a composite material made from crushed stone aggregates and bitumen, a sticky black substance derived from petroleum. This combination creates a durable and weather-resistant surface suitable for driveways, roads, and various other applications. 

Power Washing Considerations

The answer to whether you can power wash a tarmac driveway is yes, but with a few important considerations. When using a power washer, it’s crucial to avoid getting too close to the surface of the tarmac. The intense pressure from the power washer, especially at close range, can potentially chip away the surface and dislodge the aggregate stone chips. These stone chips play a crucial role in providing texture and durability to the tarmac surface. Thus, using a power washer too aggressively can lead to surface degradation and the loss of aggregate stones

Additionally, similar to the risks posed by power washing, using a stiff yard brush can also lead to unintended damage. Instead, opt for a softer brush, like a house brush, to ensure that the surface remains intact while removing dirt and debris. 

Recommended Cleaning Approach

For routine cleaning, it’s generally best to use a gentler approach. Here’s a recommended step-by-step cleaning process:

Hose Down – Begin by hosing down the tarmac driveway to remove loose dirt and debris. 

Brushing – Use a soft-bristle house brush to gently scrub the surface, This will help dislodge any remaining dirt or contaminants without causing damage to the tarmac.

Second Hose Down – After brushing, give the driveway another thorough hose down to rinse away the loosened debris.

Intense Cleaning for Degraded Surfaces

In cases where your tarmac driveway has significantly deteriorated or mass has built up extensively, a more intensive cleaning approach might be necessary. Here’s what you can consider:

Weed Killer

Apply a suitable weed killer to tackle moss and weed growth effectively. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe and proper application. 

Power Washing

Once the moss and weeds have been treated, you can proceed with using a power washer. However, remember to maintain a safe distance to prevent damage to the tarmac surface.

Seal Coating

After completing the cleaning process, it’s advisable to apply a seal coat to protect the tarmac from further deterioration. Seal coating helps to maintain the integrity of the tarmac, prevent water penetration, and extend its lifespan.


While power washing can indeed be used to clean a tarmac driveway, it’s important to exercise caution and avoid using excessive pressure that could damage the surface. For routine maintenance, a combination of gentle brushing and hosing down is recommended. In cases of extensive degradation or moss buildup, using a weed killer and a power washer can be beneficial, followed by seal coating to protect and preserve the tarmac. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your driveway remains in great condition, enhancing the aesthetics and value of your property.