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How-to Guides

How to clean tarmac driveways

How to clean tarmac driveways

How to clean tarmac driveways

This guide explains how to clean tarmac driveways including how to remove moss, green algae & other organic matter with Floorseal Green Remover Concentrate.

Our simple guide is full of useful pointers to undertake the cleaning of your tarmac driveway & other tarmac surfaces.

To view prices & further information about the products specifically listed in this article, please click on the product titles highlighted in blue.

We have also produced another related guide to sealing & colour restoring tarmac (links in the footer).

There are web links, contact details & other general handy ‘how to’ guides also linked in the footer.

Older tarmac driveways are very often infested with moss and algae which over long periods of time can damage the tarmac's integrity

How to clean tarmac

Older tarmac usually develops organic growth such as algae and moss over time. The surface will become rough and pitted as it wears. Moss will grow and spread in rough tarmacs, particularly tarmac driveways, but it can be safely removed. The following points should cover all situations, please read on!

Can I pressure wash tarmac?

It is worth pressure washing your tarmac before any sealing work is carried out. This will remove any loose debris and general organic growth. Lightly pressure washing your tarmac will not damage the surface and can remove a lot of obvious issues.

Very light moss infestations can be removed via this method, algae can also be removed by following this method.

If you do not have a pressure washer we recommend at least using a hosepipe with a gun to remove any loose debris, sweeping the surface clean once dry.

What kind of cleaners should I use on tarmac?

We recommend Floorseal Green Remover Concentrate to clean tarmac with. Once the surface is pressure washed or generally cleaned, apply this product to the surface. The surface should be dry before application.

If there are traces of algae & moss left on the surface this product will further clean the surface by attacking remaining organic matter & its roots. 

Spray over the surface after diluting at a ratio of 1:5 with clean water. The surface should be dry before application. Then let the product work over the following days and weeks. It typically takes at least 3-5 days for organic matter to die on the tarmac driveway. Green Remover Concentrate will continue to work for many weeks and months after application.

Cracks in tarmac driveways will often occur after years of neglect, these should be repaired once the tarmac driveway is clean

What should I do if there is a significant amount of moss on the surface?

We recommend applying Green Remover Concentrate at a ratio of 1:3 and waiting for it to ‘brown’ and start to wither. Once the moss is breaking down you may need to physically remove it via scraping or use of a pressure washer.

Once the surface has been cleared, swept of loose grit and gravel, re-treat with Floorseal Green Remover Concentrate. This will inhibit the growth of mosses and algae that may remain deeply embedded into the tarmac.

Severe infestations of moss tend to sit within pitted surfaces, it is easier to break it down with Green Remover Concentrate and remove the debris later. The debris will become brittle as it ‘browns’ and shrinks. Therefore it is easier to treat the surface, remove the debris and then treat again when the surface has been cleared.

Can I use bleach or chlorine-based cleaners on tarmac?

Generally, you should not use bleach or chlorine-based cleaners on tarmac, they attack oils in the tarmac. For this reason you may see a lightening in colour on new, very black tarmac.

On older faded tarmac you may not see a colour change. Chlorine-based cleaners will remove moss but in general, we do not advise using them as they have no residual ongoing effect. Green Remover Concentrate will slowly break down moss & algae and prevent its return. A quick application of this product once or twice per year will keep your tarmac free from organic matter. 

How to maintain tarmac driveways

To maintain tarmac driveways apply Floorseal Green Remover Concentrate once or twice per year. This will remove organic growth and inhibit the formation of new growth. This same process can also be carried out on patios, pavers, walls and roofs.

Once cleaned, old tarmac driveways will often have a 'faded' look. You can restore the colour and protect it with Floorseal Tarmac Restorer for Driveways

In conclusion

Floorseal Green Remover Concentrate will remove moss, algae and other organic growth. Apply at a ratio of 1:5 for general cleaning and 1:3 for severe contaminations of moss. Only apply to dry surfaces with rain not predicted for at least 12 hours. This product can be used for the purposes of initial removal & to inhibit the return of mosses etc if applied once or twice per year.

Please click the product title highlighted in blue to view prices & further information on the product page.

If you are interested in colour restoring tarmac please click here to view our associated ‘how to guide’ on sealing & colour restoring tarmac.

To view all of our handy ‘how to guides’ please click here.

The information contained in this article is not exhaustive. If you need further information please contact Floorseal on (01484) 861461 or email us Info@floorseal.co.uk our web address is www.floorseal.co.uk