How to Keep Your Concrete Looking Great and Lasting Longer

Concrete is one of the most durable materials around, but it’s still susceptible to dirt and grime. Regular cleaning helps your concrete look great and last longer.

Use cat litter or baking soda on grease stains. These products contain three acids that work to free the grease. For other stains, use a commercial acidic cleaner with scrub brushes and a pressure washer. Read on to know more.

Preparation

Concrete is one of the most durable materials around, but that durability doesn’t mean it can withstand spills and weathering without some help. Whether it’s indoor or outdoor, keeping concrete looking great takes some know-how and a lot of elbow grease. We’ve compiled some tips on how to clean concrete properly and remove stains, so you can keep your patio, driveway, floor, or countertop in top shape.

Prior to beginning any concrete cleaning, it’s essential to determine the moisture level. This will help dictate which type of surface preparation methods are used. It’s also a good idea to test for the presence of oil and grease since these may interfere with certain types of surface preparation. This is usually done by using a wide range of pH paper and its associated pH chart along with distilled water. Tests should be performed on several locations in order to ensure a complete and accurate reading.

Cleaning

While concrete is an incredibly durable material, it still needs regular cleaning and maintenance to extend its life and beauty. For plain concrete surfaces that have not been stained, it is recommended to use a garden hose with a spray nozzle to remove loose debris and dirt, followed by a broom or blower. For stains and spills, a mop and basic soap is usually enough to start. For grease, try a simple mixture of water and a little baking soda or white vinegar.

For serious stains or large areas of grime, you can try stronger chemicals such as muriatic acid. It is a good idea to wear protective eyewear, gloves, and a mask when working with this chemical. A power washer is also helpful for large areas of oily concrete, but be sure to squirt the solution in a well-ventilated area and cover any surrounding plants or grass with towels or plastic sheets to avoid harming them.

Stain Removal

Stain removal is a challenge, especially for organic stains like those from paint or mud. A power washer can be helpful to blast away these stains, but care must be taken so that the pressure isn’t too high. This could damage the concrete.

Before attacking a stain, be sure to sweep and vacuum up any loose dirt or debris. If the stain is caused by a chemical spill, such as oil, start by soaking it up with clay or “clumping” cat litter and then sweeping it away. This helps to prevent the oil from penetrating into the concrete and becoming more difficult to remove.

If sweeping and vacuuming don’t help, try a stronger cleaning solution. Muriatic acid or trisodium phosphate (TSP) are strong cleaners that can help to remove stubborn stains. Be sure to use these products carefully, and wear safety goggles, gloves, long sleeves, and pants. Also be sure to protect plants, windows, and other surfaces that can be affected by the chemicals.

Sealing

Sealing is important to help protect the cleaned concrete. It can be done in several ways, but a professional will know the best product for your needs and application.

Once concrete is sealed it becomes less porous and dirt does not penetrate deeply into the concrete surface. Rainwater can help wash the dirt away instead of soaking it in. It also makes scrubbing away surface stains much easier (although it does not make them disappear).

A quality sealer can prolong the life of your concrete, enrich and preserve its appearance, and protect against contaminants, stains, moisture, and even graffiti. There are different types of sealers to choose from – film-forming sealers enhance the concrete’s color and add a gloss while penetrating sealers offer a natural matte finish. Typically, it is recommended that your concrete be resealed every 3-5 years and an experienced contractor will be able to advise on how often your concrete should be resealed in your area. Check Out This Info.

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