When you have a concrete driveway or porch on your property, you will find that over time, these areas become dirty and stained. As the home owner, it is important to learn how to clean such areas so your property maintains value as well as looks visually appealing. There are certain methods and chemicals that can be used to clean concrete but most home owners have no idea where to start. Below is a simple guide to show you just what to do based on your specific concrete cleaning needs.

Oil and Grease Stains

Concrete can easily become subject to oil and grease stains due to parking your vehicles for an extended period of time. Such stains are unsightly and can be removed, with a little work on your part. You can use hot water and an alkaline degreaser to help remove such chemicals from the concrete driveway or garage. Hot water will remove the oil while the degreaser will emulsify the oil which helps the oil be removed from the surface.

Graffiti or Rust

Perhaps you have a concrete foundation or wall area near your home that has paint or rust stains. Rust can occur due to natural weather patterns such as rains or snow. With rust, a cleaner that contains oxalic acid will work best to remove such staining. When you have paint or graffiti sprayed on your concrete walls, this can be more difficult to remove. Chemical strippers can work, especially when using products that contain potassium hydroxide. This chemical should be soaked into the concrete for several hours then power washing used to remove the paint and cleaner.

Power Washing Tips

Most home owners find a power washer is the most effective tool when cleaning concreate. A power washer will need to have a 3000 psi pressure rating to work effectively and have a flow rate of 4 gallons per minute minimum. A higher pressure may be needed to remove tough stains but most stains and cleaning methods will work with these features in place.
A volume output of 5 or 6 gpm is recommended and cleaning speeds can be increased when you need additional help with stubborn stains. Add a rotary nozzle to the unit instead of using a basic fan nozzle. A rotary nozzle will spin a water jet which will take a circular path that will be pushed at a greater speed towards the staining.

It is recommended that you use a hot water pressure washer as hot water will clean faster than cold. A hot water unit will have a higher cost due to needed a heating coil and burner system so the water can be heated. When cleaning oil and grease stains, hot water is essential, especially if you are cleaning during cold weather.

With regular cleaning of your concrete, you can have a lovely driveway or porch area that is enjoyed for years to come. Allowing the buildup of dirt and grime will only make the cleaning process more difficult. Be proactive and clean your concrete areas regularly to avoid longer cleaning time frames or less than beautiful spaces.

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Meet Lance Davis


Lance Davis is a third generation Concrete Contractor with over 10+ years experience in concrete repair and slabjacking. His company Davis & Sons Concrete has proudly served all of North Central Illinois, Rockford and the outer suburbs - and he would love to hear from you!

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