Concrete surfaces are an excellent choice for driveways, patios, walls and sidewalks. They’re durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear, but like any surface, they must be cleaned to remove dirt, grime and stains.
Cleaning concrete surfaces enhances their appearance and prolongs their lifespan. In this article, we’ll teach you the best concrete cleaning techniques to make this task simple and effective.
Cleaning Concrete with Pressure Washing
One of the top ways to clean concrete surfaces is pressure washing. This method uses high-pressure water to blast away dirt, grime, moss, algae and other growths that make concrete surfaces slippery and ugly.
The steps to pressure wash concrete are:
- Select the correct nozzle to make a wide stream that hits the most surface area with enough pressure to knock off dirt and grime but not dig into the concrete.
- Move the water stream slowly over the surface, hitting every square inch.
- As the concrete dries, you may notice missed spots, and you can go back and clean those as they appear.
- After finishing power washing, rinse the surface with normal hose pressure to remove loose debris.
The drawback of cleaning concrete with a pressure washer is that you need to use a bulky and expensive machine. It’s also unsuitable for surfaces that shouldn’t get wet, such as indoors.
What Chemicals Clean Concrete?
In some cases, you may need chemicals or cleaning products for concrete. However, some mixtures might damage the cement or other additives in the surface, so always be careful with these methods.
Safe chemicals to use on concrete include:
- Baking Soda
- Dish soap
In general, salts are bad for concrete. Therefore, avoid salty products for cleaning your surfaces.
Cleaning Concrete With Vinegar
First, mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle, then spray the concrete surface until it’s completely damp. Next, let it sit for about half an hour.
Finally, scrub the surface with a stiff bristle brush, then rinse it off. The vinegar loosens up debris, and it will come off with scrubbing.
Cleaning Concrete With Bleach
Bleach is another household cleaner that’s great for cleaning concrete. It’s especially powerful at killing algae, fungus or anything living on the surface.
First, spray a solution of two parts water and one part bleach on your concrete. Let it sit for ten minutes, then scrub it off with a stiff brush or broom. Finally, rinse the surface with pure water.
Be careful, don’t let bleach touch your skin or mix it with other chemicals. Especially not with dish soap, which can react and create toxic fumes.
Cleaning Concrete Without Water
You don’t always have to clean concrete with water. Dry brushing with stiff bristle brushes or push brooms helps remove a lot of stuck-on debris.
Wait for a couple days of hot, dry weather before attempting to clean your concrete without water. Dust and dirt will come off easier if it’s dry.
Then, all you have to do is brush the entire concrete surface into a pile. Finally, dispose of the debris, and you’re done!
Steam cleaning is another effective method for cleaning concrete surfaces. It uses hot water and high-pressure steam to remove dirt, grime, and stains from the surface. It is an ideal method for oil and grease stains.
When steam cleaning concrete surfaces, it is important to use the correct temperature and pressure settings. Using too much heat and pressure can damage the surface. Also, you might need a cleaning solution to loosen stubborn stains in advance.
You’re probably going to have to rent a steam cleaner for this job or hire someone to do it for you. This method works on sealed or unsealed concrete.
After cleaning concrete surfaces, applying a sealer protects the surface from future stains and damage. Two sealer types are available, penetrating and topical. They create a protective barrier that stops water and other liquids from damaging the surface.
When applying a sealer, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Some sealers require multiple coats, while others only need one.
If you want to hire the best company in Ottawa for concrete sealing or cleaning services, call Ottawa Concrete Polishing today!