Surface Medic, LLC

The Benefits of Concrete Cleaning

The Benefits of Concrete Cleaning

Cleaning concrete improves its curb appeal, enhances longevity, and prepares it for a quality penetrating sealer. Cleaning can be done with a garden hose or a pressure washer.

Start with a gentle cleaner, such as a commercial polished concrete cleaner or a solution of trisodium phosphate (TSP). Muriatic acid is another option but must be used with extreme care since it can damage unsealed surfaces. More by clicking here.

Debris Removal

Concrete debris can pose a safety risk to workers during construction projects and can also damage local ecosystems if it is not properly disposed of. 

The first step in cleaning concrete is to sweep the area and remove any debris or dirt that may be causing the discoloration. This can be done with a simple broom or you can use a power washer to get into the nooks and crannies of the concrete.

When using a power washer, always wear appropriate safety gear, including goggles and gloves. It is also a good idea to protect nearby plants and windows from water pressure that can damage them. Then, spray the concrete with a cleaner. The type of cleaner you use will depend on the source of the stains. Stains caused by tire marks, for example, typically require something stronger than a standard dishwashing liquid.

Preparation

Concrete is one of the most durable materials in modern construction, but it can be difficult to keep clean. Power washing, chemical application or both can help. Harsh cleaners degrade the finish, whereas mild cleaners can make it more resistant to future damage.

The best way to start cleaning a slab is with a visual evaluation, taking note of differences in color, texture, and condition across the surface. Then, the optimum surface preparation technique should be chosen.

Scarification, brushing, grinding and abrasive blasting are aggressive forms of surface preparation that remove stubborn contaminants, including existing sealer and coatings, effervescence, curing compounds, and masonry debris. They also create the proper profile for the application of overlays, coatings, and stains. 

Cleaning Solution

Concrete is tough, but it’s also porous and prone to holding on to dirt and stains. A regular cleaning routine will help extend its lifespan and improve its look. Keeping it clean also helps prevent costly repairs later on.

Start by sweeping or vacuuming to remove any loose dirt, dust, or debris. Next, use a garden hose or power washer to wet the surface. Be sure to wear eye protection, rubber gloves, and clothes you don’t mind getting soiled when using chemical cleaners.

A basic pH cleaning solution like trisodium phosphate (TSP) or muriatic acid can remove most contaminants, including oil, grease, mildew, and efflorescence. If your concrete is stamped or textured, stick with cleaners that won’t damage it. If you’re concerned about toxicity, consider oxygen bleach products or hydrogen peroxide for safer, environmentally friendly cleaning options. These can be especially effective on rust and oil stains. These cleaners also work well on masonry surfaces, such as brick and stone.

Rinsing

Concrete surfaces can be one of the hardest materials to clean. It requires a lot of preparation, research, and elbow grease to get the job done right. Concrete washing is a great way to keep your commercial or residential property looking great and can also help reduce slip and fall hazards, allergies, and other health problems caused by dirt and mold.

When cleaning concrete, it’s important to choose a cleaning solution that is effective for the type of stain you’re trying to remove. For example, a grease and oil stain will require something stronger than just a standard dishwashing liquid. Try using a chemical such as Metso Green concrete cleaner which is premixed and designed specifically for these types of stains.

Another option is to use an oil-removing poultice, made from a mixture of absorbent material such as kitty litter or sand and a solvent like acetone. This is then smeared on the stain and covered with plastic to allow the chemical to break down the oil. Continue reading the next article.