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    How to clean concrete

    A guide to keeping your concrete clean and non-slip

    Hannah | Oneflare

    Concrete is everywhere, its good to know how to keep it clean and safe

    Concrete is a versatile flooring material that is designed to withstand decades of wear. Proper care and maintenance are required to keep any type of concrete from becoming scarred or cracking. Whether you have a concrete driveway, patio pavers, or polished concrete in a home, how to clean concrete floors is key in keeping your concrete looking spectacular.

    What are the types of concrete cleaners?

    There are many different products that can be used to clean concrete. Its completely up to personal preference on how to clean concrete floor surfaces. These include:

    • Baking soda
    • Soda water
    • Bleach
    • Detergent
    • Lemon juice & vinegar
    • Commercial concrete cleaner
    • Degreaser

     The type of dirt that your floors are exposed to has a lot to do with how well products work. For example, simple dirt and grass stains can be removed with a solution of detergent and water. Tougher stains caused by petroleum-based products require a harsher chemical, such as degreaser.

    Be sure to read the labels of commercial cleaning concrete cleaners before applying them to your concrete surface. Some cleaners contain muriatic acid and can require a new coat of sealant to avoid future stains.

    Many people select to go with a natural method of cleaning concrete as opposed to heavier detergents that can cause damage to surrounding plants and animals. The natural method can work well if you are willing to follow a safer format of natural cleaners. 

    Clean concrete pavers / Source: JRP Landscapes

    What materials and tools are needed to clean concrete?

    Possible materials and tools for undertaking a concrete cleaning project can include:

    • Broom
    • Dustpan
    • Mop
    • Bucket
    • Spray Bottle
    • Gloves
    • Safety glasses
    • Workboots
    • Pressure hose if necessary
    • Cleaning products
    • Scrub Brush (not metallic)
    • Cat litter
    • Power washer if necessary

    Targeting specific areas may require certain materials and tools to make the job easier. For example, oil stains in a driveway can be removed quickly with a sprinkling of cat litter on the puddle of oil. A spray bottle can come in handy for treating individual spots that are soiling your concrete. A scrub brush can get into cracks to loosen dirt and oil.

    How to clean concrete

     1.Sweep – Always start with a debris-free surface before treating with cleaner. Normal sweeping or blowing off loose dirt is usually enough to prepare your concrete.

    2. Rinse – Using a garden hose, spray down the surface to loosen any dirt that can be caught in the porous parts of the concrete.

    3. Clean – Depending on your method of choice, prepare your cleaner. Pretreat any spots that are darker than the normal dirt buildup. A power washer is the easiest way to clean outdoor concrete. 

    4. Seal – sealing is an additional option for added stain protection. some concrete surfacess may not be suitable for sealant

    Concrete used for verandah / Source: Home Concrete Solutions

    How do you remove different types of stains?

    • Mould, mildew, or moss – You can search for a concrete cleaner that is made for eliminating mould, or a solution of bleach and water will do the trick. A certain amount of scrubbing is required to get down into the pores of the concrete. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes for good penetration. Rinse down and repeat if necessary.

    Because mold is an organic source of dirt, an organic type of cleaner can remove its presence. Vinegar is an excellent source of destroying mold but should be treated with a low-solids solvent-based sealer to allow for better breathability. 

    • Grease or oil stains – Any type of soft drink will loosen and remove grease stains. The three ingredients of carbonic acid, phosphoric acid, and citric acid found in soda work together to break down the grease. Scrubbing with a metal brush may be needed.

    How to clean concrete garage floor can be quite different from how to clean polished concrete that may be located inside. Just as how to clean concrete pavers may differ from how to clean concrete driveway finished. Finding the right materials and products depend on the nature of the concrete. 

    • Removing rust stains – Old rust stains may seem impossible to remove from concrete, but the right chemical reaction will tackle them nicely. A combination of white vinegar and lemon juice, undiluted, will attack old and new rust spots with a little elbow grease. 

    Contact local high pressure cleaners

     How to hire a high-pressure cleaner

    An experienced high-pressure concrete cleaner will be able to recommend the best product and method to use on your concrete surface. There is no licensing required for a company to clean concrete, but the following should be present:

     – Qualifications – Past experience and a portfolio of completed jobs are a good way to note whether or not a company can handle the job. 

     – Knowledgeable – Having knowledge of finished and unfinished concrete will put your mind at ease about how the end result will look.

     – Guarantees work – A company that guarantees their work will assure you that no additional costs will be added later.

     – Suggestions – A qualified concrete cleaner will be able to offer suggestions on how to care for your concrete moving forward. They may even be able to offer sealing for an additional fee to help protect it.

    Always try using natural products to clean your concrete, especially indoors. Fumes from harsh chemicals can be overwhelming in an enclosed space and not necessary. If you have tried different products on your floor without any luck, it is best to call a professional. For a few hundred dollars, you can get a professional-looking job. Clean your concrete weekly by dry mopping and wet mop with a pH-balanced cleaner as needed. Reseal every two to three years to protect the surface.

    Concrete resurfacing

    Another cost-effective method to restore the appearance of concrete surfaces is concrete resurfacing. This involves the application of a polymer or sparse cement overlay on a current concrete exterior. This is done to create that new look and to conceal the older soiled existing concrete surface.

    Concrete resurfacing is applicable to all types of concrete, including both exterior and interior concrete surfaces and has an extensive range of designs, textures and colours. Because of this variety, it is possible to create many different types of finishes and resurfacing designs from retro to rustic to the contemporary look. Some of these great looks include finishes such as stamped concrete, sandstone, granite and brick, as well as paved finishes. You could also mix various finishes with designs and create borders.

    Part of the concrete resurfacing procedure includes sealing, so as to preserve the colours. Sealing also assists in protecting the top coat from wear and tear. One other great benefit is that you could use an anti-slip coating to prevent slipping when the exterior is wet. This is a wonderful safety feature.

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