Exterior Concrete Surfaces: Care & Maintenance
The reason many people choose concrete over other materials is that it is very low maintenance. However, this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t require any maintenance – it just means that concrete surfaces are easier to upkeep than surfaces made of other materials.
Now, when it comes to driveways and pathways made of concrete, even though they are very sturdy, they are still porous which means that they easily get stained over time as any sort of liquid can easily find its way among those pores. So, if you want to find out how you can keep your concrete surfaces clean, keep on reading.
Use a cleaning solution
Of course, you can’t hope to clean your concrete surface without the help of the appropriate cleaning solution. However, make sure that you browse through various products and only choose the one that is not harmful to the environment. Once you find the perfect fit, mix the solution with water according to the instructions, pour it over the concrete surface and let it sit for a while – 5 to 10 minutes is usually enough.
Additionally, make sure that, during this waiting period, the concrete remains wet. It’s best to do this early in the morning – when the concrete is still not heated up – and avoid doing it during particularly sunny days. The formula needs to penetrate the concrete in order to start working, and if it’s too sunny outside, the liquid will only evaporate quickly without achieving the desired goal.
Give the surface a thorough scrub
Next, use a deck brush or any similar tool to thoroughly scrub your concrete surface. The best bet here would be to use either a plastic brush or the one with natural bristles to avoid damaging the surface – metal brushes are too harsh for concrete and they can damage it, making uneven scratches here and there which can later lead to cracks.
However, if you haven’t cleaned your concrete surface in a while, or you’re dealing with particularly stubborn stains, you can use a concrete grinder. It will allow you to clean the surface more thoroughly, evenly and easily, and you can even use the grinder to prepare the surface for a fresh coat of sealant, depending on the type of head you opt for.
Rinse everything out
Once all the soaking a scrubbing is done, you should rinse out your concrete surface. You can either choose to use a garden hose or you can opt for a power washer if you’re dealing with particularly large surfaces. Not only will this nifty gadget allow you to get the job done much faster, but it also rinses out the surface much better, as pressured water can penetrate the pores much deeper. The residue will evaporate on its own eventually, so you don’t need to worry about it.
Protect it accordingly
Now that your concrete surface is nice and clean, you should make sure it stays that way for as long as possible. Therefore, browse the offer and find a concrete sealant that will work best for your particular surface. Do know that you can even choose to paint your concrete surface and make it as colourful as you want. Just make sure that everything is completely dry – tape a piece f foil on your concrete surface, make sure all the sides are sealed and leave it for 24 hours; if there is no condensation once you remove it, your concrete is completely dry – before you start applying the protective layer to ward off any chances of bubbling.
As you can see, cleaning concrete surfaces is super easy, which makes it clear why this material is often the preferred choices among today’s homeowners.
By Lillian Connors