How to Clean a Concrete Driveway
Clean a concrete driveway makes a positive impression on guests to your home. Stains from ground-in dirt, antifreeze and oil, spilled paint, mildew and mud can mar the look of your concrete.
To make your concrete look fresh again, you can use several different methods. The method you choose depends on the type of stain.
1. Power Washing
Concrete is a remarkable building material, but it’s also somewhat porous and will absorb spills and tough stains that rain showers or garden hoses can’t always wash away. Routinely cleaning your concrete driveway helps keep it looking fresh and extends its life.
Concrete surfaces, both inside basements and across primary living areas, take a beating from spills, stains and other grime. They require regular power washing cleaning to stay in good shape.
Since concrete is somewhat porous, it absorbs a lot of dirt and grime that rain showers and garden hoses cannot wash away. The best way to clean a concrete driveway is to use a strong detergent paired with a scrub brush, sponge or mop and a little old-fashioned elbow grease.
Organic stains, such as those caused by leaves, grass and tree sap, can be hard to remove from concrete. These stains must be soaked up using an organic product, such as biodegradable oven cleaner.
3. Removing Stains
Stains can leave a concrete driveway looking dated and unappealing, but they don’t have to remain permanent. There are a variety of products at your local hardware store that will remove grime, oil and other types of stains from concrete. Follow the instructions on the product to determine how much to apply and what brush to use, then scrub and rinse.
Oil stains are best tackled as soon as they occur. Blot up as much of the spill as possible with paper towels and then pour clay or clumping cat litter over the stain. Allow the absorbent to sit for an hour or overnight (older stains may take up to 24 hours) before sweeping away.’
Concrete sealers improve the appearance of concrete, and they help it resist stains. However, it’s important to clean a concrete driveway before sealing to make sure the surface is completely dry and free of cracks and chips.
A wet-look acrylic sealer is inexpensive and available at hardware stores. It forms a soft, glossy layer that wears away from vehicular traffic and UV rays, and it must be reapplied every year or two. It’s also possible to use a silane or siloxane-based sealer, which is more durable but costs more.
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