Patios and walkways are exposed to Mother Nature year-round, and they accumulate a variety of stains and pollutants. To clean concrete surfaces, start by sweeping and blowing away dirt or debris.

To remove light mildew, mold, and moss stains from pavers, mix chlorine bleach with water. Be sure to wear rubber gloves and cover grass or plants with plastic sheeting, as bleach can burn and kill them. Read on for some ideas.

Mold & Mildew Removal

Mold and mildew stains on concrete patios and walkways are unsightly, but they can also create a slippery surface that could cause someone to fall and hurt themselves. They are also a health hazard, as they can trigger asthma, allergies, and other respiratory problems in some people.

A powerful bleach solution or a commercial mold removal product can help kill the spores that grow in damp areas and cause these stains. If the problem is large, it may be necessary to dig up and replace the affected area of the sidewalk, warns Wolf Paving.

For a DIY cleaner, mix chlorine bleach with water and add liquid dishwashing detergent to the solution. Apply the solution to the concrete patio, covering even the mold-adjacent areas that may harbor invisible spores. Scrub the area with a scrub brush. Allow the cleaner to soak for a few minutes and then rinse with a pressure washer using a rinsing nozzle that won’t damage the concrete.

Oil & Grease Removal

Grease stains are a common nuisance on concrete patios and sidewalks. They make surfaces slippery and can encourage the growth of organic materials like mold, mildew, and moss that can degrade the surface and irritate allergy sufferers.

The best way to prevent grease stains is to catch spills right away and wipe them up. But if the stain has already been set, you can try some home remedies to remove it from your concrete surface.

Sawdust or cornmeal can absorb oil if sprinkled directly onto the stain. A little baking soda can also work to lift the grease stain if mixed with a bit of water. But the older the grease stain, the more likely it is to have penetrated the concrete surface and will require a stronger cleaner.

Solvent-based products are effective but can be harmful to surrounding plants. A safer option is Pour-N-Restore, which contains a citrus degreaser and non-leaching absorbent for a safe and effective clean.

Stain Removal

Concrete patios and sidewalks look tough and resilient, but they’re not immune to the stains that occur from everyday use. Organic material growth like mold, mildew, algae, and moss, as well as petroleum-based oils, gasoline, chemical fertilizers, and other household pollutants, can damage these surfaces, creating slippery conditions that pose slip-and-fall hazards.

A hose and water spraying from a power washer can help remove water stains, mold, and mildew from concrete patios and sidewalks. In cases of stubborn stains, such as berries or oily spots, a professional may recommend a concrete degreaser that contains muriatic acid. This product is available at home improvement centers and requires protective clothing, shoes, rubber gloves, and eye goggles to work with.

Another method for removing concrete stains is to mix a one-eighth cup of liquid dishwashing detergent, half a cup of baking soda, and one gallon of water, then spray the solution on the stained area and scrub with a nylon brush until the marks are lifted. Then rinse thoroughly.

Sealing

To keep concrete looking fresh, it is a good idea to seal it once every three to five years. This will protect it from stains, and color fade and make cleaning up messes much easier.

Concrete slabs left unprotected are susceptible to moisture intrusion which can cause spalling mold and mildew growth. Moisture can also erode the cement and cause it to break down faster than if it were properly sealed. Sealing closes the absorbent pores of the concrete and repels moisture, making the patio far less likely to spell or crack during freeze-thaw cycles.

There are several different types of concrete sealers to choose from including penetrating, film forming, and a natural look finish. Penetrating sealers penetrate the concrete and create a chemical barrier to shield it against intrusion by water, salts from ice melt products, lawn chemicals, and sea spray. They are typically breathable to allow moisture vapor to escape. They are a good choice for stamped concrete, broom-finished concrete, and exposed aggregate concrete. Next blog post.

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