After you have installed concrete paving, you will want to take good care of it to allow it to last as long as possible. How you clean the concrete will depend on the nature of the stains you find.

Analyzing the Type of Stain

Certain stains can have a negative impact on the appearance of concrete paving. These include:

  • Grime
  • Dust
  • Moss
  • Algae
  • Oil
  • Rust
  • Grease

Not only that, but certain chemicals contain abrasives or salts that can gradually wear away at the concrete paving.

Choosing the Right Chemicals

Concrete paving chemicals can help rinse away these substances. To clean concrete paving, you will need chemicals that are designed specifically for cleaning concrete. Hot water and alkaline degreasers help remove oil stains. Also, the degreasers are useful for removing many other things, including dirt. Also, the degreasers are sometimes used to neutralize the acids used to clean concrete from rust stains and dirt.

Rust stains are some of the more challenging stains to remove because they stain deeply into the concrete. Oxalic acid is one of the most effective chemicals for removing concrete rust stains. Acid cleaners are effective against dirt and stains that are soluble in the acid solution. After the acid has been used, it is necessary to neutralize the acid to avoid causing damage. Also, if the acid strips the concrete of its sealer, it might be necessary to apply a new sealer.

Bacterial cleaners use bacteria that consume certain organic materials. They are also commonly used to target protein-based stains and hydrocarbon stains. One example is an enzymatic cleaner used to remove pet stains. The enzymatic cleaners are the easiest to use because they simply need to be applied to a surface and allowed to eat away at the contaminants. However, they can take a long time to work.

Rinsing Down the Concrete

Concrete paving should be washed down periodically with a high-pressure hose. To clean concrete effectively, you will need at least 3,000 PSI. Before using the pressure washer, make sure to remove all objects in the way and cover electrical outlets.

Eliminating Weeds

Weeds are a problem with all pavers, including those made from concrete. The weeds will only grow through the joints and will not pass through the concrete structure, with some exceptions. For example, the Japanese knotweed is able to grow through pavers.

If weeds grow in the cracks of concrete paving materials, they should be scraped away with a hoe. The process of removing the weeds can remove some of the sand, and the sand might need to be replaced. Regular brushing within the cracks can help reduce the spread of weeds by disturbing them before they are able to fully establish themselves. Also, weed killers can be used to prevent weeds from reestablishing themselves.

Concrete paving does not look its best unless you take steps to make sure that the concrete remains clean. However, with hard work, you will be able to prolong the life of your concrete. For more information, contact Island Asphalt Co. or a similar business.