Concrete sidewalks are something that is often neglected and not properly maintained. When sidewalks are not properly maintained they can quickly build up with dirt and grime and the result is a property that has a diminished curb appeal. Because concrete is such as porous surface, dirt and grime can easily become trapped in the pores of the concrete and build up over time can make the concrete surface look many more years older than it actually is.
Commercial property can also be subject to high traffic which further accelerates the aging process. However, if the property owner doesn’t choose to neglect the concrete around their property, they can greatly enhance the properties curb appeal.
If you are look to clean the concrete sidewalks around your home or business and you want some tips on how to do it yourself, the following is a list of the things you will need to consider.
- What type of stains are present on the concrete sidewalks – Typically concrete sidewalks will build up with general and dirt, grime and moss or mold. Sodium hydrochloride, otherwise know as liquid chlorine is highly effect at combating general dirt and grime that is caused by atmospheric contaminants. For these types of stains spray or apply liquid chlorine on with a concentration depending on how bad the stains are. For heavy stains you may need to apply the chlorine straight and for light staining apply a diluted solution, perhaps 1:1 or slightly stronger. A good idea is to prewet or even pressure or power wash the concrete beforehand and do not allow the chemical to dry on the surface as this can leave a chemical residue. For other stains such as food/drink stains or oil and grease stains, general purpose degreasers can be highly effective. For heavy oil stains, caustic soda can be used, however be very careful when using strong chemicals such as caustic soda.
- Obtaining an appropriate pressure washer – For large concrete sidewalk areas, you will need an industrial type pressure or power washer. If you are not going to regularly do this, you will be best to hire a machine or borrow one. If maintaining your concrete sidewalks is something that you would like to do on a regular basis, then purchasing one will save you money in the long run. You will need to decide between cold or hot water. Hot water is best for greasy sidewalks otherwise you can get by with just cold water. If it is only a small area of concrete perhaps a small domestic style machine will be sufficient. Look for a unit with good PSI (pressure per square inch) and also GPM (gallons per minute).
- Environmental Issues and Run off water – When undertaking a pressure washing task, you must be mindful of the run off water. You should not allow waste water to enter storm water drains. You should contain all waste water and dispose of it in accordance to your state regulations.