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Cleaning Concrete

If you have a concrete floor, pathway, sidewalk, or driveway, then chances are you have had to clean it at one point or another. However, there are times when cleaning concrete will require more than simply sweeping the dust and dirt away. By properly cleaning your concrete, no matter what it is used for, you can prolong the life and look of that concrete. Here is the best way to do a deep concrete cleaning the next time you need it done.

  1. Sweep. The very fist thing you need to do when cleaning concrete is to sweep. While it may sound basic, it is absolutely essential to sweep your concrete surface. This will allow you to remove the major amounts of dirt and grime that can easily turn to mud if you wash it, which would make cleaning even more difficult. Start at one edge of the surface, and work your way towards the opposite side, being sure that you use a good quality deck broom for your first pass. After you have completed the first pass, go over the surface again with a regular kitchen broom, so that you can get up the remaining dirt. Dispose of all the dirt and debris properly before proceeding.
  2. Wash. Once you have finished sweeping the concrete, it is time to wash the surface. The easiest way to do this is with the use of a pressure washer. When cleaning concrete, a pressure washer will give you an edge over any brush, soap, or simple hose. Again, be sure that you start at one edge of the surface, and work your way towards the other side. Wash your surface at least twice to ensure that you getting it as clean as possible, allowing the concrete to dry completely between each washing.
  3. Strip. There are times when you will not be able to get some stains off, no matter how many times you wash. When this happens, a necessary step of cleaning concrete will be to actually strip it. This is a surprisingly easy, though somewhat of a delicate task. From your local home improvement store, purchase a little muriatic acid. This acid will eat away the first few layers of concrete, stone, or brick, and can help you remove any and all stains. Mix, apply, and remove the acid according to the manufacturers directions. Be sure that you are wearing proper safety gear (goggles, gloves, etc.) while working with the acid.
  4. 5 Seal. After you have finished stripping the concrete, you will need to reseal it. At the same time that you purchase the muriatic acid, pickup some concrete sealant. While sealing is not absolutely necessary, it will make any future endeavors of cleaning concrete a whole lot easier. The reason for this is that the sealant will help protect the concrete from the elements, as well as any staining agents that it may encounter. When applying the sealant, be sure that you follow the directions the manufacturer provides carefully, as too much sealant can also stain your concrete.

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