Concrete has its porous nature which makes it very susceptible to a lot of exposure and environmental conditions. Its very nature has the tendency to penetrate any liquid or solvents, causing spots or stains. Even the well-preserved driveway, patio or any concrete floor experience the weathering effects of stains. And the best cure is to know its existence right off the bat, so you can derive with the right stain removal procedure or method.There are two ways of concrete stain removal: the dry method and the wet method. A dry method means you are using mechanical methods of removing the stains such as scraping or scrubbing or any procedure with the help of equipment and machines. Whereas, the wet method happens when you are using chemical agents to eradicate the stains. However, there are some scenarios where both methods are employed. Now, these methods are dependent on the kind of stains you have on your concrete. So, before you put or apply anything on your concrete, make sure to know the type of stains, to begin with. Let’s take a better look at some common concrete stains and how to remove them with the right intervention.
Oil or Grease
The most common types of stain appearing on your concrete driveway or garage surfaces are the grease and oil stains. This happens when the oil, petroleum or grease leak from the vehicle. It is manageable to remove freshly-new oil stains because it doesn’t pass deeply into the concrete yet. A simple intervention of removing an oil stain is by blotting a super-absorbent material on the concrete. Next, you need to brush the stained surface with a dishwashing liquid or a strong soap solution. You can also use an old towel or highly absorbent paper towel for blotting, but make sure not to wipe the oil stain as it may increase your work. It is also advisable to utilize a nylon brush as opposed to a metallic-type. In the case of grease stains and an oil that solidified, you can follow the absorbent application but don’t forget to scrape off the stain first. The absorbent application and liquid washing process would normally work. However, if you can’t remove the stains using a degreasing agent or strong soap solution, then apply a suitable solvent solution or paste instead. Also, ask a professional contractor to help you with the right solvent paste or grease stain remover.
Rust stains accumulate from an exposed structural steel, usually seen on sidewalks, patios or walkways. Garden tools and metallic objects can also cause rust staining. These are common on concretes, however, there are simple techniques that can wash off its dirt. An application of an acidic liquid on the surface like vinegar and lemon juice is a usual home remedy for the removal of rust stains. This is done by spraying or pouring lemon juice or vinegar on the stained concrete, then let it sit in for 5 to 10 minutes. Scrub the surface with the help of a wire brush and rinse well with water thereafter. If in any case, the stains are tougher, you can use a commercial cleaner with oxalic acid. Remember to always read the label and ensure safety precautionary measures.
Freshly-spilled paint on a concrete can be removed easily by soaking it well with water followed by vigorous scrubbing with a strong detergent solution. However, dried paint films require additional intervention or technique. The most common method of removing paint stain is the application of a paint thinner. The process initiates by scrubbing the stained area with a mixture of water and trisodium phosphate or TSP. Once the stained area gets dried, scrape it off then apply the paint thinner. Make sure to leave the paint thinner overnight for an optimum effect. Remember that the thicker the paint stains are, the more paint thinner needed to apply.There are other methods used for paint removal such as floor grinders and shot blaster. In an outdoor area, a technique called power washing is applicable. The process forces a high-power water pressure on the stained area.
Smoke and Cigarette Stains
The accumulation of these stains is because of the effects of fire or a cigarette butt tossed on the floor. Usually appearing on walls and concrete floors, smoke and cigarette stains can be removed by scrubbing the stained surface with a solution of water and cleaning powder. Rinse it with water thereafter and apply a cloth with bleaching agents. You can also apply washing soda to clean the cigarette stains.
Moss and Algae
Though moss and algae form rapidly If unattended, they are easy to manage. You can remove these stains with a great combination of hot water and an oxygenated bleach agent. Apply the mixture to the stained area evenly. Make sure to rinse it well by power washing. Enforcing a high-power water pressure on the stained concrete would effectively eradicate the stains.
An ink splashed over the concrete will eventually create brown or black spots on the surface. The first method to remove the stain is to apply the bleaching solution to the stained concrete. You can use a piece of cloth with a bleaching solution or pour the bleaching agent directly over the surface. The brown spots can be washed off using an acidic liquid and solution such as vinegar or ammonia water.
A discoloration because of unprotected copper or bronze structures will make a stain on the concrete. You can start removing the stain by adding mixtures to make a smooth paste. Create a dry mixture of ammonium chloride and suitable filler, with 1:4 ratio. Add ammonia water in the mixture. Put a generous amount of paste on the affected surface until it dries. Remember to wait for the paste to dry before removing it on the surface. Re-apply the paste if necessary.
The stains caused by asphalt require a more challenging method of removal. Asphalts have the tendency to penetrate the concrete, thus employ a proper mechanical procedure. Depending on the degree of severity, some asphalt stains can be removed through scrubbing and scraping. There is also a process where you must put an ice over the stained concrete then wait until it flakes away before removing it. Whatever the procedure you want to incorporate, make sure to seek help from a professional contractor as well.
There are some methods or remedies that require no help from professionals. However, it is important to assure precautionary measures. A proper ventilation is necessary if you will be handling cleaning or chemical agents. Make sure to also protect yourself with proper gear such as gloves and mask, when dealing with dangerous chemical agents. Do not forget to clean or mop the area with the generous amount of water. Also, do not hesitate to ask professional contractors if you are in doubt.
The abovementioned concrete stains and its corresponding remedies are just some common examples of how to effectively manage these concrete issues. There might be some other methods to employ in resolving concrete stains much easier. Aside from prevention, it is also better to contact a professional contractor to help you with the right intervention and provide you the cost needed for these procedures. It is important that before making any action or move, make sure you are more equipped with the right information.