Concrete Driveway Cleaning Service
A new attractive concrete driveway is a bit like a new car. It looks great for the first year or two, but will eventually lose its luster if you don’t clean and maintain it regularly. That’s why investing in regular driveway cleaning is vital to keep it in good condition to ensure its longevity and beauty. Concrete driveway cleaning service isn’t just an aesthetic service meant to improve your property’s visual appeal, but it also serves to improve its overall functionality.
Concrete may be fairly low-maintenance, but being a porous material makes it prone to staining and discoloration making it very hard to properly clean. It is constantly exposed to the elements and add a high vehicle and foot traffic can cause it to wear out and deteriorate over time. Rain, moisture, salt and snow, and high temperatures can all shorten the life of your concrete surfaces.
Moreover, dirty concrete surfaces can become infested by organic growth such as moss, mold, and algae, making it slippery and a potential safety hazard, that is why concrete cleaning is one of the most important aspects of your property maintenance.
Since concrete is a porous material, it can be easily penetrated by contaminants such as oil, grease, dirt, rust, sap, and grime. The more porous the concrete the deeper it can be penetrated. If left untreated for an extended period, it can become very difficult to remove especially without using the proper equipment, cleaning agents, and professional techniques.
Stains from hot tire marks, oil leaks, mold and mildew, and chemicals (such as lawn fertilizer and deicing salts) are bound to happen. But they don’t have to ruin your curb appeal if you know the best methods and cleaning materials to use to remove them.
In this article, we will share with you some tips for cleaning your concrete driveway and how to protect and preserve it for years to come.
Here’s what you will need for cleaning everyday dirt and grime from your concrete driveway:
- A garden hose with a spray nozzle
- A concrete driveway cleaner
- A stiff broom to scrub the driveway
To remove stubborn dirt and stains, a pressure washer is often more effective, but you need to know what you are doing. A power washer blasts water at anywhere from 1500 to 3300 psi, more than 50 times the force of a typical garden hose with a sprayer. So, if you use a setting that is too high or a range that is too close, you could actually etch the concrete.
Tip: If you only plan to use a pressure washer once or twice a year, renting one may be cheaper than buying one. And you won’t need to worry about storing or maintaining it. If you have never used a pressure washer, you may want to hire a professional who knows exactly how to clean concrete driveway surfaces without doing damage.
What Is the Best Cleaner for A Concrete Driveway?
When cleaning your driveway, it’s best to use a specialized product that is recommended for concrete driveway cleaning service. For general cleaning, you can find concrete driveway cleaners at your local home improvement store or online.
If you are trying to remove a specific type of stain, you will need one of the following:
- For oil, grease, grime and dirt use a concrete degreaser
- For efflorescence, salt deposits, lime, or rust stains, use a cleaner made with non-corrosive or biodegradable acid
- For paint, sealers, epoxy, or other topical contaminants, use a coatings remover or stripper
You may have something on-hand already that can be used to clean your driveway. Be careful though, if your driveway has a decorative finish or color, these may not be the right option. Do your research and test a small, out-of-the-way spot before cleaning the entire driveway.
Here are a few common household cleaners that can be used on a concrete driveway:
- Bleach and water solution
- Liquid dish detergent
- Diluted vinegar
- Cat litter
- Baking soda
Cleaning Oil and Grease Stains from A Concrete Driveway
Small oil spills or spots can sometimes be removed with nothing more than a strong detergent and a scrub brush. But a more effective method is to use a concrete cleaner or degreaser, a concentrated alkaline soap that will loosen up the oil to permit easier removal.
For fresh spills, cover the stain with cat litter, baking soda, sawdust, or another absorbent material before cleaning.
Cleaning Mold and Mildew from A Concrete Driveway
If your driveway is heavily shaded, you may have issues with mold and mildew growth, especially if weather conditions are damp and humid. Scrub the area with a mold-killing detergent or a solution of bleach and water (about 1 cup of bleach per gallon of water).
If you are worried about damage to nearby plant life, distilled white vinegar can also be effective.
Safety tips: Always wear gloves when scrubbing with bleach to protect your hands. And never mix bleach with other household cleaners because the chemical reaction could produce toxic fumes.
Removing Tire Marks From A Driveway
When hot tires from a car come in contact with certain types of sealers for concrete driveway cleaning service, the plasticizers from the tire may migrate into the sealer and discolor it. To get rid of the marks, try cleaning the surface with a concrete degreaser and a stiff brush.
If the discoloration has migrated into the sealer, you may need to apply a solvent or totally remove the sealer with a chemical stripper.
Tip: To reduce hot tire marking, use an acrylic or polyurethane concrete sealer with a high solids content. These sealers form dense films that limit or prevent plasticizer migration.
Removing Fertilizer Stains from A Concrete Driveway
Lawn and plant fertilizers contain metals and minerals that can leave rust-like stains on a concrete driveway. These may even result in permanent color change if they are allowed to penetrate.
To bring out the stains, try applying distilled white vinegar diluted 50:50 with water. If the vinegar doesn’t work, you may need to use something stronger, such as muriatic acid diluted 40:1 with water.
Tip: Be aware that acidic cleaning solutions may etch or change the profile of the concrete in the areas you clean. Test them out in a small area first.
Cleaning Leaf Stains from A Driveway
Stains on concrete driveways from leaves, grass, tree sap, and other organic materials can be tough to remove. They typically require special cleaners formulated for the removal of organic stains. These cleaners typically do not affect the concrete color or harm the surface because the enzymes only target organic material.
Follow these steps:
- Use a hose or pressure washer to remove all leaf matter and debris.
- Apply the organic detergent to the damp concrete and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Scrub vigorously with a stiff broom or scrub brush.
- Rinse and repeat the process if necessary.
General Concrete Driveway Maintenance Tips
- Reapply sealer as needed – Resealing your driveway every few years will restore its like-new appearance and make it less vulnerable to stains. After cleaning the concrete, let it dry for at least 2 or 3 days before resealing so you don’t trap moisture.
- Avoid using deicing chemicals – Using deicers on your concrete driveway in the winter can cause surface damage in the form of scaling and spalling by forcing the thawing and refreezing of moisture. Sealers for concrete driveways may also fail in areas where deicing salts are applied or that receive drip-off from parked cars. As an alternative, use sand for traction.
- Act fast – The sooner you remove leaves, oil and grease spills, and other contaminants from your concrete driveway, the easier it will be to remove any stains they leave behind. Concrete is porous and can absorb stains, especially if it hasn’t been sealed. This will make them much harder to remove.
- Re-sand the joints in concrete paver driveways – Concrete paver driveways have similar cleaning and maintenance requirements as poured concrete driveways. But you may also need to refill the sand in the joints between pavers if it washes away. Use polymer sand, which contains a special polymeric additive that binds and hardens the sand and helps to prevent erosion.
What If My Driveway Won’t Come Clean?
When all else fails, don’t automatically resort to tearing out and replacing your driveway. Hire a professional to do the job for you. And if necessary, a professional will advise whether you need to replace your driveway if the cleaning hasn’t worked.
We’ll Bring Your Concrete Back to Life!
You can clean your concrete yourself with just a regular garden hose or a home pressure washer, but for those pesky, hard-to-remove stains, you will need a professional concrete driveway cleaning service.
Your home’s concrete surfaces may not be the highlight of your property, but keeping it clean and well-maintained can greatly affect your home’s overall curb appeal.
Concrete Driveway Cleaning Service
RPW ProWash is here to provide a thorough Concrete Driveway Cleaning Service that will remove all of the buildups of stains, dirt, grime and other surface contaminants that will not just clean your concrete, but also restore its appearance and extend its life.
We specialize in cleaning all types of concrete surfaces including driveways, parking lots, parking garages, sidewalks, walkways, you name it! We’ll not only clean your concrete but bring it back to life!
Call us today at (779) 348-3135 or contact us online to get a FREE, no-obligation estimate.