pressure washing concrete with driveway logo

As a property owner, you naturally want your concrete surfaces to be free from dirt. Whether it be your driveway, patio, or walkway, even a few stains can spoil the ambiance you’re trying to create and make your entire property look worn out. 

Power washing is one quick yet effective way to remove blemishes and contaminants from your concrete surfaces. With that said, there may be times when simply using a pressure washer will not do the trick. For stubborn stains, you may need to use a cleaner or degreaser before turning on your washer. 

Different cleaners are designed to remove different types of blemishes and contaminations, so how do you determine what to spray on concrete before pressure washing? Additionally, what is the best way to power wash concrete? This blog will answer these questions and more. 

What To Spray on Concrete Before Pressure Washing

The most important thing to remember is that you want the concrete cleaner that works best for your driveway’s stains or meets your specific cleaning needs for your patio. To help you decide what to spray on concrete before pressure washing, here are the main types of cleaners or degreasers in the market: 

Acidic Cleaners

Acidic cleaners are heavy-duty mixtures that remove stains, dirt, and contamination soluble in acidic solutions. They are particularly effective against efflorescence, that white powdery stain or crystalline residue formed by salt deposits. 

Most of the time, simply applying the formula directly to the areas to be cleaned is enough to dissolve the blemishes and impurities. However, stubborn stains may need some scrubbing to be removed. 

If you are using an acidic cleaner on your concrete, make sure to neutralize it after cleaning your driveway to prevent it from corroding the surface. 

Alkaline Cleaners 

Also called “concrete degreasers,” alkaline cleaners effectively remove hydrocarbon-based stains such as oil and grease. Their high pH level or alkalinity breaks down oily substances and “lifts” oil and grease stains from the concrete, making surface cleaning a lot easier. With that said, they can also be used to neutralize concrete driveways and walkways after using acidic cleaners. 

pH-Neutral Cleaners 

This type of concrete cleaner is neither acidic nor alkaline. pH-neutral cleaners are mild and meant to be used in indoor cleaning or addressing lighter stains. They can also be applied on unsealed concrete to remove its blemishes without damaging the material. 

If you plan to use pH-neutral cleaners for your patio or indoor concrete floors, note that they must be diluted in varying amounts of water depending on the level of cleaning you require. Most brands will have specific instructions on their packaging about how much water you need to add to your cleaning solution. 

Bacterial Cleaners 

Bacterial cleaners, also sometimes called oxidation cleaners, are a relatively new type of cleaning solution. They are effective in treating starch-, protein-, and hydrocarbon-based stains like pet urine as they use active enzymes that break these substances down. 

Oxidation cleaners can activate without water. The bacteria or enzyme present in the solution will simply begin breaking down the protein or starch present in the stain or contamination until it’s gone. 

The Importance of Keeping Your Concrete Clean

Cleaning your concrete surfaces regularly helps keep your property looking welcoming. Besides its aesthetic benefits, surface cleaning and pressure washing prevent grease and other substances from wreaking havoc on your concrete, causing problematic cracks, and shortening its lifespan. With that, we hope this blog gave you an idea of the concrete cleaners you can choose from and the best way to power wash concrete. 

However, if you find yourself pressed for time or unable to clean your concrete yourself, you can depend on The Driveway Company. Our surface cleaning experts use commercial-grade products and modern equipment to give your concrete a fresh look and feel, no matter how stubborn its stains can be! Contact us today to get started.

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