8 Tips for Easy Concrete Maintenance

Thanks to its porous nature, keeping concrete free of stains from Algae, Mold and Mildew can feel overwhelming. It is essential to protect concrete from this growth as well as dirt and grime. Over time, the growth, and staining is not just unsightly, it's actually destroying your concrete. Follow these tips to keep your concrete clean and beautiful year round! 

1) DO CLEAN YOUR CONCRETE ONCE PER YEAR AS NEEDED.

Whether removing algae off the walk or oil stains on the driveway, it is important to properly clean concrete about once per year. Stains that sit on concrete become harder to remove over time. Lichen, Moss, Mold and Algae are not only unattractive but can also make surfaces slippery and dangerous.

 2) DO SELECT THE PROPER CLEANER FOR THE JOB.

Not all cleaners do the same work. For example, the degreaser that pulls up oil stains from vehicles will not work against Algae, Mold, and Mildew stains, and vice versa.

If you are looking to remove efflorescence or the build-up of salts on the surface of the concrete, it is ideal to dry brush away the white, powdery substance. The introduction of cleaners or even water can cause more salts to rise to the surface.

3) DO TEST BEFORE CLEANING.

Occasionally some cleaners could result in discoloring concrete. Always test new products in a small, inconspicuous area before applying to the entire surface. This is especially important when cleaning any treated, stamped, or colored concrete.
When in doubt, contact the manufacturer for their recommendation.

4) BE AWARE THAT CONCRETE IS A VERY POROUS SURFACE.

When cleaning concrete, it is important to use enough cleaner to heavily saturate the surface. You may notice that concrete can look barely damp after just a few minutes. If this happens, apply more cleaner to get into the naturally occurring nooks and crannies.

For concrete that has a large amount of growth or has been neglected for several years, it may take more than one cleaning to return the original look of the concrete.

5) DO CONSIDER AN OVERTIME TREATMENT FOR PROLONGED RESULTS.

Once your concrete is clean, it is a good idea to consider a treatment that works over time. These tend to be faster and easier to apply and will prolong the results of your hard work. Save time, money, and water by applying an over time treatment one to two times per year to prevent new growth.
Alternatively, Lichen and Moss often respond better to an over time treatment. A cleaner will certainly work with a little extra elbow grease. A treatment can kill the growth at the roots and have the added bonus of longer lasting results.

6) DON’T SIMPLY PRESSURE WASH CONCRETE.

Be careful if choosing to pressure wash. Incorrect pressure washing forces water into the cracks and crevasses and begins to break up the naturally occurring surface finish that protects concrete. It can also force spores and growth deeper into those holes, along with a bit of water, creating a nice little habitat for unwanted growth. This often results in Algae, Mold, and Mildew stains returning even faster than before.
Consider a soft wash for a less abrasive cleaning. Choose a cleaner best suited to the stains you are looking to remove. Apply, brush if directed, and then soft wash away.

7) DO WAIT A DAY.

Whether cleaning organic growth or oily stains, concrete tends to look better the next day. This is because the water that has soaked into those nooks and crannies can result in a slightly darker look to the concrete. Once it has dried out, typically overnight, it will appear even lighter in color. This is especially true with older concrete.

8) DO PROTECT YOUR CONCRETE AFTER CLEANING

Consider sealing your concrete surfaces after they have been properly cleaned. Be sure to research the best product and application for your job and to test it out before sealing the entire area. Consider:

  1. The type of concrete (old, new, stamped, colored, etc)
  2. What products were used during cleaning and how
  3. What do you want the sealer to do (appearance, performance, safety, etc)

 

While we may not think about it, we come into contact with concrete every day of our lives. Help to preserve your walks, drives, and even décor with these tips and your outdoor spaces will look great for years to come.

Have questions about cleaning concrete? Leave a comment below!

Before and After Pictures

Customer Photos

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5 Comments

Garrett Harte

February 18, 2019

This product did not even come close to what it promised! I just wasted my afternoon using it in masonry bricks and didn’t make a dent in the mildew on them. I also used it on an awning and same thing didn’t work! So dissatisfied with your product. I should have just sprayed bleach on them then power washed and I would have been ahead $30!!!!!

Jessica Merly

February 18, 2019

Hello Garrett,
We are sorry to hear that you were not pleased with the results of using 30 SECONDS Cleaners on your brick and awnings. We would love the opportunity to talk with you and see what went wrong. Please give us a call at 503-669-1953, it would be our pleasure to work with you to get the results that our fans have come to expect over the last 40 years. We hope to hear from you soon!

Ed Hicks

March 15, 2019

Every one e and awhile you come across a product that exceeds expectations, this is it! This product is a true labor saver, no power washing. Went back and bought extra just to have on-hand. Thanks again.

Mary

April 01, 2019

Do you have a product you recommend for sealing a driveway & sidewalk in central Florida? We have used 30 seconds to clean our house & have been very satisfied

Jessica Merly

April 01, 2019

Hello Mary,
Thank you so much for sharing your success using 30 SECONDS Outdoor Cleaner on your house.
We do not make a sealer for concrete and think its best if you talk to someone at your favorite Home and Garden store. They will have recommendations for you and feedback from other customers to help make the right choice. All the best!

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