Concrete patios and driveways are practical, affordable, and durable. With design innovations like adding color stains, stamping, and sealers, concrete is no longer just a hard, dull gray surface. Even though outdoor concrete is exposed to harsh weather and lots of use, with a bit of care, concrete patios, driveways, sidewalks or canopy area can look beautiful for decades.
How Often to Clean Concrete
Most patios or driveways only need to be cleaned once per year. Spring is a good time to clear away winter mud and grime. However, if you have food stains or drips of grease from a barbecue grill, you may want to add a thorough cleaning in the fall.
What Will You Need?
- Scrub broom
- Mold-prevention product if necessary
- Laundry detergent
When working in moldy areas, wear old clothes, rubber gloves and eye protection.
Mold is a fungus that forms on virtually anything, including a patio made of concrete. Moisture is the main reason mold forms. Concrete can be particularly vulnerable — it acts like a sponge and traps moisture inside. The primary way to keep mold from forming on patio concrete is to keep the area dry.
There are 3 non-toxic cleaners that can be used.
Hydrogen peroxide is an anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial solution that kills mold effectively on a variety of materials such as kitchen appliances, bathroom fixtures, floors and walls.
Vinegar is a mild acid which can kill 82% of mold species. (Baking soda is often used along with vinegar for killing different species of mold).
Baking soda is a mild, white mineral powder, that can be used to kill mold in your home, plus it is safe for your family and pets. Besides killing mold, it will absorb moisture to help keep mold away.
No matter what products will you use to clean the surface there are a few STEPS that should be followed:
Clear the Area
Remove all grills, plants, and furniture. Use a broom or leaf blower to remove all loose debris. Then use a garden hose with a spray nozzle to wet down the concrete.
Mix the Cleaners
Preferable cleaning products should be added into a plastic bucket and be mixed. Next spread the mixture over the concrete with a sponge mop. Depending on the size of the area that needs to be cleaned, you will probably need to double or triple the ingredients.
Scrub, Scrub and once again Scrub
Allow the mixture to sit on the concrete surface for around 1 hour first. Then, use a nylon-bristled scrub brush (metal brushes can leave small pieces of metal in the concrete that will rust) to clean the entire surface. Use a scrub brush with a long attachable handle to save your back and knees
Rinse and Dry
Rinse away the cleaning solution. Make sure to spray clean water on any shrubbery or grass next to the area that may be splattered. Allow the concrete to air dry completely before replacing any furniture and accessories to prevent staining.
Here you have it, a few things that you can take in consideration and make your home look more presentable and clean.