Concrete patios can quickly become covered with stains from spills and chemicals tracked onto them. For more day-to-day maintenance, a simple wash every few weeks should keep your concrete patio looking as good as new. To clean badly stained concrete patios, heavy-duty cleaning is required using oven cleaner, laundry stain remover, powdered laundry detergent, cat litter and a cleaning agent such as Bio-Clean. However, Pressure washing concrete can easily remove stains on concrete, evens out tones and is a way to spruce up curb appeal for your home or business.
Concrete patios can often be cleaned with a pressure washer without the use of chemicals. However, it is important to know that there may be regulations regarding discharge of waste water into storm drains from cleaning and regulations pertaining to the use of solvents during pressure washing.
Tools are used in pressure washing
Oils, solvents, paint and other regulated environmental contaminants that have been spilled on the concrete can enter the environment while cleaning. In addition, some chemicals used to clean concrete are an environmental hazard and hence The Environmental Protection Agency has strict guidelines requiring containment of these environmental hazards to prevent them from entering groundwater and storm drains. If containment is required by local ordinances, there are large sponges that can be placed at the lower end of the cleaning project that will filter out dirt and oil yet allowing the filtered water to discharge freely. These sponges can reduce the amount of waste, so the disposal costs less.
It is recommended to check with your local municipality or Environmental Protection Office for local regulations and proper disposal methods. Fines relating to illegal disposal of waste may be a lot higher than containment and proper disposal.
Liquid dish soap is often strong enough to clean grease and other stains for cleaning patios. A solution of liquid dish soap and hot water can be poured directly on grease stains, allowed to soak and cleaned off with a pressure washer using hot water. Dishwasher detergent can be used for difficult grease and oil stains on concrete. You can mix dishwasher detergent with hot water and pour on the stain and then simply pressure wash using hot water to rinse the solution from that particular area.
Annual cleaning reduces the amount of chemicals that are needed and also the cost of disposal of waste. Always clean up spills on concrete as soon as possible to reduce the need for pressure washing more frequently. Consider a washable coating such that spills can be cleaned up easily and future pressure washing will not be required.