Concrete's porous nature makes it difficult to keep clean of mold, mildew, and algae stains. Concrete must be protected from dirt and grime as well as growth. Concrete can be damaged by staining and growth. These are the Dos and Don’ts for keeping concrete beautiful and clean throughout the year.

1. Clean Your Concrete Once Per Year If Needed

It doesn't matter if you want to remove algae from your walkway or remove oil stains off the driveway. Concrete should be cleaned at least once a year. Concrete stains that are left on it become more difficult to remove. The presence of lichen, moss, and mold can make surfaces slippery and potentially dangerous.

2. Select The Perfect Cleaner For Your Job

Different concrete cleaner can do different jobs. A degreaser that removes oil stains won't work against mildew, algae, or mold stains.

It's ideal to dry brush concrete to remove any buildup of salts or efflorescence.

3. Test Before Cleaning

Concrete can sometimes be discolored by cleaners. Before applying any cleaners to the entire surface, test them in a small area. This is particularly important for cleaning colored, stamped, or treated concrete. If in doubt, ask the manufacturer for advice. You can see the severe discoloration in the image.

4. Please Note That Concrete Is A Very Poor Surface

Concrete should be thoroughly sprayed with cleaner when cleaning it. After a few minutes, the concrete may look dry. Apply cleaner if concrete appears dry.

Concrete with a lot of growth or concrete that has been neglected for a long time may need more than one cleaning to restore its original appearance.

5. Consider A Overtime Treatment For Prolonged Results

It's a good idea, once your concrete has been cleaned, to look into a treatment that lasts. These are quicker and easier to apply, and they will prolong the effects of all your hard work. You can save time, money, and water by using a gradual treatment - one to two times per calendar year to stop new growth.

Alternately, lichen or moss can often be treated over time. With a little elbow grease, a cleaner can work. The treatment can be used to kill the growth at the roots, and it has the added benefit of lasting longer.

6. Do Not Simply Pressure Wash Concrete

Use caution when using a pressure washer. Pressure washing can cause water to enter cracks and crevasses. This can lead to concrete being damaged. Pressure washing can also encourage spores to grow deeper into the holes, which in turn creates a favorable environment for unwanted growth. This can often lead to algae, mold, and mildew stains coming back even faster.

For a gentler cleaning, you can use a soft washing machine. Use the best cleaner for the stain you want to remove. Use a brush to apply the cleaner, and then wash off with a soft cloth.

7. Do Not Wait A Day

Concrete tends to look better after cleaning oily stains or organic growth. Concrete can take on a darker appearance due to water soaking into the cracks. It will become lighter once it dries, which is usually overnight. This is especially true for older concrete.

8. Do Care For Your Concrete Before Cleaning

After concrete surfaces have been cleaned, seal them. Before sealing your concrete surfaces, make sure you research the best product for the job and test it before applying. Consider:

  • Type of concrete (old, new or stamped, colored, etc.
  • Which products were used for cleaning?
  • How do you want the sealer (appearance and safety, etc.?)

Concrete is something we all come in contact with every day, even though we don't think about it. These tips will ensure that your outdoor spaces look beautiful for many years.