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School Smart: Finding Creative Cleaning Solutions

Hi. I’m Rosemary and I’m in charge of cleaning services for a large university. It really is a challenge. From graffiti on walls to chemical spills in science labs, I ensure that anything unsightly is cleaned up quickly and safely. In the course of my job, I’ve learnt that choosing the correct cleaning service for a task is the key to efficiency. I employ a general services company to do everyday cleaning, however, we regularly hire specialist carpet cleaners and definitely use qualified services for problems like chemical spills. Lots of my family members and friends call me when they have particular cleaning problems in their businesses. I figure that the knowledge I’ve collected over the years could be helpful, so I’ve started this blog. Do let me know if it’s useful and may your surfaces always be bright!

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School Smart: Finding Creative Cleaning Solutions

Pressure Washing: How to Remove Tough Stains on Your Concrete Driveway

by Phillip Clark

Concrete driveways can get dingy over time and cause the exterior of your home to look unappealing and less valuable. Tough stains such as oil and chemical spills can be an eyesore, not to mention the damage they can cause on your driveway. Occasionally pressure washing the driveway can get rid of these tough stains and restore the beautiful and appealing look of your home's exterior.

Pressure washing is a task that DIYers should undertake with caution. Doing it the wrong way can damage the surface of your concrete driveway and cost you for repairs. Here are some guidelines on how to go about it.

Choose the right pressure washer

Pressure washers come in different types based on the pounds per square inch (psi), which is the measure of pressure. Light-duty and medium-duty pressure washers are used for cleaning, patio furniture, siding, fences, decks, cars, and trucks. They have a low-pressure setting which is ideal to prevent damage to furnish and paint which can occur when using high pressure. Heavy-duty power washers have higher pressure and are suitable for cleaning grime, dirt, and stains on driveways and sidewalks.

Presoak the stains

Presoaking the stains on your driveway can help save time and energy when pressure cleaning. If your power washer dispenses detergent, it is a good idea to use the type and amount that's recommended by the manufacturer in the user manual. If it doesn't, use a degreasing product such as a concentrated dishwashing solution or laundry detergent. Leave the detergent to soak for a few minutes but don't let it dry on the concrete.

Scrub the stains

If there are lots of stains on your driveway, you can use a long, hard-bristled brush to scrub away the stains. However, for few stain patches, a hand brush can be efficient and fast. In most cases, oil and chemical stains dissolve in the detergent and the scrubbing part will be pretty easy.

Degrease the rest of the concrete driveway using your detergent to prevent the removed stains from soaking into other parts of the concrete. For a power washer with a detergent dispenser, you can set the pressure on low setting and apply the detergent using the soap tip.

Rinse the driveway

Most power washers have a pressure gauge which you can use to adjust the pressure to get the right setting for efficiently getting rid of dirt, grime, soil, and other debris. When rinsing the driveway, hold the nozzle a few inches from the surface and move the wand at a regular pace to prevent etching the concrete.

If you are unable to use the power washer effectively or your concrete driveway has extremely tough stains, you can hire a cleaning professional. The types of power washers and techniques used by professionals can effectively get rid of the toughest stains without damaging your concrete driveway.

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