Concrete surfaces tend to accumulate dust very gradually and when it does, you realize how difficult it is to clean the exterior. This is precisely one of the reasons why periodic concrete cleaning helps in maintaining your home, driveway, and concrete patios to give it a yearlong spic and span look. High quality pressure washing is a key element of proper concrete cleaning.
What Is Pressure Cleaning?
Pressure cleaning is a method of using high-pressure water to clean hard to remove the dirt, grime and grease from concrete surfaces. The system consists of a pump with a spray that creates high-pressure water with high velocity that enables cleaning of stains on concrete surfaces.
Points To Remember
* To start with, you will need a proper pressure washer, gloves, approved chemicals, eye protection equipment, water source, power source and accessories.
* Use a power washer with adequate pressure, preferably 3000 psi and with a flow rate of at least 4-5 gallons per minute.
* Choose a wheel mounted pressure cleaner. This will allow you to clean a far greater concrete surface area in quicker time span.
* A rotary nozzle does a far better job of cleaning concrete surfaces than the regular fan nozzle. This is because a rotary nozzle sprays the water in a circular fashion and at a higher speed.
* A hot washer pressure washer does the cleaning job much better than a cold-water pressure washer. The former costs more and the choice will depend on your budget. Hot washer equipment cleans faster and is the preferred choice for large commercial applications. Do not to use hot water above the temperature specified by the pump manufacturer. This will cause the thermal release valve to pop and a replacement may be needed.
* Power washers are maintenance prone equipment. The seals, o-rings and springs need routine checkup as they tend to get worn out very quickly due to the high pressure of water. As an additional precaution, never run the pressure washer dry or in the bypass mode even for a short time.
* A combination of power washing with chemical cleaning is very effective in getting rid of stubborn stain on concrete surfaces. To achieve best results, you must spray the stained area and then allow it to stay for 15 minutes before washing it off. If the stain is oily or greasy, use an alkaline degreaser. Rusty stains are best removed by a chemical cleaner containing oxalic acid.
When operating pressure cleaners which use chemicals, make sure that the local laws allow you to drain off the water into nearby sewers.
* Your safety is of paramount importance. Do not venture on a concrete cleaning job without proper clothes, gloves, shoes and goggles. Never do the power-washing job standing on a ladder and do take care to stay clear of electrical fixtures and jacks.
During winter, it is advisable to run an antifreeze mixture through the pumping system before you store it. This is especially true if you do not have a climate controlled enclosure.
Concrete cleaning by pressure washing is effective and safe. All you need to do is follow the above tips and any other recommendations provided by the pump or the system supplier.