Making Your Concrete Surface Look Like New Again

Like many other homeowners, you may have chosen a concrete base for your garage and your driveway. Concrete is hard, sturdy and lasts for a very long time, so you had good reason to use it. Nevertheless, it can be stained by leaves or oil, and rust can form along the edges. With time, the concrete can become very unattractive. Nevertheless, there are many methods one can use in order to make their concrete look new again, or even make it look better than it did when it was first laid.

Perhaps the most popular way to restore concrete is to chemically treat the surface. Concrete is a very porous substance, so stains can settle into it very easily. That’s why many concrete layers recommend applying a sealant to the concrete once it has hardened. Many people choose not to do this, or they do not seal the concrete enough. As a result, pigments from, for example, leaves can bleed into the concrete and leave a permanent stain. To remove the stain, chemicals can penetrate the porous surface and remove the stain.

Because stains are not all alike, removing different stains may require different solvents. For example, mold and mildew stains can be cleaned up by using a diluted bleach mixture, while rust stains are best removed by applying oxalic acid. Because a lot of the solvents can be caustic, it’s best to use them carefully and protect yourself from any spills.

Smaller concrete stains are best treated with a chemical bandage. A bandage is essentially a cloth that is soaked in the solution that will counteract the stain. Once the cloth is completely saturated, lie the cloth onto the stain and let it sit and soak into the concrete until the stain is removed.

If the stain takes up a great deal of room, then a bandage will not be sufficient. You’ll need to mop the stained area with the solution and let it treat the concrete. It may take multiple applications of the solvent to completely rid the stain from the concrete.

Sometimes, regular solvents will not remove the stain. In these cases, there are two options for the homeowner to consider. The first is the application of a chemical poultice, which is a type of coating. To make the poultice, combine the solvent you initially used to get rid of the stain with a powder that’s generally alkaline in property, like calcium hydroxide, calcium carbonate or talc. Add the powder to the solvent carefully until the mixture becomes pasty. The mixture can be applied to the stained area to slowly remove it. If the stain is very serious, it may be necessary to keep the paste on the stain for long periods of time and to pour extra solvent on the surface.

When that doesn’t work, it’s time to consider wearing the concrete down. This can be done using sanders, brushes, scourers or other tools that will remove layers of concrete. Once the stain has been removed, you can use a concrete patching mixture to even the surface out.

In conclusion, in regards to concrete restoration, when there’s a will, there’s a way.