Help with my walkway?

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Old 06-13-16, 06:14 PM
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Angry Help with my walkway?

Hello all,

I'm looking for some help with how to fix this splatter caused by a lousy job. See picture here Name:  IMG_3496.jpg
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What can I do to fix this? Is there a way to sand the spatter down or should I just pour the stairs? if I re-pour, I'm worried about the same problem again; mismatching concrete. Any thoughts?

Thanks everyone!

- Pete
 
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Old 06-13-16, 06:22 PM
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Looks like it's time to buy a 4 1/2" diamond cup wheel for your grinder. Hope you don't mind the swirls that it's going to leave on the steps.
 
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Old 06-14-16, 03:55 AM
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Did you pay someone to pour the walk? If so, get them back to fix their mess!
I've seen muratic acid used to clean up errant mortar so that might be an option.
btw - welcome to the forums Peter!
 
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Old 06-14-16, 05:27 AM
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I would cover the new concrete with plastic and carefully seal/tape the edge near your old steps. Then scrub your old steps with a muriatic acid solution. It's what masons use to remove mortar splatter from bricks. Make sure you read and follow the instructions for dealing with muriatic acid and wear heavy duty rubber gloves. I wet the area with the acid solution and scrub with a stiff bristle brush. The acid solution will etch both the new and old concrete so soak and scrub your old steps uniformly so you end up with a more uniform appearance. Then thoroughly rinse with water.
 
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Old 06-14-16, 04:35 PM
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Unfortunately this contractor vanished like a fart in the wind. Can't get a hold of them. Completely my fault for not doing my research... anyway.

So I take it muriatic acid eats through the concrete which will remove my splatter marks and also remove the top level of schmutz on the stairs? Is that correct? I've seen a piece of that concrete and its quite a lot of schmutz. Essentially I would need to scrub all the schmutz off in a uniform pattern? Is that correct?
 
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Old 06-15-16, 03:03 AM
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Not my area of expertise but the muratic acid should attack the fresh concrete quicker than the old cured concrete. It will take some scrubbing to convince the errant concrete to come loose.
 
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Old 06-15-16, 05:25 AM
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Muriatic acid eats cement. And yes it will eat new faster than old which is why you need to cover the new walkway and seal the edge at the steps with tape. Eating new faster than old will play in your favor since the new splatters on your step will dissolve and scrub away faster than the underlying old concrete.

Again... You MUST carefully read and follow the instructions for handling muriatic acid. It's an acid strong enough to eat cement so your skin and eyes are no match. Straight from the bottle it's strong enough to smoke so it must be diluted with water before use. When working make sure all your exposed skin is covered and wear old clothes as the acid will quickly bleach. It's also a good idea to have a hose (turned on and ready to go) handy or a bucket of clean water in case you get a splsh on you so you can rinse it off promptly.
 
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Old 06-15-16, 07:25 AM
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Sounds exciting! OK. I'm going to give this a shot and read the directions very carefully.

Thanks for all the help!
 
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Old 06-15-16, 09:48 AM
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It's great stuff once you know how to work with it. I also use it to clean the mineral deposits from our cats water bowls and I've enven used it to clean faucet cartridges gunked up with mineral deposis.

Oh, and don't be surprised when you pour out the acid to see it "smoking". Just avoid breathing the fumes.
 
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Old 07-31-16, 10:59 AM
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Hey all. So I finally was able to get some time to give the muriatic solution a shot but I don't think it worked as well as it could have...

I mixed 1 pint of muriatic acid into 1 gallon of water and then applied it to 1 area with a nylon paint brush. I heard a sizzle and saw a little "smoke" and let it sit for 5 minutes but nothing seems to happen after that initial sizzle. I applied the mixture a number of times and the same reaction happens but very little of the excess concrete is removed. At this rate, it would take days to remove everything. So my questions are:

1. Should I add less water next time?
2. Should I pour the acid directly onto the steps?
3. Anyone have any suggestions about applying to this area? Should I be used a spray instead of this brush?
4. What's the best way to dispose of this mixture after I'm done.

Thanks!
 
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Old 07-31-16, 12:53 PM
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You don't want to use muratic acid straight out of the jug! I was thinking it was more of a 50/50 solution with water but it's been a long time since I've used any.
 
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Old 07-31-16, 03:15 PM
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In post #4, Pilot Dane says you need to brush with a stiff-bristle brush after applying the solution, then rinse. It sounds like perhaps you missed this step?
 
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Old 08-01-16, 11:26 AM
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marksr - OK. I will try that dilution ratio.

Shadeladie - You're right. I did not do that. I will get a metal brush and scrape.

OK, so I'll try a 50/50 muriatic / water ratio and then scrub. Thanks!
 
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Old 08-01-16, 12:12 PM
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Oh my gosh, do NOT mix it 50/50. 1 to 16 is a normal ratio. I would not recommend it be any stronger than 1:10.

Just google muriatic acid ratio if you dont believe me.
 
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Old 08-01-16, 01:57 PM
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I stand corrected!

It's better to use a stiff brush, I'd use an acid brush. The one I have screws onto a roller pole but they also sell some small acid brushes with a short handle. I'd be concerned that a wire brush would mark up the concrete giving you something else to deal with.
 
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Old 08-01-16, 04:05 PM
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Do NOT use a metal bristle brush (wire brush). The acid can react with metals so use a stiff bristled plastic brush.

Your initial diluted solution that made the fizzing sound was strong enough. You don't want to go stronger. Just get a stiff bristled plastic brush and some long rubber gloves (like dish washing gloves). I dip the brush in the solution and brush what you want to remove. It will turn yellow and stop fizzing. Just dip the brush in the acid solution and go at it some more.

Be careful as the brushing can cause small droplets of the acid solution to go flying. Wear glasses and an old long sleeve shirt. If you feel a burning sensation anywhere rinse the area thoroughly with water.
 
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Old 08-02-16, 07:13 PM
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If that schmutz was mine, I'd try a good mason's rubbing brick on the heavy stuff, with a diluted acid mixture. And when diluting the stuff, ALWAYS add acid to water, never water to acid. Doing it the wrong way can cause some nasty burns and bubbling.
 
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