How to Clean a Cement Patio
A cement patio can be cleaned in many ways. Some methods are safe, while others are quite hazardous. In order to minimize cleaning hazards, make sure to follow natural and safe cleaning methods. Here are some suggestions.
Step 1 – Determine What Needs to Be Cleaned
The method to use to clean a cement patio will depend on the type of stain to be removed. Therefore, check what type of stain or contaminant needs to be cleaned in order to prepare the correct cleaning materials.
Step 2 – Preparing the Cleaning Materials
To clean dirty looking patios, a power washer or a water hose is needed. An all purpose cleaner is required as well. For scrubbing, prepare a non-metallic brush. Never use a brush with metal bristles because it may cause damage to the concrete. If there are paint stains, decide whether to leave it as is or to dissolve it using paint stripper. Take note that the cement may absorb the dissolved paint and cause light stains.
If the patio is stained with mold growth, then make sure to buy some bleach. Choose oxygen bleach because chlorine bleach is toxic. Do not use muriatic acid as a cleaning solution unless you know how to handle the chemical safely and effectively. Muriatic acid is highly toxic and should not be considered if there are kids around the house.
Step 3 – Cleaning the Cement Patio
Before applying any of the cleaning solutions, make sure to wet the surface of the patio with water. This will ensure that the cleaning solution does not get absorbed into the concrete quickly. For dirt, grime, and oil, simply apply some all purpose cleaner onto the patio and scrub it with a brush. Never work on one specific area only. Clean the entire patio to avoid uneven cleanliness.
For paint stains, pour in some of the paint stripper carefully. Allow the chemical to loosen the paint for a few minutes before scraping the paint with a putty knife. If the paint gets dissolved too much, blot it first with a cloth or a paper towel before scraping.
For organic growths such as molds, use oxygen bleach. Mix the oxygen bleach powder into a bucket of water following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check the product information for details. Pour the oxygen bleach over the cement patio and wait for about 10 minutes. The bleach will kill the molds and dislodge them from the concrete surface. If necessary, scrub the patio with a non-metallic brush to further remove stubborn molds.
Step 4 – Rinsing
Make sure to rinse the cement patio thoroughly after cleaning to remove the chemicals and the dirt. Use a water hose to spray water over the patio or use a power washer if available. Make sure to drain the water away from other organic life around the home. Do not let the dirty water go to where the plants are.