Fall Concrete Maintenance: Stained Concrete
Falling For Cleaner Concrete
Autumn has arrived. The air is cooling down. And the leaves are starting to change colors. Here in Western New York, we are fortunate to have four distinct seasons. Let’s be honest though: sometimes we enjoy the weather too much and neglect our responsibilities. The grass is mowed less. The gutters aren’t cleared regularly. The leaves don’t get raked and sit a little longer than they should.
If you fall into this category, you’ve probably noticed that decaying foliage is now leaving unsightly stains on your concrete. Oops! Nobody wants to see stained concrete every time they step out the door, but with a few easy steps you can restore your concrete before winter.
Leaf Stained Concrete
Leafs are an organic compound and like any living thing, leaves decay. During the decay process, leaves release a dye called tannins. Tannins react with the alkaline in concrete forming those perfect leaf shaped stains that seem to take forever to naturally fade away. The easiest way to prevent this from happening is to make sure you stay on top of yard maintenance. Properly disposing of leaves in a timely fashion prevents them from lingering long enough to leach color into your concrete.
But who has time for that when there’s fresh apple cider and pumpkin spice everything to be enjoyed? If it’s already too late to prevent stains, treat them to a little TLC:
Step 1: Prepare
The first step to removing a stain from concrete is to prep the area. You’ll want to sweep or power wash the affected concrete to remove any loose debris. Next, you’ll want to mix a cleaning solution in a bucket as most cleaning agents will require you to dilute them in water before use. In most instances, a laundry detergent with a bleaching property, like Oxiclean, or a specialized organic stain remover will work just fine.
Step 2: Cleanse
After you’ve cleared your concrete, hose it down with water, then find a localized stain in an unseen corner of your driveway or patio to test the cleaning solution. By starting with a small section, you’ll be able to check for potentially negative side effects, such as discoloration, before you treat the bulk of your concrete.
If your concrete is colored and you start to notice discoloration in your slab, do not continue to use it. Otherwise you risk permanently damaging and discoloring your concrete. If there is no visible discoloration or damage, continue to apply the mixture over the remainder of the slab, focusing primarily on stained areas. You’ll want to let the cleaning solution sit for a few minutes to loosen up the stain, then scrub with a stiff brush (do not use a wire brush) to loosen dirt and debris. Reapply your cleaning solution as needed to keep the area wet.
Step 3: Rinse
Once the area is scrubbed thoroughly, rinse the surface. Wash away all the detergent or stain remover, and dispose of the waste water safely. In order to maximize your results, you may need to repeat this process several times in order to completely lift the stain.
Entrust Bravo Buffalo To Clean Your Stained Concrete
Not everyone feels comfortable performing their own TLC. Whether you don’t have the time or are not up to the task, entrust Bravo Buffalo to restore your concrete and protect it against weather, grime, and other elements. Whether residential or commercial, we use effective–and most importantly eco-friendly and biodegradable–detergents that won’t harm people, pets, or plants. Contact Bravo Buffalo at (716) 834-2454 for your next project estimate!