Concrete & Pressure Washing: Is It a Bad Combination? (Pro Tips)

February 7, 2022

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Is Pressure Washing Your Concrete Surfaces BAD?

When it comes to concrete, pressure washing is often the first thing that comes to mind when considering cleaning methods. Pressure washing might seem like the best and most effective method, but there are other ways you can clean your concrete surface without destroying it. So is pressure washing bad for your concrete? In some situations, yes, but there are other options you can use as well. Let’s look at some of the best ways to clean your concrete surfaces so that you don’t need to worry about whether or not exterior pressure washing will ruin your beautiful and durable floors and surfaces.

Pressure Washing Regularly

We’ve all seen a pressure washer or power washing cleaning someone’s driveway, sidewalk, or other concrete surface. Over time, these concrete surfaces begin to look old and dingy. Cleaning them periodically with a pressure washer is an excellent way to make your concrete surfaces shine again. That said, pressure washing your concrete surfaces isn’t always necessary.

If you do decide to pressure wash your concrete surfaces, it’s important to do so regularly. Over time, dirt and grime begin to build up on your concrete surfaces. A pressure washer is designed to blast all of that away. However, if you don’t get out there and clean your surface regularly, these grime layers can become thick and caked on.

If you let all that dirt build up, eventually, you’ll have to employ stronger measures. This could include using chemicals or physical scrubbing devices. Not only is pressure washing easier than other cleaning methods, but it also requires less work.

Home Advisor states the average cost for pressure washing is between $192 and $400. That's a small price to pay to improve appearance and extend the life of your concrete.

Benefits of Pressure Washing Concrete

A pressure washer is a valuable tool for every home. It comes in handy for lots of projects, from removing stubborn stains to scouring hard-to-reach surfaces. But what about concrete surfaces, like those used on driveways and patios? Does pressure washing provide any benefits for these surfaces over traditional cleaning methods like brushing or scrubbing with soap and water?

Concrete surfaces are notoriously dirty and covered in grime when they need cleaning. While a brush or sponge can remove some of that surface dirt, pressure washing will blast it away at a more efficient rate. Remove Mildew. As with all things outdoors, mildew is inevitable on your concrete surfaces. To get rid of mildew, you can use bleach or a diluted mixture of vinegar and water.

You can also use a pressure washer to blast away mildew. Of course, if you have mold or mildew damage you’ll need to scrub that spot with soap and water first before cleaning it off with your pressure washer. This will help prevent residue from building up later.

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Downside of Not Pressure Washing

You may think that you’re saving time and money by not pressure washing your concrete surfaces. In reality, allowing dirt to settle on concrete will cause it to become permanently discolored. When rain water sits on a dirty surface for extended periods of time, it will leach out coloring into your surface concrete, creating unsightly stains that are difficult to get rid of. These stains are caused by iron oxide and carbonate in soil and rocks.

When you pressure wash your concrete surfaces, you not only remove dirt and contaminants, but also prevent discoloration of your concrete. If a stain has already been caused by iron oxide or carbonate in soil or rocks, pressure washing can help neutralize it so that it doesn’t leach more coloring into your surface concrete.

Reduce Risk Of Damage

One of the most common questions is, will pressure washing damage my concrete surfaces and truthfully it really depends on how its done. No one wants to spend money pressure washing only to destroy their driveway or garage floor. I hear you! The easiest way to reduce risk is by removing as much loose dirt as possible with a broom, sweep or vacuum before hand. This helps prevent small particles from embedding themselves into your concrete once cleaned.

If you can't remove loose dirt from concrete surfaces then don't pressure wash. Your best bet to avoid a damaging cleaning job is by using our pressure washing service. If you are looking for a professional company for pressure washing services that won't destroy your concrete or asphalt driveway, then we would love to help!

What Chemicals Are Used

Believe it or not, many companies are reluctant to disclose their ingredients. That’s because pressure washing products often contain hazardous chemicals, including ammonia and chlorinated solvents. Both of these compounds can wreak havoc on concrete if used improperly. The good news is that there are chemical-free alternatives available as well as some things you can do to protect your surfaces from damage when using a chemical product.

If you are in need of a good cleaning but don’t want to damage your concrete, be sure to ask what ingredients are in their pressure washing products before using it. If they won’t tell you or can’t be trusted, then it might be best to look for another company that is willing to disclose its information.

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Sealing After Pressure Washing

The concrete is clean and fresh! Sealing your freshly-washed concrete is a great way to protect it from stains, discoloration, and damage. Make sure you seal your newly-clean surface to ensure that it stays in tip-top shape. If left unprotected, all of that hard work can be undone by excess water or acidic substances on your driveway or walkway. If sealed properly, though, you shouldn’t have any problems for years to come.

Using a concrete sealer means adding another step to your process—but it’s one that will pay off big time in terms of how long your concrete surface lasts. If you want to keep your concrete looking its best for years, you can’t skip sealing after pressure washing. Sealers are especially important if you live in an area with extreme weather or seasons, as they act as protectants against precipitation and other elements.

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