June 13, 2017

Off topic – Pressure Washing

Filed under: Wood Lathe — Tags: , , , , , , — peteblair @ 10:34 am

I know this is a little off my usual topics, I do like to blog about wood and wood turning but almost every day in the spring and summer I see people Pressure Washing concrete. Be it a walkway, driveway or a patio. In my books this is a real no/no. I know it looks really good when you are finished but when water under pressure is used to clean concrete or cement washes away the top layer of fine sand and cement. This leaves a lot of tiny nooks and crannies for mold and mildew etc. to grow. If you have unfortunately pressure washed your new cement/concrete already you have sped up the process. Things may not be total loss if the damage is not too great. The best thing you can do for an already damaged area is to try my suggestion below and if you can get it clean then you seal it with a GOOD cement/concrete sealant. To maintain your concrete/cement his whole process will need to be done EVERY year from now on.
Here is a photo of what happens to cement when water was DRIPPED on it from 8′ high over a four year period only when it rained.

The pitted area in the center is the result. Top of the photo is under an overhang of the home which remains nearly as nicely finished as it was originally, the bottom left shows beginning  damage by rain.

As a semi-retired maintenance individual with over 40 years in several fields of maintenance here is what I heartily recommend to get mould and mildew off your cement/concrete.

In a bucket mix the following.

Don’t forget to wear gloves and eye protection!
3 qt warm water
1 qt bleach
2/3 cup T.S.P.
1/3 cup household detergent (ivory, sunlight etc.)

Mix all ingredients together.
Flood Surface.
Rinse with clean water.

I like to dampen the surface slightly with a hose then, using a Garden Sprayer apply a liberal coat of the cleaner. With a fairly hard bristle brush give it a good scrub. I use a heavy bristle Push Broom.

If you want it to be easy to clean in the future and to help it age nicely you might consider a good quality Cement/Concrete sealant after each annual cleaning as above.


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