Concrete is an excellent building material. It is strong, has high compression strength and can take large amounts of load without collapsing. Concrete is a porous material. It absorbs almost all kinds of liquids. Dirt tends of stick to concrete because of its rough texture.
Fortunately, concrete can be cleaned effectively by using methods such as pressure cleaning, which is a method in which, jets of water are sprayed on the concrete surface with pressures ranging from below 3000psi to above 10,000psi. For concrete, the ideal pressure is between 3000psi and 10,000psi depending on the thickness of the wall.
In order to keep concrete safe from damage due to external factors and to simplify the process of cleaning, concrete sealing is done. This is a process, in which concrete is coated with paint or other materials, which prevents concrete from absorbing water and oil. Since stains do not penetrate into sealed surfaces, it is easy to clean them.
Dish washing soap can be used to get small stains off concrete. The soap has to be applied on the stain and allowed to act on it for a few hours. A brush with rough bristles, then, has to be used to scrub the surface in order to wash of f the stain. Although such methods work, they are time consuming and require a lot of effort.
Muriatic acid gels are a very effective solution to cleaning concrete walls. While the liquid form works for floors and driveways, getting the liquid to stay on a wall is difficult since gravity makes the solution drip off it. As a solution to this problem, acid gels were created. These gels stick to the place where they are applied and get rid of the stains.
One of the most common problems encountered in the maintenance of concrete is effervescence, which is a white powdery salt and mineral residue that is formed when moisture in concrete evaporates. Although effervescence does not damage concrete or cause corrosion, the white patches on the surface are unsightly. If left unattended to, these deposits can harden over time and become difficult to clean. Regular pressure washing is an effective solution to get rid of these white patches. Pressure cleaning has to be done when the weather is bright and sunny so that the water absorbed by concrete during washing can evaporate quickly.
Pressure cleaning is also a good solution to remove fungal and mildew growth on walls. Disinfectants can be mixed in specified proportions with water and can be used to clean concrete walls. However, some of these disinfectants react with colored concrete walls, causing the color to peel off. Therefore, a patch test on some corner of the wall is necessary to ascertain that chemicals do not cause damage. Cleaning, after all, is meant to enhance the appearance of the wall rather than degrade it further.
An important thing to remember while pressure washing concrete walls, is to shut openings like doors and windows. This is to avoid entering the house. There has to be a difference in pressure while cleaning concrete walls and glass windows. Glass can shatter if high pressures are used. Therefore, precautions have to be taken so that no damage occurs to the house.