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Concrete

How does your concrete surface look? Is it covered with gum? Stained by oil and gasoline? Covered in dust that contains heavy metals or other pollutants? If any of these apply to your concrete surfaces, you should consider getting them cleaned professionally via pressure washing.

Concrete can be tricky to clean because it is a porous material with innumerable tiny voids that can hold mold, dirt, and deep and difficult to access stains. But you need to clean in order to preserve your concrete. This is how we do it at Mr. Pressure Wash.

Equipment

We frequently use a sweeper first to get rid of dust and dirt particles on your concrete surface. Then, we pressure wash the area. Instead of a wand, we use a surface spinner machine on concrete. Wands tend to leave stripes and uneven marks on concrete surfaces and are rarely as thorough as surface spinners. Surface spinners are specifically made for cleaning concrete and other hard horizontal surfaces. The machine looks like a floor buffer and has rotating jets on the bottom that cover the surface area evenly. Surface spinners give our customers the most consistent, deep clean.

We employ a proprietary water recapture system that permits us to recover nearly all the water we use on a given job. MPW equipment is made so that dirty water can be taken off site and recycled for future use.

Process

Before we clean a concrete surface with a pressure washer, we sweep the surface clean of debris. Then we apply a detergent, which starts breaking down dirt, mold, and stains. Then we clean with cold or, more usually, hot water. We use 2,000-5,000 psi depending on the level of clean necessary.

We usually use hot water for concrete. Many surfaces (wood, siding, etc.) are too delicate to use hot water so even though it is the most effective it is too damaging. In contrast, concrete is durable and tough. Hence, we tend to use hot water. Cold water is rarely as effective. Our equipment can produce very hot water. It makes sense to use hot water when you can – think about washing dishes or clothing – because it has a better chance of removing stains and deeply cleaning your concrete surfaces. Because it can penetrate more deeply, your concrete will last longer and can go longer before the next clean.

Chemicals

At MPW, our goal is to have as low an impact as possible. Hence, we try not to use many chemicals to clean concrete. We try instead to remove most pollutants through pressure, heat, and vacuuming.

Some embedded stains need more though. To remove urine, coffee, or similar stains, we usually use muriatic acid. Removing oil from parking garages and lots, warehouse floors, and auto repair shops is also a challenge. Oil is unsightly and can be unsafe for both employees and customers. At MPW, we may use an alkaline degreaser to aid in removing oil stains from your commercial space. The heat the pressure washer generates lifts the oil from the concrete and the degreaser emulsifies the oil so that it can be flushed from the concrete’s system.

We use the most environmentally friendly cleaning products we can find and after cleaning most of the detergent or acid or degreaser is recaptured and later separated from the water, which can then be recycled.

Pervious Concrete

This type of concrete is more than a surface cover. It is part of a system for managing stormwater. Is is a high porosity substance that allows water from precipitation and other sources to pass directly through the concrete. This reduces runoff from sites and allows groundwater to recharge. Using pervious concrete is recognized as a Best Management Practice (BMP) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

For pervious concrete to function as intended, however, it must be regularly cleaned so that it does not clog. The most thorough method involves water suction technology as part of a pressure wash. This removes surface debris, cleans out the concrete, and keeps material from being pushed down that would clog the system.

In Sum

Let us bring our professional services to your business. Do it yourself pressure washing is inadvisable because the process can seriously damage a concrete surface if you use too much pressure or too high a velocity. Concrete surface strength may be difficult for a non-professional to ascertain. You are likely to end up either cleaning insufficiently or damaging your property. This damage may manifest in flaking, popouts, or concrete spalls. All of these are unsightly and jeopardize the structural integrity of the concrete. So, whether you are pressure washing to make customers happy, keep your employees safe, or to recharge your groundwater, MPW will provide the most effective and environmentally sound methods in the Puget Sound area.