Maintaining Concrete: Everything You Need to Know

Concrete is one of the world’s most popular building materials. This construction component is said to have been invented more than 3,000 years ago, and it has never lost its luster in the eyes of construction companies and property owners alike. It’s known for its durability, longevity, and versatility among many other benefits. These days, the standard gray form of concrete so many people are familiar with isn’t the only option on the market, either. With stamping and staining, it’s available in virtually any color and design imaginable.

Keeping Your Concrete Looking Like New

Concrete’s strength and long-lasting nature are a couple of the reasons so many people use it for everything from driveways and pool liners to roads, flooring, and countertops. In some cases, it can last as long as 50 years before beginning to succumb to the elements. Of course, proper maintenance is the key to keeping it in top-notch shape and looking its best. Though home and business owners are advised to hire a contractor to help maintain their concrete, there are a couple of simple steps you can take to protect it on your own.

Routine Cleanings

Concrete is going to get dirty whether it’s outside or inside. There’s no avoiding this issue. That said, it’s important to clean it on a regular basis. Sometimes, a well-timed rainstorm is all it takes to get rid of the dirt and debris. In other cases, you need to scrub it yourself or hire professional cleaners to do the job. If possible, trim away trees and shrubs that hang over your outdoor concrete to reduce algae, moss, and mildew growth. Cleaning it with plain water and a scrub brush or broom can rid it of most dirt. Mild cleansers can be used to remove stubborn stains.

Clean up Stains Immediately

Stains aren’t usually an issue with concrete. It’s sealed at the time of installation to help protect it against wear and tear. Still, some substances can certainly leave their marks. Oil, red wine, rust, and other problems may leave behind stains, so it’s essential to clean them up as quickly as possible. Powdered dish detergent will often do the trick. Just sprinkle it on, scrub it in, and let it sit for 20 minutes or so. Then, scrub it again and rinse well.

Avoid using harsh chemicals for stain removal. Extremely abrasive cleaners and strong chemicals can wear away the protective coating on the concrete and leave it vulnerable to the elements. Some chemicals, such as certain types of salts and deicing components, will also damage the finish on the concrete. Use caution when choosing which cleansers you use or other substances you expose the concrete to.

Regular Resealing

As mentioned, concrete is generally covered with a protective coating when it’s installed. Though it helps thwart stains and damage, it doesn’t last forever. Concrete needs to be resealed from time to time. In most cases, having your concrete resealed at least once every five years is enough to keep it looking great. Otherwise, it might start pitting, fading, cracking, and succumbing to stains much more easily.

In a Nutshell

Concrete doesn’t demand much in the way of ongoing care and maintenance. Still, it’s important to take care of it to keep it looking like new. Clean it when necessary, remove serious stains as soon as possible, have it resealed every so often, and don’t expose it to particularly harsh chemicals or corrosive substances. These measures will help ensure your concrete serves you well for decades to come.