If you live in a home you probably have concrete somewhere on your property. This could include a driveway, walkway, garage floor, patio area, foundation for your home, and of course the cool deck surrounding your pool. Concrete has been used for centuries as a building product invented by the Romans. Concrete is mainly comprised of Portland Cement, Fly Ash, Slag Cement, Aggregate, and coloring agents. Sanded grout in your tile floors, kitchen countertops, vanities, & showers are also a type of concrete. When mixed with water these materials will dry and harden to form concrete.
Probably the largest area of concrete that people would most like to restore is their garage floors. Over time a garage floor can become quite dirty with motor oil, tire tracks, dirt, and something called Efflorescence. When you clean your garage floor with water the concrete will dry from the inside out. While it is drying the water pushes a mineral called calcium carbonate to the surface. This is a common occurence that has been labeled - Efflorescence. Over time more and more of this white powdery residue will appear. This phenomenon is also common in clay bricks.
In order to restore your concrete floor you first should know that concrete has a pH level of 11.0 and any type of acid should NOT be used. You will need to use a high alkaline cleaner with a quality degreasing agent with a pH level of 12.0 to 14.0. The concrete floor should be cleaned with something that is environmentally safe for obvious reasons. You will want to use hot steamy water to clean and rinse the floor with. Hot water will help to melt the ground in oils and dirt that has lodged into the pores of the concrete. Your number one problem will be extracting the water and grime from the floor and your number two problem will be drying times.
After cleaning the floor you will want to treat the Efflorescence. There are products out that there that will push the calcium carbonate back down into the concrete keeping it from reaching the surface. Finally the surface should be sealed with a quality concrete sealer to keep dirt, grime, and oil from lodging into the pores. This may take 1-2 days to completely dry out depending on weather conditions. To keep the floor looking good you will want to use a more gentle cleaning product with a pH level of 7.0 to 8.0. A micro fiber mop may help you mop up the water making for faster drying times.
I hope this article has been helpful to you. If you have questions please email me at email@example.com or give me a call at (916) 525-2456.