Curb appeal is one of the most important things you can focus on for your home. When your home’s exterior looks great, it can add as much as seven percent to your home’s value. While landscaping is important, it’s not the only feature you need to focus on and maintain. You need to turn your attention to your concrete walkways, patios, floors, and features, too.
Though concrete itself is easy to maintain, it can and will get dirty quickly. The dirtier it gets, the dingier your home’s exterior will look. If you’re like most homeowners, you’re wondering how to clean concrete effectively so it can continue to add value to your property. Follow this simple guide and keep your concrete cleaner every day.
The best way to keep your concrete clean throughout the year is to sweep it every few days. Use a stiff-bristled broom and sweep up dirt and debris in short, firm strokes. Your standard household broom should be enough to get you started. However, if you’re cleaning a large swath of concrete at once, you’ll want to invest in a large push broom. This will allow you to clean more surface area with each movement.
Start with the corner of concrete closest to your house and sweep away from the siding or wall. Work your way down the concrete surface, brushing the dirt toward the yard. If you’re sweeping concrete floors inside your house, sweep all debris toward an exterior door or push it into a pile that you can vacuum up. Sweeping regularly will help keep dirt and debris from settling into the concrete. Over time, it will keep the surface cleaner and make it easier to deep clean a few times each year.
Spot Clean as Needed
Unsealed concrete stains easily and quickly, but small stains are relatively easy to clean up and remove. All you need to do is figure out what caused the stain in the first place. For general dirt stains, mix a bit of dish detergent with some warm water and wet the spot in question. Then, use a stiff nylon-bristled scrub brush to lift away the dirt. Once you’re done scrubbing, rinse the area with clean water. For fresh oil stains, soak up the spilled oil with clay kitty litter and let it sit for at least an hour. Then, sweep up the litter and throw it in the trash. This is often enough to get rid of the oil completely.
If there’s still a stain, pick up a dedicated oil stain remover from your local hardware store and follow the instructions on the package. Rinse the solution away with your hose once you’re done. For rust stains, all you need to do is pour a generous amount of white vinegar on the rust spot. Let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing with a nylon-bristled brush. The acid in the vinegar should be enough to get rid of the stain for good.
Rinse Outdoor Surfaces Every Month
While sweeping is always best for cleaning concrete weekly, you’ll also want to rinse the dirt that your broom misses. Whenever possible, rinse your outdoor concrete surfaces with a high-pressure spray nozzle once a month. This will help keep dirt from building up in the cracks and crevasses.
If you’re in an area with watering restrictions, rent a pressure washer from your local hardware store and use it to power away the dirt once every six months. This will let you get rid of the dirt buildup so sweeping will be enough to keep your concrete cleaner between pressure washing sessions. Keep in mind that pressure washing is something you should only do occasionally. If you do it too frequently, you can damage your concrete.
Mop Indoor Floors Every Week
Concrete is an incredibly versatile flooring choice for inside your home, but there are a few tricks to keeping it clean. The best way to clean concrete floors inside your house is to mop them once a week after sweeping or vacuuming the surface. Use a mild soap like dish detergent or castile soap to lift up the dirt. After mopping the floor with soapy water, rinse the mop out thoroughly and mop again with clean water to get rid of soapy residue. This will keep your floors looking great every week.
Reseal the Surface as Needed
Indoor floors often have stains and sealants applied when they’re installed. This helps protect the concrete from stains and excess moisture. Over time, the protective coating will start to wear away. When it does, the concrete beneath will be vulnerable to damage. At least once a year, take a good look at your concrete floor. If you notice patches where the sealant, polish, or stain looks worn, reseal the floor. This will help make sure your flooring lasts for as long as possible. Remember, spreading sealant is always going to be cheaper than repairing or replacing the damaged concrete.
Replace Damaged Concrete As Needed
Damaged concrete doesn’t just look unsightly. It’s also hard to clean and can hurt your home’s value. While keeping your concrete clean is always important, it’s also important that you replace it whenever it gets damaged. If you have damaged concrete surfaces on your property, hire a contractor and let them repair the concrete if possible. If the surface is too damaged for repairs, consider replacing it with high-quality alternatives to concrete. Concrete alternatives are even lower maintenance than standard concrete and give you more color choices, patterns, and textures to choose from.
Know You Know How to Clean Concrete Easily
If you’ve been wondering how to clean concrete around your property, this guide will help you keep the worst of the dirt and grime at bay. Keep these tips in mind the next time you inspect your concrete floors and walkways. If you notice any signs of wear and tear or damage, get it taken care of as soon as possible. The sooner you do, the longer your concrete surfaces will last. Looking for information on how to keep your home in good condition? Check out our latest posts for more tips and tricks.