Cleaning concrete periodically and keeping it sealed with the proper sealer are key components to extending the life of a concrete surface and enhancing its beauty. How often one should clean and reseal is largely dependent on the conditions the concrete is exposed to, especially weather extremes, atmospheric contaminants, sunlight intensity and in the case of horizontal concrete; the amount of foot or vehicle traffic. It can be difficult to tell when concrete is in need of cleaning, because the dirt and grime can build up slowly and gradually darken the surface appearance. Surfaces which are severely stained by oil, grease, rust, carbon build-up, mold or efflorescence pose less of a mystery, as to when to clean. The type of surface such as; exterior slab, interior floor, walls or structure, determines the type of cleaning which can be done, as well as, the products which can be used. Concrete is porous, holds dirt well, and can be a tough surface to clean. Even with the best cleaner, good old-fashioned elbow grease, a pressure washer and patience really make the difference when removing a stubborn stain from concrete. Once the process is done, the results of freshly cleaned concrete are very noticeable and the use of either a penetrating or surface sealer is highly recommended, in order to protect and preserve the hard work and expense which went in to the cleaning process. Penetrating sealers become part of the concrete and have a longer life cycle than surface sealers. Surface lying sealers generally have a glossier appearance than their penetrating sealer counterparts.

Concrete curing compounds can also provide concrete protection, by way of sealing a surface, but they must be applied at the time of new concrete placement. New concrete is generally sealed after it has been properly cured for 28 days. The sealers used would be the same choices as those selected for use after cleaning older concrete.

Salmon Bay carries a number of products from several manufacturers which can properly address your cleaning and sealing needs. As with the use of most construction chemicals (especially cleaners) we would recommend that they are handled by professionals who have the experience and equipment necessary to do the job safely and properly.