Driveways experience a lot of wear and tear over their lives. Whether it is residential or commercial, your driveway probably has seen a lot of use over its years. Motor oil is one of the most common and hard to clean stains on concrete. However, many other substances can stain concrete as well, and they might be equally hard to clean up. Concrete stains so easily because it is porous. When substances come in contact with it, they seep into every crack and crevice in the surface. It is hard to clean for exactly the same reason. It is porous and rough, making it very hard to clean with a brush or rag. A pressure washer is one of the best tools for driveway cleaning. Before you know how to clean a driveway, you should know how it gets stained.
Tannins are biological molecules that are sometimes called vegetable tannins or organic tannins. They are bitter compounds that are known for giving wines some of their flavors. However, they are no friend to your driveway. The compound stains concrete. Typically, tannin stains are found underneath oak trees and fir trees because oak is a very common source of tannins. In fact, acorns are used for making leather out of animal hides. That is why the process is called tanning. They have to be removed using a chemical agent. No driveway cleaning will be able to remove tannins with pressure alone. Detergents must be applied to loosen the stains. This also reduces the amount of pressure needed to clean the concrete, which reduces the chances of damaging the concrete.
After a detergent is applied, the concrete needs to be pressure cleaned. Too much pressure can damage the cream coat on concrete, exposing the aggregate underneath. Therefore, concrete should not be pressure washed at any intensity higher than 3,500 psi. More pressure will not create a better clean. However, maintaining a good balance of gallons per minute to pounds per square inch will create the best clean possible.
Some pressure wash companies will leave it at that. That will possibly result in a clean driveway though some tannin stains might remain. Also, your driveway will still be susceptible to the exact same problem. All of the best driveway cleaning services will treat your driveway after it has been pressure washed. The after-pressure treatment will lift away the remaining tanning stains and also help to protect your driveway from the stains in the future. They will not make your concrete impervious to tannins, but they will make it slightly more resistant. Also, a good post treatment should make it easier to clean the next time you need to have your driveway pressure washed. To know more about Driveway Cleaning contact CentraFlo Pressure Cleaning, LLC. You can also follow them on Twitter.