How To Properly Clean A Concrete Porch Before Applying A Sealant

If your home's concrete porch has seen better days, then cleaning and sealing it will make it look better and help extend its life. Before you reach for a container of sealant, first you must properly clean the concrete slab to remove any dirt and visible stains.

If you've never cleaned concrete before, then follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Choose the Right Cleaning Product

There are four types of readily available concrete cleaning solutions, each with its own purpose. They are:

  1. pH Neutral - Used on lightly soiled exterior slabs
  2. Acidic - Used to remove rust and other stubborn stains
  3. Alkaline - Used to breakdown grease and oils
  4. Enzymatic - Used to breakdown protein and starch stains such as pet urine and bird feces

Take a good look at the stains on the porch and choose the most appropriate cleaner. If there are different types of stains on your porch, then you may need to use two cleaners in order to experience the best results.

Step 2: Prepare the Concrete Cleaner and the Porch

In a pump sprayer, mix your chosen concrete cleaner according to its instructions. Before applying the cleaner, make sure you cover any adjoining walls or landscaping with inexpensive plastic sheeting typically available in the painting aisle at your local hardware store.

Step 3: Apply the Concrete Cleaning Solution and Scrub the Porch

Sweep off any dust and dirt from the porch then liberally spray it with the cleaning solution. Let the cleaner sit on the porch for a few minutes to work through the stains, then scrub it clean with a plastic-bristle deck brush.

Step 4: Wash Off the Porch

Using your garden hose equipped with a spray nozzle, wash the cleaner off of the concrete. If you used an acidic cleaner, then use a lot of water to ensure it's entirely removed.

Step 5: Repeat if the Porch Still Looks Dirty

If your porch still has stains after it has dried, then repeat the above steps. If you have cleaned a porch twice with the same cleaner and it still has stains, you may need to use a different type of cleaner. If the porch is still stained after using two surface cleaners, then you can try to clean it with a pressure washer. 

Step 6: Apply a Concrete Sealant to the Clean Porch

Finally, now that your home's concrete porch is clean, the best thing you can do is to apply a sealant. Sealants are inexpensive, protect concrete from weather and sun damage, and make future porch cleaning projects much easier.

For more tips, contact a concrete cleaning service near you.