Restoring Concrete To Its Original Look

Restoring concrete to its original look can be effectively and efficiently achieved by pressure washing the surface. Over time concrete will absorb oils, mildew will start to grow on the surface, and black grime will get imbedded into the pores. Pressure washing will remove these contaminants by using significant pressure to blast away the dirt and mildew.

When you are using a pressure washer to restore concrete, you must make sure the concrete will not get damaged when pressure washing.  Concrete that is flaking or is weak will be etched by the pressure, this will create an unpleasant look. When the concrete is not in good condition to use a high PSI pressure washer,  you must use detergents to restore the concrete.

Concrete Spalling

Concrete spalling is often caused by improperly placing the rebar or wire mesh when pouring the concrete. If the rebar is to close to the top of the concrete slab, as water soaks into the concrete it will start to corrode the rebar. This will cause the rebar to expand, weakening the concrete above the piece of rebar.

Concrete Spalling

Concrete Spalling

If you look left of the blue line, you will notice there is a crack starting to form, this crack is right above a piece of rebar corroding. When we tap the concrete with a hammer we hear a hollow sound. To repair this we have to break out all the loose concrete, cut 90 degree edges, pressure wash & clean the rebar, and apply a non-shrink repair mortar.

Spalling Concrete Cause By Corroding Rebar

Spalling Concrete Cause By Corroding Rebar

Right after we start to chip out the bad concrete a piece of rebar started to stick out. This was the main cause of the damaged concrete. It is very important to place rebar and wire mesh at the proper place when pouring concrete.

Spalled Concrete Area Chiseled Out

Spalled Concrete Area Chiseled Out

Concrete Resurfaced & Stained

Concrete Resurfaced & Stained

After the concrete was chiseled out we applied Miracote RM 2 and then finished of the spalled concrete repair by resurfacing the area with Miracote MPC, and then applied a grey stain to match the bricks.

Prepping Exterior Concrete Before Staining

Stained concrete outside helps make the concrete more pleasing. It is one of the easiest DIY projects as the prep work and equipment needed to stain concrete is minimal. There are a few guidelines when prepping the concrete before staining:

  • Pressure washing will remove most stains from the concrete. Be careful not to hold the nozzle to close to the concrete or you will etch an unwanted pattern that will show up when finished staining and sealing the surface. 
  • Oil stains can be faded with degreasers found at the hardware store. Be sure to thoroughly rinse the surface afterwards, because the degreasers will be very sudsy. The oil might not come out on the first try, a couple of tries might be needed. Some time you will be left with a shadow of where the oil stain was.
  • Hard water stains can be removed with CLR or similar products, but do not use if you are planning on staining the concrete with an acid stain. This will deplete some of the lime the acid stain works with to produce the color in the concrete. If you need to use CLR you will have to use a water or solvent based dye to stain the concrete.
  • For exterior surfaces that are very dirty and after trying the above steps still won’t come clean, the last resort would be to grind the concrete. You will need to rent a grinder from a rental place. This will take the top surface of the concrete off, so you will see some aggregate in the concrete.

Concrete Restoration

Concrete restoration is the process of restoring concrete to be functional again and pleasing to the eye. Processes used to restore concrete are:

  • Resurfacing
  • Sealing joints
  • Crack sealing
  • Concrete grinding
  • Removing unsound concrete (spalled areas)
  • Pressure washing

Concrete restoring is a cost affective way to fix concrete without tearing out and re-pouring. Concrete can be restored anywhere there are problems; whether it is a concrete driveway, sidewalk, tilt-up walls, stucco walls, concrete walls, parking garages, curbs, and parking lots.

If you have any problems with your concrete such as: cracks in the concrete, concrete spalling, concrete discoloration, and concrete joints that are un-even; give us a call at (210) 422-6116 for a free consultation.