The Easiest Method for Removing Oil Stains from Concrete Driveways

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Over the years I’ve had hundreds of common requests to power wash various types of horizontal concrete surfaces such as driveways, sidewalks, patios and pool-decks but every once in awhile I would also receive inquiries about the need to remove oil stains from some of these concrete surfaces. Most of the time the oil stains would be created as a result of people parking motor-vehicles with leaky engines, on their driveways. Other types of oily stains could come from transmission, brake or power steering fluid.

Now unlike trying to use a pressure washer to physically remove substances such as dirt, green algae, surface mold or mildew and hard-water depositing from concrete, oil stains will consist of at least 90 percent of the oily substance being below the actual surface of the concrete, where the water pressure coming from the power washing unit would have little to no effect in being able to remove the oily substance and if anything, may actually tend to drive a bit of the oil down further. The only oil that would be removed or dissipated would be the part that was on or above the concrete surface.

As I’ve found out through the years by doing a little bit of research, there actually are a few products on the market that usually do wonders when it comes to removing oil stains from concrete surfaces but before revealing these products I just want to go over what most people tend to believe or think of when it comes to trying to remove oil stains. For some strange reason so many homeowners think that degreasing products will save the day..   from ultra dish-washing liquid all the way up to industrial strength degreasers..  I’ve heard it all.

You can try scrubbing those types of cleaning products into your oil stains with a nylon or wire brush all day long with hot water (with or without using a pressure washer to do the final rinsing) and all you might get is a slight visual improvement along with a sore wrist and a really sweaty t-shirt. The only instance where those methods would have an honest shot of removal would be if the oil stain was just created only minutes before the removal attempt..  otherwise the oily substance must be extracted from the concrete.

So in the end, pressure cleaning has very little to do with properly removing oil from concrete. The most efficient and complete way to get rid of oil stains from concrete surfaces is to use products made for extracting. The extraction method provides a lot of Pro’s and no Con’s (that I can think of) and the best part is that the oil cleaning process can usually be performed by most homeowners for about $15 and a trip to their local home improvement store.

There’s a few companies that make similar oil extracting products but the one I typically recommend to my customers is called:  Pour-N-Restore

A 32oz bottle goes for about $15 at Home Depot, Lowe’s or Ace Hardware. With a  bottle that size you should be able to cover the removal of an oil stain that’s 3 to 6 square feet in size. In some cases you may have to repeat the process an extra time in order to reach complete stain removal.

The application process is simple. Be sure to remove as much of the oil from the top of the surface as possible without going to extremes..  it doesn’t need to be perfect. Once you’ve done that and that area is fairly dry, it’s time to apply a quarter inch thick coat of the product over the stained area. The product has the consistency of drywall joint compound and will dry overnight as long as it doesn’t get rained on.

By the very next day all you need to do is sweep the dry product into a dust pan and inspect to determine whether an additional application is needed in order to achieve the desired level of removal.

So as you can tell, the removal of oil stains is basically a piece of cake now due to having the option mentioned above..  most of the time if someone calls to tell me that they just have an oil stain or stains they need removed, I just tell them how easy & inexpensive Pour-N-Restore is to use and unless they feel a need to have me pressure wash the whole concrete surface, they usually end up doing the oil stain removal themselves in order to save money.

But for those of you that may be in the Port St Lucie Area and have an interest in having Bill’s Pressure Cleaning PLUS Barrel & Flat-Tile Roof Cleaning take care of your Pressure Washing needs, please visit my homepage for more info and general pricing by clicking on the link below. Thank You

Bill’s Pressure Cleaning  –  Port St Lucie  (772) 708 – 3969

See Our “Before & After” Cleaning Photos – Bills Pressure Cleaning

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Why it’s Extremely Important to Chemically Treat and Pressure Wash Mildew Before it’s Too Late

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OK, even though it doesn’t fall under a “life or death” situation, I was certainly hoping to get your attention because in the specific subject of outdoor property cleaning which includes Pressure Washing and Chemical Treatment, the information in the blog post is quite valuable.

It’s unfortunate but Mildew is almost always misunderstood by the masses as I’ve been finding out ever since I started my pressure cleaning service in 2007. To sum it up, most of the people I’ve come across over the years have thought that mildew lays on top of surfaces, similar to dust, dirt and green algae. The truth is that only part of it grows above surfaces while the rest of it grows below that same surface. I call the part that grows below, the mildews “root system” because its structure reminds me of a layer of sod.

The part of the mildew that resides above the surface usually comes right off when commercial grade equipment is used. Unfortunately the same can’t always be said for the part that resides below the surface and for that reason power washing operators just about always pre-treat most surfaces with a chlorine mixture because it helps weaken mildew just enough to make removing it with pressure washing, a whole lot easier. It also leads to the surface looking a whole lot better.

Now I need to discuss that part of the blog title where I mentioned “before it’s too late”. The thing about the root system of mildew that’s really bad is that the longer it’s left to keep growing below a surface, the harder it becomes to remove. You see, the longer it grows, the farther down it gets..  and that’s not all that happens. It also creates a stronger, more resilient rooting network which after a certain period of time, can result in it almost being impossible to completely remove all of the mildew from below a surface.

This is not good because whatever amount of that mildew that doesn’t break free and come up, will be somewhat still visible plus will also be available to start the regeneration process all over again right away and those are 2 situations we always want to avoid.

Now the example scenario above actually had mildew growing on and within concrete even though I never mentioned it until now, but what if the surface was something more like paint or wood..  something much softer or thinner than your average concrete patio, pooldeck or driveway?

Well that usually makes matters even worse because now it’s more difficult to use any great deal of pressure to assist in that removal and this is definitely why it’s imperative to not let mildew stay on surfaces for too long. Once that root system starts growing it’s bad news for these building materials..  especially paint and wood which would be noticeably damaged by extreme attempts to remove mildew like that.

On painted surfaces the mildew basically displaces and damages the paint. It weakens the paint so much that even if it’s not that old yet it will usually begin to rinse right off during a pressure cleaning process done with or without chemical pre-treatment. And down here in Florida where paint takes a constant beating from the UV rays of the sun, it makes matters 2 times worse.

Wood can also be a touchy material to deal with because it’s somewhat too soft to hold up to high pressure. It also doesn’t fare well when treated with chlorine either, so again this is why mildew must not be taken lightly. It must be kept up with instead of being put off like you could do if it was just like dust and dirt. And even thought green algae may seem similar to mildew, it doesn’t have the root system that mildew has. It basically does just grow on the surface.

Mildew Removal should never be attempted with a residential grade machine because it rarely ever removes most of the mildew.

So for those of you that may be in the Port St Lucie Area and have an interest in having Bill’s Pressure Cleaning PLUS Barrel & Flat-Tile Roof Cleaning take care of your Pressure Washing needs, please visit my homepage for more info and general pricing by clicking on the link below. Thank You

Bill’s Pressure Cleaning  –  Port St Lucie  (772) 708 – 3969

See Our “Before & After” Cleaning Photos – Bills Pressure Cleaning

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Why Hire a Professional Pressure Washing Company to Clean for You ?

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So when it comes down to it..  the ultimate question is:  Why should everyone hire a Professional Pressure Washing Company to clean for them? Well the answer to that question is actually quite simple but there is a few aspects I’ll need to go over with you in order to explain.

OK before I begin though..  I know there’s thousands of homeowners out there that insist or have insisted on trying to do their own power washing..  and no offense to you guys and gals but hopefully by the time I finish writing this post and you’ve finished reading it, I’ll not only have done my profession justice but you’ll also begin to realize why doing it yourself just makes very little sense.

The first point that needs to be made is probably the most important one and that is the fact that pressure cleaning companies and operators obviously use power washing equipment that’s far superior to what an average homeowner would use to do cleanings. This means a few things in itself such as the fact that the commercial grade pressure washing unit will always have greater performance specs (higher output pressure & more water volume).

So what does that mean for you, the homeowner? Generally two things in most cases. With a much greater cleaning performance, the professional operator will be able to provide your surfaces with a deep-down clean instead of leaving behind about 20 to 25% of that deep rooted mildew that the residential grade machines almost always leave behind. So not only will your surfaces immediately look so much cleaner, they will also stay cleaner for about 35% longer, which in the long run means it wont need to be cleaned as often by comparison.

The other aspect of using a commercial grade pressure washer with it’s greater performance specs is that because of it’s higher water volume, it will also get the job done about 5 to 20 times faster depending on the specific task. That may seem drastic but for example when we clean flat-work such as driveways and patio surfaces, we attach a specialized cleaning unit to the end of our high pressure hose called a rotary surface washer. That device coupled with a commercial grade machine can knockout flat-work in minutes instead of hours by comparison. So as you can see already, there are two extremely awesome benefits that occur when you have a professional pressure washing operator do the cleaning for you.

And we’re not done yet..  there’s more benefits !

Here’s a real good one..  why in the world would you want to slave away for hours trying to get the objects on your property cleaned when you can have a knowledgeable, experienced person with the right equipment do it for you. Besides having a backache for the next 2 to 3 days and realizing that your residential grade machine honestly doesn’t cut it, by now you have to admit it makes more sense hiring a pro to do this type of cleaning.

Think of it this way..  no more hours / days of labor for you (with that aching back)..  no more having to deal with maintaining your own machine..  no more running for fuel or cleaning chemicals associated with power washing..  and best of all “Look How Much Cleaner Everything Is and How Much Longer That Cleaning Lasts When It’s Done Right”

There’s a few more benefits to having a professional pressure cleaning company come in to do the cleanings for you but I believe I’ve covered the most important aspects. All in all, it really does pay to have a professional do the job for you correctly the first time and each time after but for those of you who still insist on doing it yourself and have questions, go ahead and use the comment form on my contact page and I’ll get back to you as soon as I’m available.

And for those of you that may be in the Port St Lucie Area and have an interest in having Bill’s Pressure Cleaning PLUS Barrel & Flat-Tile Roof Cleaning take care of your Pressure Washing needs, please visit my homepage for more info and general pricing by clicking on the link below. Thank You

Bill’s Pressure Cleaning  –  Port St Lucie  (772) 708 – 3969

See Our “Before & After” Cleaning Photos – Bills Pressure Cleaning

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3 Important Reasons to Continually Pressure Wash Your Driveway and Patio Surface

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Almost everywhere you go in the Port St Lucie area you’ll see houses and along with those houses you’ll see driveways. Driving through all the neighborhoods in the area over the years has led me to see many driveways but it’s always been the ones that looked dark grey, dirty and weathered that really stood out the most. Unfortunately that’s not something you would want your driveway or property to be known for but surprisingly enough there’s so many driveways out there that fit that description. Pressure Wash

Fortunately there’s a quick and cost effective solution to this issue but first let’s go over what usually makes driveways look that way. Aside from actual dirt, rust & other minerals depositing from untreated sprinkler systems, most of the time you’ll eventually end up with some combination of black mold, mildew and possibly a few patches of green algae.

Depending on the type and how much foliage resides near these concrete based surfaces helps determine how fast and how much the potential growth of black mold, mildew or green algae there will be. There are many potential contributors to these micro organisms but most of the time it tends to start by spreading from the different forms of tree, grass, weeds and plant life nearby. Wind and rain usually help with the process of spreading but other factors often come into play as well.

There are many important reasons why it’s essential to maintain your driveway and other concrete based surfaces such as your sidewalks, patio and pool deck  through pressure washing. The most obvious reason for having and keeping your driveway surface clean should be the simple fact that clean driveways generally tend to look better than nasty, dirty looking ones. Hands down curb appeal is a no-brainer. Not only would your neighbors and other thru-traffic observers appreciate seeing clean, newer looking driveways, wouldn’t it also make you feel better knowing that you keep it clean for quite a few reasons?

Most people never truly think about it, but leaving black mold, mildew and green algae has a high potential of being a safety risk and health hazard. Besides the fact these micro organisms tend to look darker and a bit thicker each time it rains and they soak up water, they also tend to become slippery. The situation is a “slip & fall” just waiting to happen on your property..  so whether it was to happen to you, a family member (young or old), a friend or even a public service worker such as a delivery person walking up your driveway & walkway to get to your front door, it’s no laughing matter once it’s too late. Pressure Wash

Before I even get to the next important reason for keeping things clean, the bottom line is this..  at the time of this posting (2015) the going rate here in St Lucie County & Martin County to have a professional power washing service come out to clean a 4 car capacity, solid concrete Driveway, which is the average size of a driveway setting in front of a 2 car garage, would be between $55 to $75 depending on the exact condition of that surface and the location / distance of the job site.

Obviously if the cleaning service has to use more detergent and/or spend more time than average to complete the project, the price charged would be on the higher end of that range. The same holds true for job sites located further away from company home-base. Either way $55 to $75 spend every 1 to 2 years is a wise investment to make considering the alternative. Pressure Wash

In most cases, driveway and sidewalk surfaces should be professionally cleaned between every 12 to 18 months but I have seen a few exceptions to the rules. Generally speaking the idea isn’t to wait until it starts getting bad..  it should always be maintained in order to avoid those bad situations. It’s all about maintaining and preventing.

Before wrapping up this post, there is one more reason for maintaining your concrete based surfaces and I bet almost no one really thinks about this, but anywhere you see mildew or black mold it’s a possible health risk. The potential to cause respiratory issues is definitely there for everyone and should be most concerning to the elderly and those that already have related issues. One more thing to note when it comes to these micro organisms is that can spread quickly and easily from outdoors to indoors just by walking on them so again it can’t be stressed enough how important it is to keep those outside surfaces clean and sanitized as much as possible. Pressure Wash

So whether you have me come out to clean for you or you find another qualified, local company do the job, now you know how important it is to have your outdoor surfaces properly cleaned and regularly maintained.

In my next few posts I’ll be talking about the type of equipment pressure cleaning companies use to do typical tasks such as cleaning concrete surfaces, cleaning home exteriors and cleaning screen enclosures. Without discussing specific brands of chemicals or detergents I’ll also go over basic cleaning processes & applications.

If you’re in the Port St Lucie Area and you’re interested in having Bill’s Pressure Cleaning PLUS Barrel & Flat-Tile Roof Cleaning take care of your Pressure Washing needs, please visit my homepage for more info and general pricing by clicking on the link below. Thank You

Pressure Wash

Bill’s Pressure Cleaning  –  Port St Lucie  (772) 708 – 3969

See Our “Before & After” Cleaning Photos – Bills Pressure Cleaning

 

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