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Phil Rogers

Did I screw up new concrete?

Question

If I clean older driveways, I seem to leave no stripes whatsoever. I cleaned my driveway and my sisters new patio and left stripes (I guess you'd call them zebra stripes?). Since they were pretty new, I am wondering now if I screwed up the new concrete and if so, how can I fix it? Etching with an acid? Sorry to sound so ignorant, I don't clean a lot of concrete, but I only seem to have issues with newer concrete.. Any ideas why that is?

I searched, but only saw topics pertains to stripes left on concrete in general, nothing for newly poured concrete. The concrete in my driveway was about 8 months old when I cleaned it, and the concrete on my sisters patio was roughly 3 months old. Both left similar streaks on the concrete. With the pattern on the concrete, I'd be surprised if I actually physically ruined the concrete, but maybe I am doing something wrong.

With a surface cleaner, are you able to walk backwards like I was trained to do, or is this something that will almost always cause streaks on newer concrete?

Thank you for any help.

Phil

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Also, I was going to seal these surfaces, but I figured I would try to get them looking even so I don't seal a crappy looking driveway or patio.

I did not try downstreaming SH, I tried a concrete cleaner from Sunbrite as the cleaner, but it didn't seem to help much with some of the issues that were going on (leaf stains and tire marks).

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If you saw a whitish runoff from the surface cleaner you were taking off the cream. I would not recommend pressure washing concrete that was poured in the last year. Too risky. There is a way but it involves a weak downstream of muratic or oxalic and a quick rinse without using any close up pressure and only working small sections at a time. Also really be careful with the muratic on new crete so maybe just do oxalic. And keep the pressure low and fanned out and not close to the surface.

Usually new concrete you are just dealing with red mud stains and above procedure will work well.

Edited by Pat Norman

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Thanks for the replies, I will post pictures tonight.

I looked closer at my driveway and it appears that I did do some damage. I'm sure it's the same at my sisters house.

I started my business March 2010, so I've only been in business a little over 1 year and I cleaned this concrete several months ago. My sister thought it looked good, but my driveway was definitely worse. It was my 2nd time using my surface cleaner, but I didn't use any chemicals at the time on the driveway (the person who was training me said I didn't have to on a driveway) and I walked the same speed that I do now when I do use chemical to help break down the dirt, etc..

I've learned a massive amount since then and haven't done this to any other surface since my own and my sisters, but I still want to fix this, if possible. We don't do a lot of concrete, mostly roofs and house washes with the occasional driveway cleaning. After seeing what happened with the new concrete, I never cleaned another surface that was recently poured.

Both of them were well over 30 days old when cleaned, but my sisters was only about 3 months old when I went to clean that. Mine was poured 6 to 8 months before I cleaned, or attempted to clean it.

Wow, talk about something you wish you would have researched before going at it.. Lesson learned.

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If you saw a whitish runoff from the surface cleaner you were taking off the cream. I would not recommend pressure washing concrete that was poured in the last year. Too risky. There is a way but it involves a weak downstream of muratic or oxalic and a quick rinse without using any close up pressure and only working small sections at a time. Also really be careful with the muratic on new crete so maybe just do oxalic. And keep the pressure low and fanned out and not close to the surface.

Usually new concrete you are just dealing with red mud stains and above procedure will work well.

+1

Did my patio that was 18 months old, i new I should not have put the surface cleaner to it without changing the nozzles (to lower pressure) but I was was lazy, (after washing house deck moving the the furniture etc) i decided to lower the rpm on the motor, looked good when in progress but when it was semi dried, I could see the strips, (not terrible) but visible to the trained eye, down stream oxalic acid, it did help a little, but I did that to punch up the color.

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+1

Did my patio that was 18 months old, i new I should not have put the surface cleaner to it without changing the nozzles (to lower pressure) but I was was lazy, (after washing house deck moving the the furniture etc) i decided to lower the rpm on the motor, looked good when in progress but when it was semi dried, I could see the strips, (not terrible) but visible to the trained eye, down stream oxalic acid, it did help a little, but I did that to punch up the color.

Hey there, Nigel! I didn't know you posted on here. We spoke about 2 months ago when I was looking for someone to clean a grease spill at the school that I work at full time. Hope the season is starting off nicely for you.

Celeste, so I am probably going to have to resurface this, aren't I? Any tips for a newbie at this? There is grass all around my sisters patio and I know acids (muriatic?) will eat that up. My driveway I'm not worried about since the grass isn't all around it.

Thanks for chiming in, everyone. I learned from my mistakes on these.. I knew nothing about replacing the nozzles with the larger size before, so in the future, this definitely won't happen.

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Celeste, so I am probably going to have to resurface this, aren't I? Any tips for a newbie at this? There is grass all around my sisters patio and I know acids (muriatic?) will eat that up. My driveway I'm not worried about since the grass isn't all around it.

Oh probably not.....and for the type resurfacing you could do - muriatic is NOT necessary. No worries - just show us!!

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At least he had the common sense & foresight to work on family first - so many newbies just load up and off they go to make mistakes on customer's property!

And I'll bet its not as bad as you think :) Chances are every one of us on here has had a worse disaster WITH experience!

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post-6056-137772380263_thumb.jpg Well, here is the evidence that I used my surface cleaner as a weapon of mass driveway destruction.

Aside from using chemical to clean driveways now, my speed and everything else is essentially the same. As I mentioned, I've cleaned plenty of driveways that have been laid for years and they turn out beautiful with no marks. It's been quite a while since I attempted to clean or fix my driveway, so fixing this, removing the rust spots, and sealing it are pretty high up on the "To Do" list right now. After I fix my own and find out that I don't mess it up more, I'll fix my sisters.

Thanks for helping me out. This is embarrassing for me, but if I don't share it for myself and others to learn, then I or someone else will just do the same thing.

post-6056-137772379897_thumb.jpg

post-6056-137772380211_thumb.jpg

post-6056-137772380229_thumb.jpg

post-6056-137772380247_thumb.jpg

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Hey Phil, did not put it together, that it was you. Hey when you have a roof to do, I would like to tag along if thats ok

Nigel, sure.. Where are you located? I have roofs to clean just about every week, so I can call when I'm in your area.

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from the pics in my opinion it looks like you have two options, wand the entire driveway to blend into the amount of cream that was removed in the areas that you see the overlap marks. Or stain the driveway to cover it.

Thanks for the offer Phil , will give you a call to set something up.

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Thanks for the advice. I'm going to clean everything up next week. Our HOA will only allow a clear sealer, so covering it won't be possible. I'll just be sealing in the ugliness!

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Wanding will take to long, We don't surface clean concrete newer than 1 1/2 years. Cut down on damage

What do you do in this situation, then? I will not use my surface cleaner on newer concrete ever again, what a mess!

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We've used our surface cleaner on new (uncured) concrete with no damage. It's all in the tips and the stop/start. Don't cut yourself out of work!

+1

even when very careful the overlapping of the surface cleaner may create an issue

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Thanks for the advice. I'm going to clean everything up next week. Our HOA will only allow a clear sealer, so covering it won't be possible. I'll just be sealing in the ugliness!

There may be a concrete stain that looks very very close to your look of new concrete. May still have to get it approved by the HOA

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The guys a Southern Stain and Seal have a sealer from Wakefield Manufacturing that would fit the bill just fine. You might still see the lines but everything will be one color. Yes they do have a new concrete color. It is not cheap but it is the best that I have found. Southern stain and seal is the US distributor for the product so you can't get it from the MFG.

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