Most homeowners are surprised to learn that their concrete requires routine care and maintenance. In the world of home maintenance expense, taking care of your concrete isn’t particularly costly but, especially if you have decorative or stamped concrete, implementing a simple and regular concrete care program can add to the life of your home’s concrete surfaces.

Never underestimate the benefit of a good cleaning – it doesn’t cost anything and it really does make a difference! For interior concrete floor finishes, keep the surface free of dirt and dust by regularly sweeping and damp mopping. Follow up with a floor wax or polish for additional protection if your floor is subjected to a lot of foot and pet traffic.

For exterior concrete surfaces, periodically rinse the finish with water from a garden hose. In the winter, immediately remove all snow and ice and make sure you pile it away from the edges of your concrete.  Salts or chemicals can damage the concrete’s surface, so use sand or cat litter for traction on icy surfaces. On warmer days throughout the winter, thoroughly hose off the residual materials (mag chloride, road de-icers, dirt and grime) brought onto your driveway and into your garage from your vehicles.

For stubborn dirt, tire marks, leaf stains, etc., apply a mild detergent like Simple Green. Scrub the surface with a stiff nylon brush followed by water from a garden hose or power washer. Simple Green also works for oil and grease stains.  You can also use an alkaline de-greaser and then power wash with hot water.  For heavy rust stains, cleaners containing oxalic acid are the most effective.