Northwest Washington homeowners are often plagued with a common concrete maintenance issue this time of the year.  We affectionately refer to it as “grungy concrete.”

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Image:  Build-up of dirt, mildew, pine needles and more

The grungy build-up comes from exposure to damp, shady conditions for extended periods of time.  Over the winter months, paved surfaces can become coated with dirt, mildew, moss, and pine needles. What were once clean and tidy driveways, paths, and patios become quite dingy.

The good news is that concrete surfaces can be cleaned – homeowners can get rid of “grungy concrete” and freshen up outdoor living spaces to increase their home’s curb appeal and prepare for summer entertaining.

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Image:  Driveway pressure washing, before and after

At Custom Concrete Contracting we recommend Bellingham and Whatcom County homeowners pressure wash hard surfaces (like concrete) at least one time per year.  This can be done as a DIY (do it yourself) project or professional service providers can be hired to tackle the job.

For those that prefer the DIY route, we have assembled these top pressure washing tips:

  • Rent or buy a good quality pressure washer (at least 2,000 psi)
  • Wear safety glasses
  • Dress appropriately for the job (long pants, long sleeves, boots)
  • Clear the area completely before starting
  • Start in a less visible spot until you have a feel for how the machine responds
  • Work in systematic manner – one line or square at a time
  • Use a slow and steady method for the best results

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Image:  Pressure washing creates a clean, well-maintained surface

Once concrete surfaces are cleaned, our concrete pros recommend applying a high quality sealant.  Use a high quality acrylic product on aggregate surfaces (every 2 – 3 years) and a water based sealant on regular concrete or broom finishes (every 3-5 years).

Custom Concrete Contracting has added two helpful sealant resources to our website:

Those that would rather not tackle this often messy and time consuming maintenance task will need to plan ahead a bit.  Spring and summer months are often busy times for concrete and pressure washing companies.  It’s best to get on their schedule in January or February!