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Howie Scarboro

Sidewalk softwash

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So just to start experimenting with mixes, I decided to softwash my concrete sidewalks that have about 2 years time on them since pressure washed.  This sidewalk gets hardly any foot traffic and the dark color is mostly related to the overgrowth of plants on both sides, not dirt or grease.  

 

I used fresh 8.25% bleach, mixed 1:1 with water and a couple ounces of Gain Ultra Original sprayed with a chemical pump sprayer .  I did a spot with full strength 8% bleach and it looked amazing.  Then softwashed at an estimated 4% strength and while it lightened it, it was far from results that you could charge a customer for. The pure bleach is what was required to get out all of the organic coloring.  Perhaps 12.5% on a 1:1 ratio would give it more kick.  I let dwell for about an hour then rinsed for the pictures.  I guess I will need to include a pressure washer in my trailer setup for flatwork.  Has anyone used the Dewalt 4gpm 4200psi pressure washer, seems well priced at $999 and has excellent reviews. 

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So just to start experimenting with mixes, I decided to softwash my concrete sidewalks that have about 2 years time on them since pressure washed.  This sidewalk gets hardly any foot traffic and the dark color is mostly related to the overgrowth of plants on both sides, not dirt or grease.  

 

I used fresh 8.25% bleach, mixed 1:1 with water and a couple ounces of Gain Ultra Original sprayed with a chemical pump sprayer .  I did a spot with full strength 8% bleach and it looked amazing.  Then softwashed at an estimated 4% strength and while it lightened it, it was far from results that you could charge a customer for. The pure bleach is what was required to get out all of the organic coloring.  Perhaps 12.5% on a 1:1 ratio would give it more kick.  I let dwell for about an hour then rinsed for the pictures.  I guess I will need to include a pressure washer in my trailer setup for flatwork.  Has anyone used the Dewalt 4gpm 4200psi pressure washer, seems well priced at $999 and has excellent reviews.

Howie, get, and add some TSP (trisodium phosphate) to your concrete cleaning mix. It will whiten the hell out of concrete. Use 4 to 8 ounces of it per gallon of mix, and only use that strong of a mix on concrete.

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I use tsp and bleach to clean my concrete as well. I also have 2 of those exact dewalt pressure washers on my trailer. Upgrade at home depot.com and get the belt driven one. Mine wont suck water out of my tanks because its direct drive. I have to use small pumps to force water in them so I didnt save any money buying that one. I got a pile of hours on them and they work great though.

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We treat concrete walks and driveways with roof mix.  Be careful running too hot of a mix - you may nuke the grass along the edges. 

 

Presuming you have the budget, do not buy homeowner grade, direct drive pressure washers!  Buy commercial grade, belt drive, with the highest GPM that you can find (that would be 8 or 1`0 GPM).  You need the big machines to be fast, because in this business time is money.

 

This is a very good, 8 gpm machine.  http://pressuretek.com/bedr8gpm35ps.html

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Is CH more effective than SH on concrete, I guess the residue won't matter much on white concrete and it shouldn't hurt the grass and flowers.

​No, it is much weaker for cleaning, and will still kill stuff. This is because the CH still has chlorine in it, when it is wet. This wet CH contacts the grass, and death occurs, same as SH. Only the dried CH residue is a little safer then dried SH. 

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All you really need is something to pretreat,post treat or both. To kill growth and do a better job with the pressure washer. We just cleaned 70 buildings in a housing project with extremly nasty concrete. I tried to pretreat ahead of them but with over two miles of walks I gave up. Huge difference between when i did and when I did'nt. Cost of chemicals adds up also. Some say they can soft wash concrete. I say not Alabama concrete

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