Environmentally Friendly Ways To Clean Mold Off Concrete Patios
Indoor and outdoor mold can grow on concrete surfaces like patios and basement floors and walls. When mold appears indoors, it can present a health hazard. Outdoors, mold can mar the appearance of the patio and make the patio surface slick. You should remove this mold quickly, but without negatively affecting the environment.
If you use harsh chemicals outdoors, you can kill plants due to chemicals in the runoff.
Indoors you could impart chemicals into the air 1. There are means to avoid both problems.
Using Bleach To Clean Concrete
We all know the strength of chlorine bleach. A lot of people dont realize that there are far more uses for it than for laundry or sanitization. Try using this recipe on your concrete driveway for a flawless finish.
- Scrub brush
In a large bucket, combine equal parts chlorine bleach and water. Pour the solution over the concrete stain and let sit for ten to 20 minutes. Use a stiff brush to scrub the area and rinse away the solution with water from a garden hose or pressure washer.
Remove Loose Dirt And Debris
Sweep or vacuum loose dirt off the surface of your concrete, with one exception: if you have a mold or mildew problem. in your basement. Follow the instructions below for tackling these potential household toxins.
If you are cleaning a patio or driveway, remove and treat any weeds that may have infiltrated cracks.
You May Like: How To Get Mold Out Of Blankets
We Just Purchased Our Home Three Months Ago And Recently We Discovered These Discolored Areas In Our Garage Should We Be Worried Should We Be Seeking Some Type Of Environmental Remediation
Its difficult to determine from the photo whether this is mold or efflorescence. An easy way to distinguish between the two is by flicking a bit of water on the surface. Efflorescence will dissolve in water, mold will just mat down a bit.
Either way, it likely indicates vapor emissions moving through the concrete. You can verify this by taping a piece of plastic to the concrete. Recheck this in a few days. If you find condensation on the backside of the plastic, you have a vapor emissions issue.
In a garage this is not a problem, as long as you keep sensitive items off the floor. The vapor will eventually evaporate from the surface. Do not install carpeting on any concrete showing signs of vapor emissions! This will lead to major mold problems.
Is Mold On Concrete Dangerous
While mold on the exterior of a home can be unsightly, mold growing on concrete surfaces in the home interior can be a dangerous health hazard. Black mold can cause serious health problems and must be dealt with as soon as it is detected inside the home.
Black mold can aggravate allergies, cause asthma attacks and irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. If left unchecked, it can also cause significant property damage, especially if it spreads beyond concrete to the wood construction.
If removing mold from indoor space, its important to use protective gear. Extensive mold problems discovered indoors require expensive mold mitigation efforts from licensed professionals.
Don’t Miss: How To Clean Mold Off Shower Grout
Pollen Dirt And Particles
Pollen, dirt, and other particles often cover the sidewalk. Cars driving by your house, wind storms, and mowing lawn cause these particles to leave your sidewalk dirty. Dirt will then collect on the surface. Get rid of this dirt on your sidewalk to remove particles and brighten the exterior. Brush down the sidewalk with a hose and non-abrasive material. Use a soft cloth to move through the sidings planks. Move from one side to another if the sidewalk is stucco, stone, or brick.
How To Apply Wet & Forget Outdoor
Applying Wet & Forget Outdoor couldnt be simpler. Just follow these easy steps to rid your sidewalk of ugly growths and roll out the welcome mat for your friends and family!
*To remove moss, be sure to saturate thoroughly to allow the Wet & Forget to reach the mosss root-like structures. To remove lichen, follow these special instructions.
Don’t Miss: How To Remove Mold From Bathroom Walls And Ceiling
What Kills Mold Better Bleach Or Vinegar
Is Vinegar More Effective Than Bleach? Vinegar truly is better than bleach at killing mold. In fact, recognizing the bleach as a threat, the mold will grow back even stronger. When bleach is used on porous surfaces like drywall or wood, mold membranes will move deeper into the surface to avoid the chemical.
Removing Stains With Cat Litter
Cat litter is a product that naturally absorbs moisture. It is an excellent tool to remove moisture that has seeped down into the pores of the concrete.
Kitty Litter Oil Stain Remover
- Biodegradable cat litter
For stains that are new and still damp, like grease stains on concrete, cover them with a thick layer of kitty litter and let it sit for at an hour. The litter works as a natural absorbent and soaks up the fluid. Use a broom to sweep away the cat litter.
If the stain has dried, cover it with a thick layer of kitty litter for an hour. Wet the litter with water. Use a bristle brush or another stiff brush to begin scrubbing at the stain. Rinse away the litter and let the spot air dry. Repeat as many times as necessary.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Mold On Bathroom Ceiling
Cleaning Concrete With Chemicals
Driveway cleaning sometimes requires a little more muscle than expected, especially for stains that have been sitting for long periods. Chemicals clean concrete with a little more oomph than household items.
Some substances can be combined with household ingredients to make a powerful homemade driveway cleaner, though. Whenever using chemicals to clean concrete, take safety precautions by using gloves and protective eye wear.
Mold On Concrete Walls
Black fungi on concrete walls mostly comes from moisture hitting and being absorbed into the wall. Before attempting to clean the walls, first resolve the moisture issue by redirecting downspouts and swamps from the wall. You could also try installing an interior footing drain to keep the water from the wall. Fix all water seepage from hose spots and taps. Also raising relative humidity in the house by improving ventilation would do the trick. You will then proceed to clean the molded concrete walls after fixing the moisture issue.
Also Check: Manufacturers Soft Plastic Lure Molds
How Do You Prevent Mold From Growing On Concrete
The best way to solve a mold problem on concrete is to prevent it from happening in the first place. One way to do this is by eliminating the key element mold needs to grow, moisture.
For concrete patios, driveways, and walks, cut back foliage that creates shady areas on a driveway or walk that never see the sun.
Also, check for cracks in the pavement that can collect water and cause mold growth. Fill these cracks using a concrete repair product.
For areas where this isnt possible, consider treating the concrete with an acrylic sealer designed for outdoor use. This prevents moisture from penetrating the driveway or walk, eliminating the environment mold needs to thrive.
For indoor areas, fix leaky pipes that are causing mold growth. For basements that flood, consider using a product such as Drylok to prevent moisture from entering the basement when it rains.
If that isnt an option, a dehumidifier is also an excellent means of keeping the humidity level in a basement in check, preventing mold growth. Remove materials that can get wet and breed mold growth, such as cardboard, wood, cloth furnishing, and area rugs.
Also, check the areas around the foundation of the home. If the earth is not properly graded to cause water to flow away from the house when it rains, grading may be required. Keep leaves and other debris from piling up around the foundation, which can trap water and direct it through the foundation and into the basement.
Cleaning A Concrete Driveway
Carsten Reisinger / Shutterstock.
A new decorative concrete driveway is a bit like a new car. It looks great for the first year or two, but will eventually lose its luster if you dont clean and maintain it on a regular basis.
Stains from hot tire marks, oil leaks, mold and mildew, and chemicals are bound to happen. But they dont have to ruin your curb appeal if you know the best methods and cleaning materials to use to remove them. Here are some tips for cleaning your concrete driveway and how to protect and preserve it for years to come.
Don’t Miss: Best Way To Clean Mold Off Ceiling
Preventing Future Mold Growth
You should seal the concrete with a good-quality acrylic sealer designed for exterior use. Let the concrete dry at least 2 or 3 days in rain-free, sunny conditions before sealing. I recommend using a low-solids solvent-based sealer to allow for better breathability, especially considering the warm, humid exposure conditions. Read my article Driveway Sealer for Concrete to learn more about choosing and applying sealer.
General Maintenance Of Concrete Floors
Concrete floors should be cleaned at least once a year to keep them in tip-top shape. Before starting, remove any items from the areaif its an outdoor patio, remove all potted plants, furniture, and decorative items. Do a spot test by testing your cleaner in an inconspicuous area to ensure your method will not cause any additional discoloration or damage to your concrete.
To clean a concrete floor in your basement, you may need to do it in sections by moving everything from one side of the room to the other, and then switching back to finish the job.
Inspect your floors for cracks or chips and make any necessary repairs before beginning the cleaning process.
Recommended Reading: Wet Forming Leather Holster
How To Clean Mildew From A Concrete Patio
Mildew is a type of fungus that thrives in damp or dark conditions. When mildew grows on your concrete patio, it can appear as green or black, foul-smelling patches. It can ruin the appearance of the patio, and even cause or irritate respiratory problems, according to the U.S. EPA. Clean your concrete patio with a homemade solution to kill the mildew, and keep it clean and as dry as possible to prevent future growth.
Fill a bucket with 3 qts. of warm water, 1 qt. of bleach and 1/3 cup of powdered laundry detergent. Put on rubber gloves, and stir the solution with a wooden spoon until the detergent dissolves completely.
Move any furniture, plants or items from the patio before cleaning.
Pour the solution onto the concrete patio, concentrating on areas with mildew. Allow the solution to sit for up to 15 minutes.
Scrub the patio with a stiff-bristled broom to remove any remaining mildew.
Rinse the patio thoroughly with a garden hose to remove any bleach solution. Allow the concrete patio to air dry.
Water Stains Mold And Mildew
Cleaning concrete floors in a basement that is has a mold or mildew problem is different from cleaning a concrete patio with the same issue. If you have a mold or mildew problem on your basement floor, do not sweep the areayoull end up spreading mold spores around the basement, causing a much bigger problem.
Open any windows and allow fresh air to circulate while cleaning. Spray the problem area with a solution of mold-killing detergent and water , scrub the area with a brush, and rinse with a clean wet mop.
Once the area is completely dry, examine it to determine if you need to repeat the process.
To remove water, mold, or mildew stains from concrete patios and driveways, use a hose or pressure washer. If stains persist, mix a solution of one-quarter bleach to one gallon of hot water and scrub the area with a brush, watering down nearby foliage first to prevent damage from runoff. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.
Recommended Reading: How To Clean Black Mold In Shower Grout
What Is The Best Cleaner For A Concrete Driveway
When cleaning your driveway, it is best to use a specialized product. For general cleaning, you can find concrete driveway cleaner at your local home improvement store or online.
If you’re trying to remove a specific type of stain, you’ll need one of the following:
- For oil, grease, grime and dirt use a concrete degreaser .
- For efflorescence, salt deposits, lime or rust stains, use a cleaner made with non-corrosive or biodegradable acid .
- For paint, sealers, epoxy or other topical contaminants, use a coatings remover or stripper .
You may have something on-hand already that can be used to clean your driveway. Be careful though, if your driveway has a decorative finish or color, these may not be the right option. Do your research and test a small, out-of-the-way spot before cleaning the entire driveway.
Here are a few common household cleaners that can be used on a concrete driveway:
- Bleach and water solution
Love the wind / Shutterstock.
How To Clean Mold On Outdoor Concrete
Cleaning and disinfecting mold-covered concrete is a fairly simple process and there are a few ways to do it. Cleaning outdoor concrete is the simplest because you can use a garden hose to finish the job. Create a cleaning solutions and pour it on the surface. Scrub and clean in a circular motion to clean like an expert. Spray down to finish the job. Voilà, all mold removed. Follow our detailed 4 steps removal guide below for the best result and lasting effect.
- Step 1: Create a cleaning solutionTo begin youll need to create a cleaning solution thats effective at black mold removal. Use a bucket to mix one-half cup of bleach diluted with one gallon on water. This amount of solution can treat an area about five square feet. If you need to clean a larger area simply double the solution.
- Step 2: Pour and waitSimply pour the bleach solution onto the entire affected area and allow it to set for about fifteen minutes. This gives the bleach time to kill the black mould completely.
- Step 3: Tedious for the bestNow make a more concentrated solution with one cup of bleach with one gallon of water. Use a wire scrub brush to scrub the concrete in a circular motion. Although a bit tedious, this will make sure the mildew is completely removed from the surface of the concrete.
- Step 4: Spray down to finish the jobFrom here you simply use a hose to spray down the affected area, removing the cleaning solution from the surface.
Read Also: Clean Mold From Basement
How To Clean Mold Off Concrete
This article was co-authored by Mike Kapur. Mike Kapur is a home inspector and the owner of Sonic Home Inspections, a home inspection company in Westchester, New York. With over 15 years of experience in pre-inspecting properties, Mike specializes in mold, radon, asbestos, lead, water, and air quality testing as well as hazardous materials, pest, infrared, and general home inspections. Prior to founding Sonic Home Inspections, Mike worked pre-inspecting apartments. Mike holds a BS in Accounting from Queens College and is a Certified Mold Assessor in the state of New York.There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 71,911 times.
Choose from several cleaning agents to remove mold from concrete. Spot test a small area with your chosen cleaning agent to make sure no damage occurs. Youll need to wear protective gear and scrub the moldy areas vigorously. Rinse exterior concrete afterwards with a power washer. Interior concrete can be wiped dry. Merely killing mold wont prevent it from returning, so make sure to address the water source that is causing the mold.
Scrub With Mild Bleach
Bleach always seems to do the trick. Be careful to water down the solution so that you dont create spots of discoloration on your cushions. I recommend pouring 1/2 cup of bleach into a gallon of water. As always, never use bleach cleaning products if you are pregnant.
Important: Never use bleach and ammonia together. This is very dangerous and can produce toxic chemicals. Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. does a good job of explaining why here.
You May Like: Leather Mold Cleaner
Tips To Keep Your Patio Clean Longer
For those who followed the instructions, scrubbed hard, and used the solution a few times without much luck, know that sometimes tougher measures are called for. A product like Wet & Forget should do the job. While the label says it is bleach-free, phosphate-free, non-acidic, and safe near plants and on all outdoor surfaces , do take caution when using this product. Wear rubber gloves and avoid unnecessary dripping into your garden or grass.
Follow the directions on the container of the cleaning product, making sure that the previous cleaning solvents have been thoroughly rinsed off with a strong blast from the hose. While the product used may claim that scrubbing isn’t necessary, it will probably be necessary to have those sleeves rolled up continue to scrub the moldy/mossy area until it’s free of all the green stuff.
Try revisiting the area in a week or two to keep on top of the mold and mildew. Persistence will pay offif you regularly do a light cleaning of the space, more thorough cleanings every few months won’t be necessary.