Guest Post - How to Maintain Exterior Concrete Surfaces in Your Backyard

Backyard patio

Concrete surfaces may look like you don’t have to fuss so much about them, but the truth is, they will get ruined with time if you ignore them completely. If you clean and grit them regularly, you will be pleasantly surprised with the results.

Make a plan

There is no need for you to clean and grit concrete surfaces in your backyard every single day. It would be enough to do it once or twice a year. That way, you will get rid of dirt and grime and also remove stains and rust. Remember that concrete absorbs liquids very easily so if you don’t clean it soon, your lovely floors will be full of stains. And you don’t want that, right?

Determine the concrete hardness

In order to choose the best type and grit of diamond for grinding concrete surfaces you have to determine hardness of concrete in question. It can be checked easily with a Mohs Hardness Test that is based on Mohs scale. This test will show you ranking of your concrete substrate and make it easier to choose the best tools for grinding.

Preparation

Before you start with grinding, you should thoroughly clean the concrete surfaces. All you need is a household detergent, warm water and a bristle brush. Scrub the concrete, rinse away dirt and foam and let your floors or countertops dry. If you have to add some chemical cleanser, you have to remember not to mix chemical products!

Perfect tool

Technology has made life so much easier, especially when it comes to hard housework. There is no need for you to pay someone to get your concrete surfaces in order when you can do it yourself. You will easily remove all imperfections with a concrete grinder, which can be used for smoothing not only concrete floors, but also countertops of marble and granite. The best thing is that, with this amazing tool, you can also grind surfaces in the corners, remove the paint or do the leveling.

Fix the cracks

Before polishing, you should take care of the cracks in your concrete floors. Get a special concrete filler and mix it according to the instructions on the package. Squeeze appropriate quantity of the filler in the cracks and wait until it gets dry completely. Only then you can start grinding.

Choose a grinding method

Backyard patio

You can do the grinding in both wet and dry conditions. If you use water for grinding, it will lubricate the polishing tools, cool them down and get rid of the dust. However, this method can have quite messy results. Dry grinding will enable you to polish the concrete surfaces and remove even the tiniest spot or crack, but don’t exclude wet method either. Combination of these two methods will turn floors into a smooth and shiny concrete surface!

Grinding

Once you start grinding the floor make sure that you don’t move the grinder in circles. That way you will not end up with swirls on the floor. Move the grinder from side to side until all the stains, cracks and holes are gone. Start with a coarser grinding block to fix all the imperfections and continue with the finer ones so you can polish the concrete surfaces to perfection. Don’t forget to wear protective gear and follow safety rules.

A final touch

Backyard Patio

After you are done with grinding, it is highly recommended that you clean the grinder immediately. Don’t leave that task for tomorrow because the polishing materials will get dry and you will need much more time to clean them. To get perfect results in your home, mop your floor the next day and you will almost be blinded by the shine from your concrete surfaces.

Maintaining concrete surfaces may make you feel tired at the end of the day, but one look across all those floors and countertops around your house will make you see that it was totally worth it.

Lillian Connors can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of green living/home improvement projects and spread the word about them. She cherishes the notion that sustainable housing and gardening will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on. You can check her out on Twitter.