Handyman: Get rid of exterior spots and stains
Your driveway, garage floor, patio and walkways often are marked with spots or stains from dirt, oil, transmission fluid and gas. Fortunately, there are a lot of products available that will clean and even restore your concrete.
One product I have recommended over the years is Pour-N-Restore’s Oil Stain Remover, (877) 609-3343, pour-n-restore.com, which lifts and absorbs embedded oil stains from concrete as it dries from a liquid to a powder.
Another company that offers environmentally friendly products to clean exterior spots is ACT, (866) 919-2872, actcleaners.com, including a concrete cleaner that uses the process of bioremediation to remove oil stains. ACT also has an asphalt cleaner that removes oil buildup and stains from asphalt driveways and surfaces.
One Detroit-based company, Detroit Garage Works (800) 745-9837, detroitgarageworks.com, offers Torque Drive cleaner that removes a wide range of oils, grease, transmission fluid and other contaminates from concrete, shop floors and driveway surfaces. Another product, Detroit B.A.D., is a concentrated multipurpose cleaner and degreaser that cleans oil, grease, grime and a multitude of other dirt and soils from concrete and other surfaces including fabrics, decks and patio furniture.
To remove everyday dirt and grime from brick pavers or stamped concrete you can use either Krud Kutter Driveway Cleaner & Degreaser, krudkutter.com, or you can put four heaping tablespoons of TSP-PF per gallon warm water and scrub with a car wash brush and then rinse it off with a garden hose.
If you have rust stains on your concrete or masonry, you can clean them with another Pour-n-Restore product, Curb Appeal Rust Stain Remove.
Your deck is also susceptible to a variety of stains like grease and food spills from your grill, algae and mold. For general cleaning of wood and composites, use Concrobium House & Deck Wash, concrobium.com, or 30 Seconds Outdoor Cleaner, 30secondscleaners.com. There are also specific composite deck cleaners like SuperDeck Composite Deck Cleaner, superdeck.com. For serious grease and oil stains, use Pour-N-Restore’s Composite Deck Spot Remover.
To get rid of mold and algae stains, try specific cleaners like Olympic Premium Deck Cleaner, olympic.com, or Expert Chemical’s Composite Deck Cleaner & Enhancer, expertchemicalinc.com. For a wood deck, you can use Cabot Problem Solver Wood Cleaner, cabotstain.com.
Your home’s brick and siding also need regular cleaning to get rid of dirt and stains. Older brick homes with siding or shutters made of either wood, painted aluminum or vinyl often suffer from white pigment chalking onto the brickwork. Prosoco Sure Klean Light Duty Restoration Cleaner, prosoco.com, is one product that will get rid of the chalking and a variety of other stains on brick.
To clean your home’s siding, use a garden hose, scrub brush and products like Krud Kutter Exterior Siding Cleaner, krudkutter.com, Concrobium House & Deck Wash and JOMAX House Wash by Rust-oleum, rustoleum.com.
If you have a canvas patio umbrella or awning over the deck, you can clean them using a mild liquid soap in a 10-to-1 solution with water and a soft-bristle brush. You can also use 303 Multi-Surface Cleaner from Gold Eagle Company, goldeagle.com.
For one product that works on a variety of outdoor surfaces, including wood decks, vinyl siding, concrete sidewalks, brick and even plastic outdoor furniture, try 30 Seconds Outdoor Cleaner with a garden hose.
For more home improvement advice, call “The Handyman Show With Glenn Haege” on WJR-AM (760) at (866) ASK GLENN, (866) 275-4536 from 8-10 a.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to noon Sunday. “The Handyman Show” can also be heard on more than 135 radio stations nationwide.