Driveway Oil Spots

Q: "How do we get oil spots off of our driveway? We hired a painter to paint the walls in our finished walk out basement. His van leaked black oil on our driveway. We called him back and asked him to clean it off. He hired a company to clean the concrete and their truck leaked more oil on the driveway. We asked them to stop cleaning our driveway and decided to clean it ourselves. What should we do?"

A: "First: Hold back some of the money from the arrangement you made with the painter. I suspect you already thought of that!

Second: I am going to recommend our CITREX™ cleaner to remove the oil stains from your concrete. The process to try in my opinion, is scrape off any of the surface oil with a paddle scrapper. Next, sprinkle on CITREX™ liquid to cover the entire oil spot. Ring the spot with oil dry to avoid spreading the oil stain. Let the Citrex dwell on the oil stain, for at least one hour.

Third: Soak up the CITREX™ and the oil stain with a mound of oil dry and let it dwell about 30 minutes. Sweep and scoop up the oil dry particles and examine the concrete's surface. There may be a "shadow" of the original stain. Ring that area with fresh oil dry and pond the remaining stain with more CITREX™, allow it to dwell for 30 minutes, repeat the mounding of oil dry upon the most recent application and let it soak up the CITREX™ and oil stain. Sweep and scoop up the used oil dry.

The surface should be nearly clean. You can repeat the process right away, or wait for the sun to evaporate some of the remaining "shadow." The CITREX™ and oil dry system is low effort and not destructive to your concrete. When the budget allows, seal your driveway with our LUMISEAL PLUS WB™, it will resist initial oil penetration."

Preventing Concrete Floor Stains

Q: "We are always fighting the same fight at the end of every concrete floor project. Dirt, mud stains, rubber tire marks and sometimes rust stains sticking to our once clean concrete floor. Our crew pours the concrete and gives it a smooth and clean finish, as soon as we leave the other workers dirty the floor so bad, we have to clean the floor at our expense before receiving our final check. What can we put on the floor to minimize this problem?"

A: "The first thing to do is develop a "understanding" with the general contractor's onsite supervision. This understanding should give knowledge or meaning to your reoccurring situation. You want to promote a sense of caring, if even in a small way, for the cleanliness of the new concrete floor. I know that sounds futile, but you have to communicate your concern to the leadership on site. Once you have done that, I suggest examining the contract and if the specification language calls out a cure and seal product, use it.

The choice of the product may come from a suggested or approved list in the specifications language, or it may be a performance specification. The product you want should produce a "skin" or membrane on top of the concrete. Your plan is to lock out as much dirt and stains as possible, without going overboard. Many of these membrane cures are rated in moisture retention ability, and that is good, you want moisture retention and you want film thickness, too. Luck would have it, these two properties usually coincide.

Look for a cure or a cure sealer meeting the new ASTM C 1315, this requires 25% solids as a minimum and a moisture retention ability greater than low solids formulas from the past.

The idea is to bond a tough membrane to the surface of your clean, smooth concrete and minimize the mess you have to deal with from the other trades at the end of your contract. I suggest using DRESS & SEAL WB 30™, or LUMISEAL PLUS WB™, and always check to see if the specifications' language permits these membrane-producing products."

Cleaning Concrete - Carpet Adhesive

Q: "We purchased a home with the front steps covered with indoor/outdoor carpeting. We pulled the carpeting off with no problem, but we are having a hard timer removing the old adhesive used to hold down the carpet. Could you suggest an easier way to remove the adhesive, besides true grit and determination?"

A: You are making my answer easy, the product is CITREX™. It will attack the old adhesive and make it easy to remove. You may want to seal your steps with our AQUAPEL PLUS™, once the CITREX has done it's work."

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