Concrete Pavements outside of fast-food shops often stained with grease due to the oily food that the customers consume. Over time the hot oil dripping from the food on the pavement accumulates, creating unsightly and unhygienic marks.
The severity of grease on the concrete pavement can determine your approach. As well as the material the pavement is made of.
First is to identify the cause of the stains. Finding the cause of the stains can be determined from asking your client. Looking for clue from the surrounding area, in this case it is outside a fast food shop. Also, using your own experience. Therefore, makes it easier to deduce.
Next step is to find out the type of the surface the stain is on. We have a comprehensive guide to types of driveways which can help you identify the surface. This is important as you want to make sure to not damage the surface, as adopting the wrong cleaning technique for the surface can cause long term damage.
In this case the stains are oil on concrete pavement. Therefore, as oil is a grease; a degreaser should be used. Of which there are many, in this case an Ammonia based degreaser is advised.
Degreaser to clean oil on concrete pavement
Ammonia is a colourless gas with a pungent smell, which Is classified as an extremely hazardous substance. It is mixed water to allow it to be used as a cleaning product; which have a 5% to 10% ammonia concentration. The ammonia is found in 2 main forms as a cleaner, a cloudy version with soap added or clear ammonia without the soap. The recommended version is the clear version, as you can always add the soap later.
As always please wear correct P.P.E. When dealing with chemicals, please use goggles, gas mask, chemical resistant gloves and clothing, as well as only use in ventilated areas. Also, never use with bleach as you can create a very toxic gas called chlorine gas. Also remember to put up warning signs and cordon off the area which is being cleaned.
How to Clean using Ammonia Degreaser
With the health and safety out the way, lets get to the cleaning. With the clear ammonia degreaser purchased and PPE on. Carefully mix a cup of ammonia with 5 litres of water. Using a pump sprayer to apply the mix to the grease on the concrete. Allow the mix to dwell for 15 to 30 minutes, this allows the cleaning product to penetrate the concrete and uplift the grease. More, a pressure washer (jet washer) can then be used to penetrate the grease and clear it away, we have many articles on the use of pressure washers. This could be used a small unnoticeable test area, analysis if it works as recommend. For example, if the ammonia degreaser is not penetrating the dirt enough, increase the concentration.
When using the jet washer apply a low pressure and then work out until the desired result is given. Once again starting with a test area. Once the test gives you the results you desire, you can work up to complete the whole area. This will take a bit of iteration; as only a portion of the area is being cleaned, and not the whole sidewalk. You want to make it clean without making it look completely different to the surrounding pavement area. Once the area is cleaned to the desired standard set by yourself or your client. Keep the area cordoned off until dry to ensure no one slips or is exposed to the chemicals.
To sum up, we found that for grease on concrete pavement use an ammonia-based degreaser. Adopt adequate health and safety procedures, apply the degreaser liberally at first before jet washing clear. As always, call an expert such as Surrey Jet Washing to get a professional job done.