Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Cleaning a Driveway (Asphalt and Concrete)

The most common stain on driveways are oil and grease,  antifreeze and  tyre dressing Oil spills on driveways normally occur when oil leaks from a car's engine,  lawnmowers, and visiting commercial vehicles are notorious for leaking oil, and it's not difficult to accidentally spill while performing an oil change, or when adding oil.

Asphalt and concrete are porous surfaces that absorbs liquids like oil and grease resulting in stains
It's unsightly and something that does need to be addressed, for both aesthetic reasons and for the integrity of the driveway. Be cognizant that a cleaner formulated for concrete can damage asphalt

Concrete Driveway
Concrete is a composite construction material, composed of cement (commonly Portland cement) and other cementitious materials such as fly ash and slag cement, aggregate (generally a coarse aggregate made of gravel or crushed rocks such as limestone, or granite, plus a fine aggregate such as sand), water, and chemical admixtures.
Do not use a cleaning product formulated for a blacktop surface on concrete, as it can worsen the stains and damage the finish.

1. Spread Cat Litter over spill and remove
2. Spray liberally with P21S Total Auto Wash (a d-limonene (citrus) based solvent or Optimum Power Clean
3. Scrub area with a stiff bristled bush.
4. Spread Cat Litter (highly absorbent clay, sodium bentonite) over area
5. Abrade the cat litter into the spill.
6. Sweep up with a stiff broom
7. Repeat as necessary

Oil Stains
·         Sprinkle a layer of kitty litter over the oil spot(s). Push it back and forth over the area with a push broom. Scoop up the litter for disposal
·         Pour-N-Restore® is a citrus based, biodegradable, phosphate-free concrete clear that lifts and absorbs stains without scrubbing, rinsing, or mess
Alternative product - Poorboy’s World Driveway Cleaner - an industrial strength pine oil cleaner that works as a cleaner and a degreaser. To remove spots and stains from concrete driveways quickly and easily.

• Wet the driveway with clean, warm water.
• Sprinkle the concentrated powder onto a wet driveway
• Wait five minutes for Driveway Cleaner to work.
• As it cleans, Driveway Cleaner turns from orange to green to show that it is working.
• Scrub the concrete with a broom or brush as necessary. Rinse off the cleaned concrete with water

Muriatic acid is a highly reactive liquid acid, and one of the most dangerous chemicals you can buy for home use.  It is not the first choice for concrete masonry cleaning but the last resort.  Do not use this dangerous chemical unless you are sure you have no other choice. For example, the most popular concrete and grout cleaners on the market contain phosphoric acid.  This acid will, under most circumstances, do as good a job as muriatic acid... but with less danger.  Phosphoric acid cleaners also contain chemicals which emulsify oils to help the acid work more effectively and safely increase its cleaning properties.

Asphalt Driveway
Asphalt is a petroleum-based material, and any oil or acidic cleaners left on an asphalt driveway will soften its binder system and eventually corrode the surface. Asphalt is generally sealed after installation and offers some protection from staining. Oil and grease stains on asphalt are notoriously difficult to remove. The best way to keep it clean is to be proactive by cleaning up spills as they happen and resurfacing when necessary.

Do not use a cleaning product formulated for concrete on a blacktop surface, as it can worsen the stains and damage the finish.

·         Sprinkle a layer of kitty litter over the oil spot(s). Push it back and forth over the area with a push broom. Scoop up the litter for disposal
·         Neutralize any acids with  ValuGuard Acid Neutralizer (Step I) - diluted 1:10 neutralizes acids deposited on the asphalt  surface
·         Use a coarse, stiff bristle yard broom; scour Optimum Power Clean or P21S Total Auto Wash (d-limonene (citrus) based solvent into the surface. Thoroughly rinse the solution once you are done.

Oil Stains

Most asphalt driveways are sealed once a year to provide a barrier for stains and to keep the asphalt from drying out and crumbling

Oil stains on asphalt are difficult to remove, you can try to scrub them out with a detergent P21S Total Auto Wash (a d-limonene (citrus) based solvent or Optimum Power Clean, as an alternative, a commercial driveway cleaner (made for asphalt; a concrete cleaner can damage asphalt)

·         (a) Using a stiff, long-handled brush and a solution of tri sodium phosphate (TSP) or phosphate-free substitute, scrub the stain.
·         Following label precautions and directions, scrub remaining spots with full-strength household bleach.
·         Rinse thoroughly with a hose.

·         (b) Use a degreaser or a grease-cutting detergent Optimum Power Clean or P21S Total Auto and a scrub brush
·         Scrub the stain with the scrub brush and hot water and rinse thoroughly

·         (c) Sprinkle some laundry detergent directly on the stain,
·         Apply enough water to make a paste, scrub it, and then leave it overnight.
·         Dilute it with water and then scrub it and rinse thoroughly

Environmental Commitment

Consult local regulation for volatile organic compounds (VOC) compliance. Contamination of surface waters arises from the residues discharging to storm drains, which in turn most commonly drain to rivers and lakes. Chief pollutants include phosphates; cleaning chemicals (degreasers, acids, solvents etc) oil and grease. This is almost exclusively an issue for home/driveway washing.

You should never assume that aqueous solutions can be disposed of untreated via the storm drainage system. Pending regulations are in place (Clean Water Act and Ground Water Pollution and various city ordinances) to limit the amount of contaminated water that is allowed to be discharged into storm water systems (i.e. street vehicle washing) always dispose of all non-biodegradable materials from your vehicle cleaning in a responsible manner.

Waste management is a serious concern for water authorities in most states and cities. It is no longer acceptable to allow chemicals into the storm drainage system.  This means that a detailer must have a containment and water reclamation system when using any chemicals that are not biodegradable and safe for aquatic life.  

California uses a two-gallon rule; if a detail requires more than two gallons of wash water, the water must be contained. Waste run-off must be disposed of in accordance with federal, state and local environmental control regulations.

Be sure you are compliant when washing cars; check with your local government municipal office or the EPA regional office in your area to see what you need to do to be compliant when washing vehicles at businesses and residential neighbourhoods.

Disposal of Aqueous Solutions

One should never assume that aqueous solutions can be disposed of down the drain. Water drainage is not all treated the same; in fact, some water isn’t treated at all.

The storm drain system takes all the water from outside homes and businesses (rain, overwatering of lawns) and sends it untreated straight to our local creeks, rivers, bays and eventually the ocean. Storm drains are the openings you see along curbs, in streets and parking lots. The storm drain system is designed as a flood control system to allow water from heavy rainstorms to flow quickly to our waterways to avoid flooding of our streets, homes and businesses.  However rainwater can pick up pollutants such as car care chemicals, acids and etc and flush it all into our waterways damaging the fish, plants and other living things in our eco-system.

Only water that enters the sewer system (from sinks and toilets) is sent to water treatment plants to remove pollutants and be treated before entering our waterways. With few exceptions, The Federal Clean Water Act deems it illegal for anyone to throw, dispose of or allow anything other than rainwater into the storm drains. Try to divert car wash water to a landscaped or planted area.

Be cognizant that some State or local guidelines forbid discharging water on to the grass and into the flower beds; their contention is that it pollutes the ground water table, always check before discharging soiled water. Your local water treatment authority or publicly owned treatment works will have information on treatment and disposal of these cleaners. Adjustment of pH and dilution are usually required before disposal to a drain. Always comply with current water usage and disposal regulations / water usage restrictions.

A car care product may be biodegradable and environmentally safe but it’s not about what’s in the wash per se; just remember the dirt, oil and road grease you are cleaning with it are not, once rinsed off the vehicle paint surface the resultant solution is no longer biodegradable or environmentally safe and once rinsed from the paints surface will be sent to the storm water system unless a containment system is used

UK (EU): [It is an offence for anyone to cause or knowingly permit: the entry into surface waters or groundwater of solid waste matter, or of poisonous, noxious or polluting matter, or the discharge of trade and sewage effluent into surface waters or groundwater without prior consent from the Environmental Regulator.]

Effluent and run-off from vehicle washing and cleaning activities can damage the environment and pollute rivers, streams, burns and groundwater. Dirt, brake dust, traffic film residue and oil that is washed off are all pollutants.

The cleaning agents you use (including those labelled biodegradable or traffic film removers) are very poisonous to river life. If you cause pollution, you are breaking the law and spoiling your environment. Dirty water or run-off from vehicle washing and cleaning carried out as a business or industrial activity is called trade effluent. Whether you’re cleaning just one vehicle or responsible for a large lorry fleet, you must arrange for collection and disposal of effluent to prevent pollution. It’s illegal to discharge trade effluent to the environment or into drains without permission.- http://publications.environment-agency.gov.uk/pdf/PMHO0307BMDX-e-e.pdf

Current Information
To be of real practical use, a subject like automotive detailing requires a great deal of research, and updating as new products become available. The advent of materials like detailing clay, micro fibre technologies and finely milled micro diminishing abrasives, suitable for ceramic nanotechnology paints are examples of why it’s so important to monitor the industries new products, chemical technologies and ideas that are constantly being introduced, as are the techniques for applying them, hence all of the in-depth articles will be up-dated and revised on a regular basis

Always be willing to learn; because the more you learn, the more you’ll realize what you don’t know. It is said that knowledge is power, with the caveat that it includes access to a reliable information sources. I would like to think that these articles become an asset to anyone who is new to detailing and to professional’s alike, as well as industry experts who seek to advance their knowledge.
I hope these articles are informative. They are based on the current status of technical development as well as my experience with the products.

By having some understanding of the ‘What’ and ‘Why’ as well as the ‘How’ along with a little science to help you understand how the chemicals we use react, you can achieve the results you desire.

I would appreciate it if you would share these articles as it helps other detailers further their knowledge.

As always if you have questions, I’ll do my best to answer; bear in mind the only stupid questions is the one that was unasked. Questions and/ or constructive comments are always appreciated

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