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Mulch is no friend to concrete driveways

Posted by Scott Stueber, CPCU, CISR, AAI on May 31, 2016 10:00:00 AM

mulch_stain.jpgAs the weather warms up, yard projects get underway. One of those projects I dread is laying fresh mulch. While I find it rewarding after the project is done, it’s a lot of work.

The couple of times my mulch was delivered it rained. Colored mulch and rain can be a bad combination if the mulch is sitting on a concrete driveway. This combination can lead to staining of the concrete.

After I spread all my mulch a few weeks ago, I was left with a pinkish mulch stain. I knew this would happen and would eventually fade with time, so I wasn’t too concerned. My wife, however, didn’t like it and had me scrubbing off the stain with a toothbrush. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit.

After looking for information on this topic, I found a blog written about it. Wolf Paving has been serving Southeast Wisconsin since 1941 and has shared a number of tips on how to remove mulch and other stains from your driveway.

So, if you spent your Memorial Day weekend spreading mulch and are now left with stains on your driveway or sidewalk, here’s what they recommend.

1. Do not power wash the stain.

This tip surprised me. I figured to get rid of the stain, I should blast it away. What I learned is that this can drive the stain deeper into the pavement.

2. Apply soap or vinegar.

Once applied, scrub into the surface with a stiff-bristled brush using circular motions.

3. Use bleach and water for tough stains.

Wolf recommends using two capfuls of bleach with two gallons of water. Again, scrub the mixture onto the stain using circular motions and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. An industrial-strength biodegradable cleaner/degreaser may also work.

4. Gently rinse.

To avoid this extra work, you may want to hold off on having mulch delivered if rain is in the forecast. You can also have the mulch dropped onto a tarp, although that may make it difficult to move the mulch with a pitchfork or shovel.

To learn more about removing mulch and other stains from your driveway, visit Wolf Paving’s blog titled, “Asphalt Maintenance Tips – Removing Mulch and Oil Stains.”

Do you have any suggestions or information you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you.  Please share them in the box below.

Topics: Yard Safety

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