Lustro Italiano > Caring for Concrete > Clean Concrete Statues

How To Clean Concrete Statues

It seems like a simple task at first. However, there is more to cleaning concrete statues than just grabbing a household cleaner and going to work. The setting, the substance you are trying to remove, and the time you want to spend all play a pivotal role in how to clean concrete statues. In this article we will examine all of those points. As we do, you will quickly see why cleaning a concrete statue requires some forethought. Additionally, we'll touch on how to make the task easier for the next cleaning.

Not All Statues Need Cleaned The Same Way

How do you clean a concrete statue? That depends on some key pieces of information. First, where the statue is located plays a role in how you will clean it. Why? Because certain locations are conducive to particular kinds of stains, dirt, and weathering. Because of its location, a statue will need to be cleaned of specific kinds of matter. So, depending on what the statue has on it, you may need to use one of several cleaning products to restore the original beauty of the item. Finally, the amount of time that you will need to set aside to clean a garden statue or ornamental lawn statue will depend on how well treated the decorative item is after the cleaning. We'll get to more of that later. But for now, let's take a look at how the location plays a role in how you clean a concrete statue.

Cleaning Outdoor Concrete Statues

Not all environments are the same. Some are controlled and others are not. Although it is possible that a decorative concrete statue (just one of many types of concrete around the home ) an animal in the list below might be stationed indoors, it is more likely they are being used as ornamental decoration for a lawn or a garden.

Because many decorative and ornamental concrete statues are located outside of the home, they require a bit more work to keep looking their best. Cleaning outdoor concrete statues is not as easy as cleaning one that is indoors because it is exposed to the weather. The weather is a primary factor in what is needed for the cleaning process. First, the weather and the amount of sunlight on the piece will affect the cleaning. In what way? Well, fungal organisms prefer shady, moist environments. This allows moss and other related growth to form and in some cases even thrive. Second, weathering can actually damage the concrete if the statue is not properly cared for. Water can get into the pores of a concrete statue and if the temperature goes down to below freezing, the water inside the concrete expands and can break, chip, or crack the statue. Therefore, cleaning statues of moss growth and protecting them from freezing water are both aspects of concrete statue care that we will address.

Cleaning Moss Off Concrete Statues

As we mentioned above, the growth of a number of fungal organisms impact the appearance of an ornamental garden or lawn statue. One such organism is moss. If you have been wondering how to clean moss off concrete statues, keep reading, we are going to cover it.

Because moss (and all fungi for that matter) is a living thing, simply wiping it off your statue will not likely be enough. Even if your statue looks clean, there may be more moss on it that you cannot see. Since the moss is likely there because of the environment, it is probably just going to keep on growing back. One way to address this problem is to clean the statue with a cleaner formulated to remove mold, mildew, moss, and other fungal organisms. Using a concrete mold remover on your decorative concrete statues not only cleans the concrete, but kills the moss. As a result, the moss is gone and the concrete is not just cleaned, but also sanitized.

How to Clean Moss From Concrete Statues Using Brio

  1. Test the stain remover in a small inconspicuous area of the statue before cleaning the entire piece.
  2. Clean your unpainted statue of any surface dust or dirt.
  3. Using a brush, cover the statue with the Brio mold remover, scrubbing and reapplying to keep the statue constantly coated with the stain remover.
  4. Leave the cleaner on the surface of the piece to give it time to work on the moss. The more moss, the longer you will need to leave the product on. It is important to leave the product on for a suitable length of time so it can sanitize the statue. Therefore, you will most likely need to continue applying the product since gravity will continue causing the product to run off the surface. Patience though, will pay off here.
  5. Once the statue has been cleaned for a sufficient amount of time*, rinse the statue thoroughly with water. You can use a brush to scrub the surface as you rinse the cleaner off.
  6. Do not reuse stain remover a second time. The stain remover exhausts its effectiveness once it is used and is no longer usable for cleaning. Simply discard the used product.
  7. (Optional, but recommended) Treat the statue with a sealer by applying to the statue once it is completely dry.

If you are wondering weather there is a way prevent the moss from growing so you don't have to remove it, we will address this concept next.

Combating the Effects of Weather

When a concrete lawn statue or ornamental piece is placed in an area that is moist and shaded it will be subject to moss growth as we mentioned earlier. One of the key components to that growth is the moisture. Yet, there are other potential hazards related to moisture when it comes to concrete statues. We mentioned briefly in a previous section. But just for clarity, we will describe it again here.

Concrete statues are porous and that means that water that accumulates on the statue or falls onto the surface gets absorbed by the statue. In areas where temperatures get below freezing this creates another problem that stems from moisture; breakage. When water get into the pores of a concrete piece and then freezes, the water expands and can cause the concrete to crack, chip, or even break. So how can you combat the effects of weather on your statues? Treating the piece with a sealer compatible with outdoor concrete statues serves to protect your decorative piece. How so? Stone and concrete sealer is a liquid that penetrates the concrete's pores just like water. However, once it gets inside the concrete, a barrier is formed that inhibits the concrete's ability to absorb water the way it normally does. If water does not get into the statue, then it doesn't freeze and break the material.

There is another benefit to keeping your decorative lawn statues treated with sealer. Remember what we mentioned earlier about the environment in which moss thrives. That moist, shady environment is the ideal growing atmosphere for moss and fungi. However, the less water a concrete statue absorbs, the faster it dries. Hence, the dryer the ornament stays, the harder it is for moss to live. So sealing your outdoor concrete statues helps reduce moss growth too.

As we have seen in this article, how to clean concrete statues depends on not only the location of the statue, but also the type of stain or dirt. In the event that you need to remove moss (a stubborn discoloration), a mold remover is needed. Additionally, cleaning concrete statues is easier when they have been sealed using a concrete compatible sealer which also helps protect against cracking, chipping, and breaking. Taking care of your decorative concrete figures will ensure you get the most from them and enjoy them the longest.

* In order for the stain remover to work properly, it must be given enough time to sanitize the material. Keeping the statue in contact with fresh stain remover for 30-60 minutes depending on the amount of moss is recommended.

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