Formulated from limestone and clay, cement is the binding agent for concrete, stucco and mortar. Without cement, masonry surfaces will not hold together. Many times, homeowners use the terms cement and concrete interchangeably. Pouring a concrete slab is messy work, and concrete or cement splatter is inevitable. Concrete begins as a thick, wet building material and hardens to a rocklike permanent surface. Splatter ends up on siding, tools and other masonry surfaces, along with whatever else is in the vicinity, requiring immediate cleaning.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Garden hose
- Wheelbarrow or trough
- White vinegar
- Scrub brush
- Stonemason's chisel
- Wire brush or power drill with wire brush bit
- Masonry grinding wheel
- Power washer
- Metal scraper
- Glass scraper
- Cement dissolver
Examine the face of structures near the new pour for signs of splatter. Wash the splatter off the surface while it remains wet, using a garden hose.
Place all tools and small items in a wheelbarrow or trough and hose them down with generous amounts of water to remove the splatter. Empty the water onto a bed of sand and wait for the excess concrete to bind with the sand and dry. Remove the sand bed and dried splatter for disposal.
Wipe wet splatter away with a wet rag. Drag the wet rag in only one direction to avoid scratching the surface. A dull, grey haze may appear on the surface after it dries. Lay a white vinegar-soaked rag or sponge over the haze for 20 to 30 minutes. Scrub the surface with a white vinegar-dipped scrub brush. Rinse the surface well with plain water.
Hold a stonemason's chisel at an angle near the base of the splatter on masonry surfaces. Tap the stonemason's chisel with a hammer to chip off dried splatter.
Brush masonry surfaces with a wire brush to remove splatter on foundations, stone or concrete walls and other masonry. Continue to brush and abrade the splatter until no splatter remains. You can also use a power drill equipped with a wire brush bit to remove dried splatter.
Grind splatter off with grinder equipped with a masonry-grinding wheel. Move the grinder over the splatter until the splatter is no longer visible.
Dried Splatter on Masonry Surfaces
Hold the hose of a power washer at a 45-degree angle to the surface of siding, fences or patio furniture and blast the surface until the cement is free from the surface.
Position a metal scraper almost parallel to the surface with the splatter. Scrape the splatter carefully until you remove all dried cement.
Hold a glass scraper at a severe angle next to splatter-covered glass surfaces. Slowly and carefully scrape the cement off the glass surface.
Apply a commercially available cement dissolver to the splatter. Continue to apply the dissolving agent until the hardened concrete becomes soft and pliable, which typically takes between 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse the area thoroughly with plain water. If some splatter still remains, repeat the process until the product softens the splatter sufficiently for removal.
Dried Splatter on Other Surfaces
Tips and warnings
- Commercially available cement dissolvers are generally safe for most surfaces, including cars, decks, glass and siding. Always check the manufacturer's label for safe use on the surface before applying it to the splatter.
- Wear eye protection and a dust mask when removing splatter.
- Do not wash wet concrete or cement splatter into drains or sewer systems; it will form a plug and clog the pipes.
- Do not stand close to siding, fences or patio furniture when pressure washing, as you may blast a hole into the surface or remove any protective coatings.
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