Where did these Rust Stains on Concrete Come From and How Do I get Rid of Them?

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The team at Elite Power Washing gets questions asking about those ugly rust stains on your driveway. You do your best to keep your home maintained, then you see those ugly red rust stains all over your concrete. So, where did those stains come from, and what do you need to do to get rid of them?

The 5 Biggest Creators of Rust Stains

Understanding where the rust stains come from will help you to stop the stains from forming. Here are the five biggest creators of those ugly rust stains:

Irrigation Systems 

If you live in an area that has iron in the ground, there are likely traces of rust in the water supply. Exposing the iron to air will cause rust and leave stains on concrete. When water sprays on the concrete the next thing you know those rust stains are showing up.

Metal Furniture and Decoration

Lawn furniture, architectural details, and decorative items made of metal can cause stains. When the items get wet they’ll develop rust. The rust will build on your concrete causing stains.

Fertilizer Caused Stains

Deficiencies in iron and manganese in your soil can result in yellow spots forming in your grass. Many fertilizers contain a small amount of iron to keep your grass healthy and green. After applying fertilizer to your yard sweep any fertilizer off the concrete surfaces. Water running off your fertilized yard can also cause rust stains.

Well Water

Well water frequently has high iron levels. If you have a well water system it very likely has a lot of iron in it that can cause stains.

Battery Acid

Leaking battery acid doesn’t leave rust stains. It will cause stains that look very much like rust though. Usually, these stains come from golf carts or equipment used for landscaping.

How to Get Rid of Rust Stains

Water and a scrub brush alone will not remove the stains as the stains are not water-soluble. For lighter stains try soaking the stain with vinegar or lemon juice. Let the solution soak for 10 minutes. Then take a stiff nylon brush and scrub, then rinse. It may take several applications before the stains may lift.

Use a commercial rust remover product to get rid of the rust stains. Use a sponge or rag to apply remover to lighter stains. For darker stains apply the remover with a scrub brush. Allow the remover to sit on the stain as recommended by the producer, which is usually for 15 to 30 minutes. Work small areas at a time to prevent the solution from drying. Rinse with your garden hose. If stains remain apply the process again until the area is free of rust. Use these products in a well-ventilated area. Wear safety protection and clothing to protect your skin, eyes, and lungs.

Rust Stain Prevention

The easiest way to deal with rust stains is to stop them before they get started. If you are applying fertilizer yourself be careful not to get it on your concrete. Always sweep your concrete surfaces after applying granular fertilizer.

For a well or irrigation system use a test kit to determine the iron and hardness levels. Using a water conditioner can help with the rust. Add a rust filter, or add a commercial product to prevent rust in the water.

If battery leaks are causing a problem place a mat under the area equipment is parked or stored.

Give Us a Call!

If you would like help with rust stains give the team at Elite Power Washing a call. We would be happy to give you a hand with the rust stains.

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