No matter how careful you are, working with concrete can get messy. As it so happens, you’ve got concrete splatter all over the siding (and even the windows) of your house during remodeling. Now you are faced with the daunting task of removing it.
This problem may look severe and is a bit of a hassle to resolve. However, it is better that you are here researching instead of trying arbitrary removal methods that will worsen the problem.
This guide gives out different methods for removing concrete splatter from wood, Aluminum, and Vinyl siding.
How to Remove Concrete Splatter from Siding?
Let’s first talk about cleaning off the concrete mess from wooden siding as many old houses have this kind of siding.
Removing Concrete Splatter from Wood Siding (2 Methods)
Method 1 – Using Concrete Remover, Scraper, & Sandpaper
You can skip the concrete remover altogether if the concrete splatter is not extensive. If you do need a concrete remover, make sure to purchase one suitable for wooden surfaces to prevent damage.
1- Concrete remover
3- Scraper or putty knife
6- Siding cleaner
STEP 1: Carefully place your scraper or putty knife at the edge of the concrete stain and scrape it off.
Only do this if the concrete has not been set, i.e., it is a recent splatter ideally under 24 or 48 hours. If not, skip to step 4.
STEP 2: Scrape carefully and consistently till you get the majority of the concrete of the wood. Be careful not to scrape the wood directly so as not to damage its finishing.
STEP 3: Try to fix the scraper underneath the edge of the dried concrete and hit it with a hammer or any other heavy tool. This should make the whole dried concrete lumps come off.
STEP 4: After doing this, you should have very little concrete left or a powdery concrete surface left on the wood. You can get rid of this by sanding it away with sandpaper.
STEP 5: If the scraper and sandpaper cannot take care of the concrete splatter on your wood siding, you’ll need to apply a concrete remover.
STEP 6: Depending on what form the remover comes in, either spray it on the concrete surface directly or apply it on a sponge and use the sponge to apply to the concrete stains.
STEP 7: Leave for a period directed by the product manufacturer. Then take your scraper and remove the concrete from the siding.
Some products may require a second application if the concrete splatter is extensive.
STEP 8: After removing the concrete, you can use a siding cleaner to clean your wood siding. This will brighten back its look and even out any dullness or patchiness due to the concrete stain.
Method 2 – Using Stiff Brush & Vinegar
Although vinegar is acidic, it is unlikely to affect your wood siding because it is a mild acid. Vinegar itself will not dissolve the concrete, but it will break down the cement that binds the concrete together, making it easier for the concrete to fall apart.
For best results, you should do this as an overnight method, starting from the evening of one day to the morning of the next.
1- White vinegar
2- Firm brush
4- Garden hose
5- Spray bottle
6- Sandpaper (optional)
7- Pressure washer (optional)
STEP 1: Mix vinegar and water in equal parts inside your spray bottle. If the concrete splatter is more extensive, put more vinegar and less water in your mixture or use pure white vinegar if necessary.
STEP 2: Spray on the concrete splatter all over your wood siding extensively.
Alternatively, if you are using a pressure washer, pour this mixture into the detergent tank of your equipment and apply it to your siding in a low-pressure setting.
Keep doing this for a while so that the concrete is entirely wet.
STEP 3: If you are using a pressure washer, make sure you angle your pressure washer downwards so that water does not get under and behind your siding. This will likely damage your wood siding in the long run.
STEP 4: Let this sit overnight. This is because vinegar is mild, so it needs to sit on concrete for an extended period to break down concrete. It is, however, safer for your wood than other acids.
STEP 5: In the morning, with your stiff brush and water hose or a pressure washer, scrub off and rinse away the concrete. It should be relatively easy to remove.
Be careful not to over scrub the wood itself so that you don’t damage your wood finishing.
STEP 6: Allow your wood surface to dry for a few days. If you like, sand it to even out the look of the surface if it looks any kind of way after the removal process.
Removing Concrete Splatter from Vinyl Siding (2 Methods)
Vinyl siding is perhaps the most commonly used type in modern homes. Let’s see how to remove that concrete from your vinyl siding.
Method 1 – Using a Sugar Solution
This is only likely to work if the concrete is not entirely set and cured. Mixed sugar and water solutions have some corrosive properties on such concrete.
STEP 1: Mix sugar and water to create a ‘not too thick’ paste. Don’t overdilute the sugar to get effective results. Mix as much of the paste as is necessary to cover all the concrete splatters.
STEP 2: Use the spatula to apply the thick sugar solution to the concrete. Apply generously and allow it to sit for at least 20 minutes.
STEP 3: You can check with your hands to see if the concrete is getting soft. If it is, you can now wash it off with a sponge.
STEP 4: Use your sponge to scrub the concrete splatter until all of it comes off.
STEP 5: Rinse very well with water until you can no longer see any loose concrete on your vinyl siding.
STEP 6: If a little concrete remains, reapply the sugar solution and repeat the process.
Method 2 – Using Dissolving the Concrete with Acids
Phosphoric acid is the most commonly used to dissolve concrete. However, if it does not work or is unavailable, you can also use muriatic acid (hydrochloric acid).
There are also phosphoric acid-based cleaners that you can use. These chemicals are safe to use on pure vinyl. But, you can do a spot test on a non-visible part of your siding for extra precaution.
If your vinyl is not pure, a diluted mix of these acids with water may not necessarily damage it.
1- Eye goggles
2- Nose mask
3- Hand gloves
5- Muriatic acid
6- Spray bottle or brush
8- Baking Soda
9- Water hose
STEP 1: Use all safety gears first. Keep your baking soda and water hose nearby in case of any accidental acid spills. Baking soda and water will help you neutralize and dilute the acid to minimize damage.
STEP 2: Put water in a bowl and then pour your acid into it. Follow the manufacturer’s mixture directions for the appropriate measurements.
Make sure you don’t pour water into the acid because it can lead to acid splashing on you and the surroundings.
STEP 3: Pour this solution into your spray bottle and apply it to the concrete stains you want to remove. Alternatively, you can dip a brush into the solution and apply it to the concrete splatter.
STEP 4: After applying extensively to the concrete splatter, leave it on for about 8 to 10 minutes for the concrete to soften.
STEP 5: With a water hose, rinse off the acid and concrete from your vinyl siding. It should have dissolved and should wash off easily.
STEP 6: Check for concrete remains. If you find any, you can use muriatic acid if you earlier tried phosphoric acid. You can also simply repeat the process to remove the remaining concrete splatter.
Removing Concrete Splatter from Aluminum Siding (2 Methods)
Aluminum siding is not uncommon and you need to know the right steps to get the concrete off your aluminum so that you don’t damage it.
Method 1 – Using Concrete Remover
Concrete chemically reacts with aluminum and damages it. The longer concrete stays on aluminum, the more extensive the damage.
This is why you need to act fast by getting a suitable concrete remover for your aluminum siding.
Although different acids have varying effects on different aluminum grades, it is advisable to use a non-acid-based concrete remover altogether to be on the safe side.
There are many biodegradable suitable removers you can purchase at the hardware store.
1- Concrete remover
2- Spray hose
STEP 1: Spray a little of the concrete remover on a non-conspicuous part of your aluminum siding to ensure that it won’t cause any damage to your siding. If it does not come in an aerosol spray bottle, apply it on a sponge and test on your siding.
STEP 2: After confirming the product’s safety, spray or apply generously to the concrete splatters all over your siding.
STEP 3: Leave to sit for a few minutes according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Then, get your spray hose and wash off the concrete, which should be loose by now.
STEP 4: If there is still some left, repeat the process. You do not need to scrub to get rid of the concrete. Simply spray off with your hose. This way, your aluminum will suffer little to no damage.
Method 2 – Using Fine Steel Wool
This is best done as soon as concrete splatter is noticed on aluminum siding. Steel wool is sometimes used to even polish aluminum surfaces.
1- Laundry detergent or any other good cleaning product
3- Fine steel wool sponge
5- Pressure washer (optional)
6- Spray hose
7- Spray bottle or absorbent sponge
STEP 1: Mix your detergent and water or prepare your home cleaning product. A good ratio for the detergent to water is a quarter cup of detergent to a gallon of water.
STEP 2: You can apply it to the concrete with a spray bottle, a sponge, or with your pressure washer. Apply it all over the concrete stains on your aluminum siding.
STEP 3: Leave the mixture on the concrete stains for at least an hour, making sure to keep wetting it to prevent it from drying.
STEP 4: Take your fine steel wool sponge and scrub the cement thoroughly. Be careful not to scrub the aluminum surface itself forcefully as that will lead to scratching of the aluminum.
Also, make sure your steel wool sponge is very fine, as it reduces any noticeable scratching of your aluminum siding.
STEP 5: With your spray hose or power washer set to between 2,500 psi and 3,000 psi, rinse off the loose cement. You can repeat the scrubbing process if there is still some concrete left. Rinse everything off thoroughly.
As you become an expert ‘DIYer’, you will become much more skilled in handling concrete without splattering.
As you continue working with concrete, remember to clean splatters as soon as they happen to prevent more stress later in the future. Also, cover important places with a tarp or other protective material to make your post-remodeling clean-up process more effortless.
If you also happened to accidentally threw a bit of concrete on painted surfaces, here is a guide on removing concrete splatter from painted surfaces (metals and walls).