Driveways, Walkways Fertilizer stains concrete dri eway

Published on January 15th, 2017 | by Henri


Fertilizer stains new driveway

Q.  I have a new driveway, five months old, and fertilize the lawn using Scotts Green MAX with iron. It started to sprinkle rain before I could remove the fertilizer from the driveway. I now have rust colored spots on the driveway. What can I use to remove these spots?

Also can I use my snow blower on the driveway this winter without harming the driveway surface with the metal edge of the snow blower? Thank you.

A. You are right that Scotts® Green MAX™ Lawn Food contain iron, which is what caused the rust stains.

Try brushing the affected areas with a solution of equal parts water and fresh bleach. If that does not completely clear the rust spots, increase the proportion of bleach to water.

This should take care of the rust spots since they are relatively fresh. But if it does not, there is another chemical, oxalic acid, which you can use, but it is more caustic and needs to be used with great caution.

You can buy oxalic crystals from paint and hardware stores; you won’t need much. Wear skin and eye protection, and old clothes. Mix the crystals to saturation in hot water in a plastic bucket – never use metal containers or tools with oxalic acid.

Apply the mixture with a stiff-bristle brush with a long handle. Give it a chance to do its work; it may take 20 to 30 minutes. When satisfied with the results, rinse the walks. Dispose of any remaining solution environmentally.

Concrete is extremely tough once cured; it should be OK after five months. If you are careful, your snow blower should not damage it. I used our snow blower for years without any problem.
After the winter is over, and snow has cleaned your driveway (which it does beautifully), you may want to consider applying a sealer on the concrete.

There are two kinds of sealers: topical and penetrating. Topical sealers will only last a year or so, and will need to be reapplied. Ask your concrete contractor if he or she applied a topical sealer when the job was completed; it is often done, and if it has, it will need to wear off completely before you can use a penetrating sealer or you will have to keep applying the same sealer every year or so.

Penetrating sealers are the better choice, but you must make sure that they will penetrate. Sprinkle water on the dry concrete; if it soaks in, it’s a GO. But if the water beads, don’t waste your time and money applying it. Wait until the concrete is ready to accept it.

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