Removing rust stains from concrete can be challenging

Removing rust stains generated by automobile battery acids, lawn fertilizers, and Irrigation wells can be challenging. Iron minerals applied to any material over time will start to show a brownish orange rust color. Not all wells contain iron, but the ones that do are easily noticeable after irrigating for short periods. The appearance of your homes exterior concrete, pavers, fencing, or walls will continue to stain deeper and darker in color.

The picture below shows an old neighbors sidewalk (less that one year old). This homeowner installed an irrigation well to water his grass and after a few weeks of watering this was the result.

Removing Rust Stains

Preventing Rust:

Outdoor metal patio tables, chairs, BBQ grills will eventually leave rust spots on your exterior hardscapes. As new finishes over metal wear down over time they will leave rust stains on the surfaces they reside. Placing your grills on pads and patio furniture on outdoor rugs work great. If rust’s coming from the irrigation well you can purchase separate “Add-On” devices that filter and helps remove the iron minerals. This option requires a monthly maintenance activity of adding a powder mixture to to this device, which can become quite expensive.  If you fail to replenish the iron reducing powder each month then you are going to start to see rust.

Rust Removal Products:

The first solution to removing rust stains is identifying the source of the rust problem. There is no quick fix chemical to remove the staining left behind by rust. Purchasing and applying every big box store rust remover out there left me with no choice but to explore commercial products. Some commercial and box store products do remove rust from smooth finishes like vinyl fencing, siding, or a painted surfaces. If you attempt apply commercial rust removers to concrete, pavers, stucco or any other porous surface you will most likely burn in a white spot over where the orange stain use to be.

Paying A Pro to Remove Rust:

Most customers do not know they have a rust problem until after their concrete has been professionally cleaned as dirt and mold will hide the rust. Spot treating rust stains will not provide a quality uniform finish. Rust removers are acids and change the color of just about everything they touch with the exceptions of plastics. If there is rust staining from overspray of sprinklers it’s impossible to blend the colors into the unstained areas. If you have just a small rust spot on your driveway then a spot treatment might make sense. Spot cleaning larger stains leads to a noticeable difference in the color of the concrete.

If you have rust all the way down the sides of your driveways and sidewalks then it is recommended to treat the entire driveway or sidewalk to achieve UNIFORM results. Rust removal for a standard four car driveway can cost about $700 to $1,000. The Pressure Kru doesn’t recommend paying to remove rust unless the rust causing issues have been addressed and removed.

The images below are from a customer that wanted their driveway pressure washed to remove the rust. After reviewing the options, the homeowner wanted the driveway pressure washed, declining the rust removal service. Most homeowners don’t agree with purchasing additional equipment, installing that equipment, or having to spend $50 a month on adding powders each month.

Original After pressure washing