While you are preparing your home to list it for sale, don’t forget to give the garage and the driveway a facelift. Even if you keep your car in tip-top shape, other vehicles can develop leaks that, when they land on your concrete or asphalt surfaces can leave nasty stains. These really can be cleaned even long after the fact, making your paving look like it never met a leaky vehicle.

Of course, there are also other stain-makers that can detract from your otherwise perfect property presentation Sydney. Tire tracks, the neighbour’s dog, or even an overflowing grease trap on your patio barbeque can create stained surfaces. Here are the solutions that can solve your paving stain issues.

Fresh Spills
Your mother probably told you that an ounce of prevention is more valuable than a pound of cure. That old saying is especially true of these greasy, oily stains. When they happen, clean them up as soon as possible.

• Use paper towels or old rags to blot up as much of the oily spill as possible. Don’t rub. Pushing the oil around may spread the stain around and give it more area to penetrate and stain.

• Put down an absorbent layer of any of these household products to suck up the fluid: clay cat litter, corn meal, baking soda or corn starch. If you just happen to have a child’s sandbox in your back yard, spreading a shovel full of sand will also help absorb the fluid.

• Next, use a stiff broom or bristled brush to work the material into the stain. (Avoid metal bristles as they are too tough on your concrete or asphalt and may damage the surface.) After working the absorbent material into the stain, allow it to sit for several hours or even overnight to soak in as much of the fluid as possible. Then sweep it up and go on to the next phase.

• Don’t try to spray it away with the garden hose. These stains and spills are oil based. Water will be useless until you pair it with a detergent that specialises in grease. Your liquid dishwashing detergent is an excellent choice. (Detergents – as opposed to anything called soap – are specially formulated to break down the bonds that develop between grease and the surfaces it clings to. Powdered laundry detergent can also work here, but we recommend dishwashing detergent because it is formulated to work especially well on grease.) Squirt your detergent all over the stain and then use a stiff bristled brush or broom to work it deep into the concrete and the stain. In theory, you can now rinse it all away with the garden hose. If you want an extra layer of ‘oomph’ call in a bucket of the hottest water you have on tap. (Or boil a bit if you wish.)

Depending on the nature of the stain, you may need to repeat this process several times to thoroughly remove the stain. If these steps do not work, try some of the steps below for older, more stubborn stains.

Stubborn Old Stains
Brace yourself. Some of you may find this a bit scary. One of the best ways to remove stubborn stains like rust and oil from concrete or asphalt is a widely available liquid known as Coca Cola. Reading the label on the bottle or can, you won’t find stain removal as one of its best uses, but the Coke treatment is one that is well known in the building and construction trades as well as common knowledge among those who do property presentation Sydney. Pour the beverage right over the stain and allow it to stand. As it begins to dry up, add more until several hours have passed. Then follow the steps above to evict the stubborn stain.

Of course, you can purchase heavy-duty industrial stain removers to work on your driveway, sidewalk, garage floor, and patio surfaces – just remember to buy a product that is specially formulated to work on the surface you have. These can be expensive, but if the process above doesn’t work, you’ll need to bring in the really big guns. Don’t forget to read the warning labels and follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Remember, concrete, asphalt, and even paving stones are very porous products. Oily stains can seep deep into the material — sometimes as deep as a centimetre. You may have to work very hard to make your driveway or garage floor ready for property presentation Sydney, but the result will be worth it in the end.

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