Cleaning concrete can boost your curb appeal


You've cleared out the clutter, deep-cleaned the carpets and removed the family photos, but your carefully staged home isn't selling. You may need to focus on the outside of your home to get more potential buyers in the door.

"The curb appeal of your home is most important," said Mike Spiczenski, co-owner of an roof and exterior cleaning company. "We call it exterior home staging, and we're looking at it from the home owner's aspect as far as what is the best bang for their buck? What is gonna give them the most opportunities to sell their home, and also at a price they feel comfortable with?"

Driveways and sidewalks are easy to overlook, but they play an important part in making a good first impression.

"Having your concrete professionally cleaned before putting your house on the market can really improve your curb appeal, both in person and online," said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List.

A professional cleaning for a typical two-car driveway and front sidewalk should run you about $150. The results should last for three to five years.

"Many people don't think about cleaning concrete, but they would be surprised that once they have it professionally cleaned how much better it can look," Hicks said.

"I had one couple who – again, with their home we were getting it ready for them to sell – we went through everything… cleaned up their entire home, the exterior, the concrete… and when we finished, they decided not to sell. They loved the results and they fell in love with their home again," Spiczenski explained.

If you're a do-it-yourselfer, Hicks says you can use a pressure washer to do a small porch or patio and get good results, but she recommends a professional for driveways and large areas, especially if you're looking to sell your home quickly.

Benefits of professionally cleaned concrete:

  • Removes deep stains and mildew
  • Complete, even appearance over large areas
  • Long-lasting results, typically 3-5 years

Once cleaned, concrete can be sealed to prevent damage and beautify home exterior. There are two types of sealing to consider:

  • Penetrating - soaks into the concrete and helps prevent chipping, pitting, popping and scaling; will last 5-10 years
  • Surface – enhances the look of stamped concrete; more decorative; offers a high gloss finish; will last up to 2 or 3 years