Chewing gum gives a tainted to look to concrete in most major cities around the world. While most people are responsible about their chewing habits, there are some people who have little regard for the hassle it causes in the long run. As many city-dwellers know, it doesn’t take long for a brand new stretch of pavement to turn into a blotchy, sticky, and darkened mess. Concrete cleaning is the method needed to deal with such issues, but the use of a pressure washer is not paramount.
IT IS CONSIDERED GRAFFITI:
Although it may not seem like it, dropping gum is considered to be both graffiti and litter, and is generally punishable under both sets of laws. Governments worldwide spend tens, or even hundreds of millions of dollars a year removing it from city footpaths and communal areas. Since it leaves dark circles on the pavement, it is just as troublesome in communities as spray paint is on the murals; it can downgrade the look of a city sidewalk very quickly and with little effort.
The problem has gotten so bad that some cities have started to get creative about finding a way to deal with sidewalk gum issues. In 1992, Singapore took the drastic step of banning the importation and sale of chewing gum completely, and although it was later revised to allow for medicinal gums, that law is still in effect. In London, an eccentric artist named Ben Wilson has taken a different approach by turning the sticky little blobs into works of art using only a tiny brush and a painstaking eye for detail.
DEALING WITH A STICKY SITUATION:
While the situation is unsanitary and repulsive, it is not permanent. If the street, footpath, or driveway in question is treated quickly and regularly, the gum can be removed without much hassle. Given that Americans chew more than 250,000 tons of gum on an annual basis, that is a very good thing.
The trick to concrete cleaning without damaging the sidewalks is to chill the gum first, then freeze it to harden the surface. This can be achieved by filling a plastic bag with ice cubes and water, tying it off, then letting it stand on the patch of gum for approximately 15 minutes. During frigid winter conditions, it’s also possible for the gum to freeze on its own, which achieves the same effect. If there are large amounts of gum in front of your business, using a plastic bag or waiting for snow may take too long, so speaking to our team about ice blasting (another form of power washing) may be a good idea. Freezing gum quickly gets the gum removal job done quickly.
Once the gum is cool enough that it is no longer sticky, take a plastic scraper and chip away at it until the bulk of the gum has been removed. Then, take a cloth soaked in denatured alcohol, blot it over the spot and leave it to sink in for another 15 minutes. This will loosen the remaining gum so that it can be removed with a stiff brush. If the stain is particularly stubborn, a wire brush or steel wool can be used but that can do serious damage to the surface of the road or footpath.
For the best results, it’s always a good idea to speak with a professional graffiti removal company since they have access to high-powered pressure washing tools that can make gum removal nearly effortless. Hiring a professional can save you time, effort, and money. Call for an obligation-free quote today.