Front 9 Restoration
Concrete Cleaners & Sealers

By Craig Harrison, Senior Technical Adviser of Front 9 Restoration, Inc. and F9 University,

Rust comes in various forms, such as iron oxide, iron hydroxide (II & III), and green rust. It can form on any surface, even under water. The more porous a surface is, the more difficult it can be to remove the rust stain because it penetrates deeply into the surface.

Types of “Rust”

Simple rust, such as iron oxide that results from sprinklers, can normally be taken care of with a healthy dose of oxalic acid. But as rust goes through different stages it can get tougher to remove. Some rust is what we could call a “combination rust stain,” where you have iron oxide (thin and watery) and metallic, corrosive, flaky rust (iron hydroxide) that forms a concentrated stain and builds up.

Then there are other “rust” stains that are not actually rust at all. Battery stains
from electric vehicles – especially in golf cart communities – form an orange flash acid burn from the sulfuric battery acid that can continue to grow in depth and length. These stains look
almost identical to rust but are much different. Hydrochloric acid spills can produce the same type of orange acid burn. Fertilizer rust stains and battery acid burn from golf carts are among the toughest forms of rust and burn to remove.

Removing Rust

The problem with traditional rust removers currently on the market is that they contain acids that “eat” the concrete. They strip
the concrete of its cement paste and can
create a micro-aggregate or “etched” surface surrounding the rust or orange acid burn. When these cleaners eat the cement, they
only take a minimal amount of the stain with
it and cause deep, permanent damage to the concrete. Almost all concrete rust removers formulated to remove rust can discolor the concrete, turn it white or, in some cases, even turn it more orange. Now your problem is two- or three-fold and your customer has sustained permanent damage to their concrete. Not good.

This is where F9 comes in handy in its ability to tackle all forms of rust and orange acid burn and give the user predictable results on a wide variety of surfaces without damage or etching. F9 performs beautifully on both of these types of stains.

We are currently in the process of creating other remarkable cleaners to help with issues of efflorescence, calcified efflorescence, calcium carbonate, hard water stains and more. We are also working on a “green” line of synthetic cleaners.

We also have made it easy and rewarding for contractors to use. Our F9 Authorized Applicator Program and www. website is a lead generator for our Authorized Applicators, turning homeowners and property managers into prospects. In the last 12 months alone, we have generated over $250,000 in work for our Authorized Applicators from Internet leads across the U.S.

Finally, I just want to add that like most of you reading this, I am a pressure washing and restoration contractor myself. Our number one goal is to get the customers who call us or visit our site the best work possible. Damage to concrete doesn’t need to happen if you have the right restoration chemical and solid knowledge on how to get it done. We provide this and take great satisfaction knowing we are helping our industry as a whole, helping your business and getting the best work done as possible to the people who need it.

F9 is much more than just a product; it is literally a business for some. When a pressure washing contractor or restoration professional knows with confidence that he can remove certain stains where other contractors have failed, this is a powerful place to be. A niche like rust removal can be used to grow your business and up sell the rest of your services.

Craig Harrison is the Senior Technical Adviser of Front 9 Restoration, Inc., in Palm Desert, California, and an associate member of the UAMCC. For more information on F9 or our Authorized Applicator Program, visit www. and “F9 University” or call us direct at 855-803-1133.