My wife and I have a very unusual situation. A plastic bottle of a
"Cactus Food" tipped over and sat in the solution for a day or so. It
is a slightly low spot of our concrete patio so it did not evaporate as
quickly as it might have on an area that did not "pond." The solution
is comprised of the following ingredients:
1.0% Nitrate Nitrogen
7% Available Phosphate (P 2 0 5)
6.0% Soluble Potash (K20)
Derived from: Ammonium Nitrate, Calcium Nitrate, and Potassium
What has happened is that it has stained our concrete patio, and where
the bottle had layed down, it has etched a groove in the surface of
about 1/2" or so. When we called the company they took no
responsibility, in fact they were rude, saying that this had never
happened before and it was impossible. My wife talked with someone in a
concrete manufacturing company who said this type of solution could
damage concrete. I did not know where to turn so I am curious about
what you folks in the chemistry community might think of this. Also, it
is odd. Since this has happened, every morning the area where the
spilled occurred appears wet, even though it is not currently raining.
It almost looks like moisture is being leeched out of the air and drawn
towards this spot? The person in the company did tell my wife to drench
the area with bleach, but that did not help at all. Any idea,
suggestions, etc. would be greatly appreciated. We do not even know who
to ask to help us as we do not want the concrete to degrade now that it
has been deeply etched. Thanks in advance for any help you folks can
Ammonium Nitrate, Calcium Nitrate, and Potassium Phosphate are all
nicely reactive compounds, and all of them are weak acids.
Concrete is also reactive. Any kind of acid will erode it.
I would cover the spot with moist baking soda, which is alkaline and
will neutralize acids, and let it sit for a day, then wash it
thoroughly with lots of water. It doesn't much matter what you do,
because the damage to your concrete is permanent.
You can leave it alone, cover it up, or patch it. If you decide to
patch it, I recommend you make a "feature" in that spot. (The first
rule of decorating: If you can't hide it, make it stand out.) For
instance, you could:
* Cover it with a fountain.
* Use a grinder to make an artistic pattern.
* Cut a section out to make a small flower bed.
* Use concrete stain to decorate.
* Inset decorative blocks or stones.
Let us know what you decide to do.
Why should they? You think they should be testing cactus food on patios
before selling it? What else should they test it on? Maybe roofs,
trampolines and iguanas?
They probably figured you were trying to squeeze some bucks out of them.
Maybe line them up for a legal damage claim.
What if someone in this NG tells you to try something and it makes it
worse? What then?
Plain ground clay cat litter will suck many liquid things out of
concrete. Frequently used to remove oil on driveways. Remove oil by
putting some on, grind in with your foot, let it sit over night. Sweep
up next day. Repeat until it no longer will remove anything else. Live
with what's left. Disclaimer: Should you decide to try this on your
patio keep in mind it could make they eyesore worse. Not practical on
patio to hide it by parking over it.
Live with it or repair. Sometimes a repair is worse then the original
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.