In a perfect world, everything that should end up in a refuse bin would end up in a refuse bin. A lot of people are willing to throw away cans and food wrappers. Though the one thing that seems to end up on sidewalks, patios, and outdoor surfaces the most is chewing gum.
Whether it is a kid whose bubble gum has lost its flavor or an adult who just can’t be bothered to find a garbage can, gum seems to end up getting everywhere. Not only can it be visually unsightly, and annoyingly stuck to the bottom of shoes, but it can even be a salient health hazard.
Compounding this problem is the fact that gum has a knack for sticking fast to just about any hard walking surface it lands on. One it does dust, pollen, grime, and footwear soils can turn it black and ugly. Over time it can even start to stain the underlying concrete to the point that it still has a visual presence long after being physically scraped away.
Worse still, hot days seem to help it adhere so well that it becomes very hard to remove on your own!
If you have a recurring problem with gum on your commercial property’s sidewalks, patios, and walkways or you have let stray pieces of gum build up into an unsightly mess, chances are you have struggled with trying to remove it. This is because a lot of the cleaning equipment and cleaning products available at the retail level, simply aren’t strong enough or effective at removing stuck-on chewing gum once it embeds on a surface.
As seemingly small as a wad of chewing gum might seem, it truly is the sort of big job that is best handled by professionals.
Assessing The Best Method For Removing Chewing Gum
As strange as it may seem, not all stuck on chewing gum respond the same way. The general age and condition of the chewing gum will be a factor, as will the weather conditions. Gum that has recently landed on a surface during cool weather will be easier to remove than chewing gum that has sat on a sidewalk for days in the hot sun. In the case of the latter, the melted sugars and other sticky substances can saturate and embed the chewing gum onto the sidewalk’s surface.
Physically Removing Chewing Gum From A Sidewalk
Gum that has not embedded itself into the surface of the sidewalk might be scraped away with a simple metal putty knife. Especially if that gum was deposited on a cold day. At that point, hot water around 200 degrees Fahrenheit, with a little simple cleaning solution that is rated for outdoor surface might be all that’s needed to remove any lingering surface traces of the gum.
Afterward, you should keep an eye on the spot to see if any residual adhesive starts to trap dust, pollen, or other fine airborne particles. If you do notice a stain starting to develop a few days to a week later more stringent methods might be needed.
Dealing With Stuck On Or Older Gum Deposits
If the gum has been in place for a long time, or the processes of warm sun and accidental foot traffic have embedded it into the porous surface of the sidewalk or patio, then you will need to turn to more aggressive means. This usually calls for professional power washing.
Though this is the sort of thing that requires a delicate touch. The temptation a lot of novice pressure washers feel is to crank the pressure washer up to the max and blast away at the gum with reckless abandon.
This can actually damage the concrete of a sidewalk, affect the joints in between sections or damage the finish on patio stones. Sure, you might manage to remove the unsightly piece of gum, but you end up causing cosmetic or actual physical damage to the area it once occupied.
The Benefits Of Professional Chewing Gum Removal
The truth is, that while you might be able to physically remove one or two pieces of stuck-on chewing gum with a putty knife and some hot water, you are ultimately better off having a professional cleaning crew like the technicians at Building Service Inc. handle your property’s gum removal needs.
There are several benefits to outsourcing to a professional over trying a do-it-yourself approach.
Access To Professional Supplies & Equipment
The cleaning equipment and supplies that are available at the retail level are rarely strong enough or efficient enough to fully remove all traces of stuck-on chewing gum from a sidewalk or patio. Especially older gum that has deeply embedded trace adhesives into the porous surface.
Better Use Of Employee Man Hours
Chances are your employees and in-house maintenance staff has better things to go than cleanup stuck-on wads of chewing gum. Outsourcing to a professional cleaning service lets your people focus on their area of expertise, while the experts restore your clean and pristine walking surfaces.
Removal Of Bird Droppings & Other Unwanted Material
Most commercial properties with a chewing gum problem also have other unwanted materials around. This might be excess bird droppings, mildew on awnings, dust, and pollen clinging to exterior surfaces. When you have a professional cleaning crew like Building Services Inc. come in to remove stuck-on gum from sidewalks and patios you can also trust that we can take care of all your other exterior beautification needs.
At Building Services Inc. We pride ourselves on being able to offer convenient, flexible scheduling to meet our client’s needs. If you have an immediate problem, we can usually dispatch someone that same day. We are happy to service your commercial property during your normal hours of operation, or after everyone has gone home.
Many of our clients find it convenient to schedule a weekly, monthly, or quarterly cleaning schedule. That way we can come in at the prearranged time to remove all traces of chewing gum, bird droppings, grime, and other exterior debris all in one fell swoop.