Local pressure washing powerhouse Pristine Clean turned a mythological creature into a metaphor for solving one of Northeast Ohio’s biggest problems for homeowners—damaged concrete

Pristine Male Female
Above: Austin, a professional Pristine Clean technician, applies a silane-siloxane sealant to help prevent water from seeping into porous concrete and freezing, a concrete-shattering process the company has dubbed, “Winter Cracken.”

By Mitch Allen

The mythological “Kraken” dates back to a 12th century Norwegian legend, perhaps rooted in sightings of giant squid. More recently, the sea monster has been popularized in comic books and in the 1981 movie Clash of the Titans, when it appears as a pet of Poseidon. In the movie, Zeus famously utters, “Release the Kraken.”

Today, the staff of the locally owned Pristine Clean has embraced the monster as “Winter Cracken” to symbolize Northeast Ohio’s freeze/thaw cycle which turns our concrete surfaces to rubble. The science behind how this happens is somewhat complicated, but its affect is easily seen in the form of the Winter Cracken character.

“It’s a fun symbol for a very serious problem,” says Pristine Clean founder Ken Wilson, who hired a professional cartoonist to capture the Cracken’s image, along with other villains, like Gloeocapsa Magma (the black streaks of bacteria on Northeast Ohio rooftops) and Winter Grime, named for the dirt, moss, algae, mildew and other contaminates that build up on our vinyl siding.

“Concrete is porous,” Ken explains. “When water enters those pores and freezes, it expands by ten percent, which shatters the concrete. That’s Winter Cracken at work, and that’s why our Concrete Wash & Seal is so effective. We clean your driveway then seal it to prevent water from getting into your concrete and freezing.”

In the comic to the left, Winter Cracken is destroying driveways in the neighborhood, but cannot penetrate the driveway protected by Pristine’s popular Wash & Seal service. Instead, the Cracken’s own leg shatters before the concrete can.

The right sealant is that important.

Choosing the Right Sealant
Using high-tech walk-behind cleaning units, the techs at Pristine deep clean your concrete to clear it of dirt and contaminants. Then they apply a sealer made of silane-siloxane, which chemically reacts to create a hydrophobic barrier.

“The holes in the porous concrete vary in size,” Ken says. “We use this unique combination because silane fills the small spaces, and siloxane expands into the bigger spaces. Plus, after the application, our sealer will mitigate staining and protect your driveway and walkways against further contaminants, such as oils and road salt.”

In addition to its Concrete Wash & Seal service, Pristine Clean also power washes homes and cleans and revitalizes roofs. If you haven’t had your home power washed this year, you can still get that done, too, and not have to look at the built-up grime, algae and moss all winter long.

Your Concrete Is Worth Protecting
So why bother cleaning and sealing your driveway? The answer is simple: Protecting it is way cheaper than replacing it. “The cost of concrete and labor have soared over the past few years,” Ken says. “The average driveway now costs more than $12,000 to replace. That’s the average driveway.”

Part of this high price is rooted in a longtime concrete shortage, which has also encouraged manufacturers to cut corners by delivering lower-quality concrete to contractors. “That’s why today’s driveways are not the same quality as those poured many years ago,” Ken adds. “That also means they need extra protection from Northeast Ohio’s damaging freeze/thaw cycle to ensure a long life.”

Flat-Rate Pricing
Although Pristine uses advanced equipment and diligently trains its staff in the classroom and through on-the-job apprenticeships, one of the best reasons to choose Pristine is the pricing. Unlike home improvement companies that quote a high price and hope you don’t negotiate, Pristine employs a single low, flat-rate price based on the square footage of the job. And you can get an over-the-phone quote because the customer service pros can see your home on a Google Earth-style software program and give you an accurate quote on the phone. “We save homeowners money by not having to make two trips to the house—one to give the estimate and one to do the job.”

Headquartered in Berea, Pristine Clean beautifies and protects homes throughout Northeast Ohio. The company is highly rated on Google, Facebook, and HomeAdvisor, and is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau. Call 440-454-7041 to arrange for a free estimate or visit PristineClean.com. All technicians are bonded, insured and certified by the Power Washers of North America.