Oil stains may be a nuisance and visually distracting, but if you do not attend to them, they can have devastating consequences that may lead to major asphalt pavement repairs. Motor oil, transmission fluid, gasoline, hydraulic fluid, diesel fuel, grease and any other product containing petroleum or petroleum byproducts will eat away at the binder holding your pavement together. Caustic chemicals can create similar problems, so oils and chemicals should be removed as soon as they appear on the surface of your asphalt parking lot or driveway. Oil stains left unattended can also become a liability if someone slips and falls. Asphalt companies recommend that you cordon off the area and/or cover the oil stain with an orange traffic cone until the spill can be removed.
Parking Lot Maintenance | How To Remove Oil Stains
How Do I Remove Fresh Oil Stains From My Asphalt Pavement?
Any fresh oil that appears on the surface of your asphalt pavement should be immediately removed with dry, clean rags. Remove as much oil as possible, using multiple rags if needed. Try not to spread the oil over a larger area.
Dispose of the oily rags properly. Do not pile the rags together or throw them in the trash; improperly contained oily rags can spontaneously combust. Place the oily rags in an empty metal container filled with water. Immerse the rags completely in the water and seal the metal container with an airtight metal lid. Dispose of the container by taking it to a disposal facility.
After removing as much oil as possible with the rags, lay down a layer of absorbent material. Non-clumping kitty litter can be used, but there are many types of industrial products manufactured specifically for this purpose. Spread the material around with a broom to make sure it gets as deep as possible into the asphalt. Let the material absorb as much of the remaining oil as possible from the asphalt’s surface and pores before sweeping it up the next morning and properly disposing of it.
Rinse the area thoroughly, preferably with hot water. You can use a pressure sprayer, but you will want to set the pressure low enough to not cause damage to the asphalt pavement.
Apply an industrial-quality degreaser or product designed specifically for removing oil from asphalt. Some household products, including liquid dish soap, can be used on small oil stains. Do not use a solvent-based product on your asphalt. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended procedures if you choose an industrial product. If you are using dish soap, you can apply it straight from the bottle or dilute it.
Scrub the stain with a stiff brush, but do not use a wire brush or wheel on your asphalt pavement. Wire implements can damage your pavement.
Rinse the area well and examine it closely to make sure that the pavement shows no signs of damage. If the pavement is not damaged, you can repeat the scrubbing procedure as many times as it takes for you to remove the stain.
What If I Find Pavement Damage While Cleaning Oil Stains on My Asphalt?
Damage is often found on pavements with oil stains that have remained untreated for months or years. If you notice any damage to the asphalt during the cleaning process. you should stop immediately and contact an asphalt maintenance contractor to assess the condition of the pavement. The asphalt may have to be removed and replaced with new asphalt if the damage is severe.
Can I Have Sealcoating Applied Over Oil Stains?
No reputable sealcoating contractor would attempt to apply a sealant over untreated oil stains. Sealants have to establish a strong bond with the asphalt pavement if they are to protect it, and automotive fluids will prevent the formation of that bond. Furthermore, your sealcoating contractor may have to apply a primer before applying the sealant.
Why Should I Trust My Asphalt Maintenance to All Pro Asphalt?
All Pro Asphalt is a paving contractor and our goal is to provide you with exceptional results by using the best products and the latest methods. We provide residential and commercial customers in the greater Kansas City area with a variety of paving services, including asphalt sealcoating, asphalt repairs, pavement striping, asphalt paving, concrete installation and concrete repairs. We have built an exemplary reputation through superior customer service and outstanding craftsmanship. To request a free quote, give us a call at 816-249-6800 or fill out the online form.