Oil and grease don't only leave nasty stains on driveways and parking lots: if left untreated, they will saturate your asphalt and dissolve the pavement's binder. Over time, this will lead to cracks, potholes, and an early deterioration of the asphalt.
This is why removing oil stains from asphalt should be done regularly. It isn't only for aesthetic appeal. It also avoids expensive asphalt repairs and improves the lifespan of your driveway or parking lot. So, what do you do to have your asphalt stain-free again? Don't despair! Action Seal is here to help. We've made an easy step-by-step guide for you.
Before we jump to removing the stains, let's find out the condition of your pavement first. Take a screwdriver and poke the stain. If it goes through, then the asphalt has already sustained significant damage. You should repair it as soon as possible to avoid further damage. Before applying a cold patch, you should remove the oil first.
Using dish soap, detergent, and other household cleaning supplies is great for fresh spills. But they can be ineffective and useless for old stains. Some are so stubborn that a pressure washer may not do the trick. It can also push the oil further down.
If you've tried every possible do-it-yourself hack and failed every time, it's time to consider getting a commercial-grade degreaser. It's specially formulated to penetrate asphalt and remove oil. At Action Seal, we have the Oil-Flo Safety Solvent Cleaner. It is a water-soluble cleaner that can dissolve oil. It can also remove other stains like inks, waxes, adhesives, and more. It is also environment-friendly since it doesn't contain CFCs. This asphalt degreaser is already ready to use. There's no need to add other cleaning chemicals.
We don't recommend using paint thinner and other kinds of cleaners. These products are too harsh or strong. They can make the asphalt crumble and degrade faster.
Before removing oil from asphalt, you should prepare the surface first. Dirty pavement can impede or block the degreaser from doing its magic. A clean surface allows the degreaser to penetrate through the asphalt and remove the oil.
With that in mind, you should remove dirt and other loose debris. You can use a stiff broom to do this. Then, wash the surface with water. You can use a pressure washer if you have one. Let the surface dry.
Some degreasers come in a spray bottle. You can spray it directly on the surface. In case the degreaser is in a gallon or bucket, you can either use a broom or cloth to apply the oil remover. Don't forget to have protective gear like gloves.
Make sure to read and follow the instructions of your preferred degreaser. Some products require diluting with warm water before application.
You should then agitate the area with a brush. Leave the formula on the surface, depending on the recommended instructions. Rinse the surface with water.
After removing the stain, you should consider sealcoating. It gives asphalt or extra concrete layer of protection. You can buy sealcoating equipment and supply here.
Don't let oil stains and grease damage your driveway. Remove them as soon as possible and avoid paying for expensive repairs!