Oil can damage pavement, so here are some tips on cleaning those oil stains up.

There’s no denying that new pavement has some definite curb appeal, so it’s in your best interest to keep your pavement looking as good as possible for as long as possible. Unfortunately, pavements are meant to be used, and that means that they accumulate dirt, debris, and stains. Some of the worst stains for your pavement—both in aesthetics and the longevity of your pavement—are oil stains. Oil stains usually come from our vehicles, but they can also come from tools, other machinery like lawnmowers, bicycle maintenance, a barbecue grill, garbage bins, and more. Find tips on how to clean up any oils stains that may be marring your pavement’s surface.

The Damage Caused by Oil Stains

Oil stains are not only unsightly, but petroleum-based oil will also cause damage to both asphalt and concrete pavement. The sulfur in petroleum-based oils will cause the pavement to decompose, leading to cracks and the crumbling of the surface of the pavement. This lets in water, which causes further damage. Some food-based oils can damage pavements as well.

Preventing oil stains is the best route, such as through servicing equipment on a piece of cardboard or parking over a special oil-absorbing mat, but if oil stains have gotten on to your pavement, follow these tips to remove them as soon as possible:

  • If caught immediately, most oil stains can be absorbed with kitty litter or sand and washed away with dish detergent and a stiff-bristled brush. Dispose of any materials that have soaked up oils appropriately.
  • A paste of baking soda and water can be applied to newer, tougher stains. Apply the paste, allow it to sit for a few minutes, and then scrub it with a stiff-bristled brush. Lastly, wash the paste away with water.
  • For set-in stains, buying a degreaser is the next step. There are many different products available; make sure to choose the right one for the nature of your stain and the type of pavement you have. Following all manufacturer’s directions exactly. 
  • Hire a professional. Most pavement construction companies will be able to assess the best option for removing your stain or replacing or resealing your pavement.

Contact a pavement professional like Tucker Paving for all of your asphalt and concrete paving needs. Contact us online, or call us at (863) 299-2262 for help with your asphalt or concrete paving project, such as sealcoating, pavement installation, and pavement repair.