Keeping your asphalt parking lot clean is a priority if you want it to remain looking good and free of damage for years. While you can clean most things with a sweep or a wash, you may have to do a little more to clean up oil stains. Here's what you need to know about oil stains on asphalt, and how you can fight them.
Why You Need to Clean Oil Stains from Your Asphalt
Oil stains can become permanent. They detract from the look of your clean parking lot. Too many of them can make your asphalt look older than it really is. More importantly, spilled fuel or oil can cause deterioration of your asphalt. That breakdown of the asphalt will lead to potholes, which are both unsightly and hazardous.
You need to make sure you clean up oil or fuel from your asphalt as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more time the oil will have to seep into the surface of your asphalt pavement.
Rinse the Area Where You Find the Oil or Fuel Stain
The first thing you should on coming across an oil stain is to rinse the area to clear it of any dirt debris. Use a regular hose or just rinse from a bucket. Using anything with high-pressure can prematurely push the oil into the asphalt and make it stain much quicker.
Use Soap and Water or Other Basic Cleaners
After rinsing the area, you can use soap and water on the oil. This will help to keep the oil from drying, and buy you more time to apply a better clean. You can also use other cleaners, such as a homemade vinegar or ammonia solution. You can also use a dedicated asphalt-cleaning product.
Apply your product, and scrub with a stiff-bristled brush. Rinse and repeat. it's possible this step can completely remove the grease and stain. If not, you can try some of the following methods.
Use Alternative Methods to Soak Up the Oil or Fuel
Try soaking up the oil or fuel while it's still moist. For example, you can use kitty litter to absorb the oil.
- Pour kitty litter on the area
- Stomp the litter into the oil stain
- Leave it out overnight
- Clean it up and rinse the next day
A few more methods operate in much the same way.
In general, they would all require you to put the substance on the oil or fuel stain, let it sit, then rinse.
Parking Lot Sealcoating if All Else Fails
There's other things you can try, such as calling a professional asphalt cleaning service, which will likely use a steam pressure washer. However, if the stain has set in for too long, and dried, it's possible it's now a permanent part of your asphalt.
The best method for dealing with stubborn fuel and oil stains is to have your parking lot sealcoated. In fact, sealcoating from the start can help to prevent grease stains from setting in or doing damage to your asphalt from the very start. Contact a company like R Williams Paving LLC to learn more.