How to treat oil spots on asphalt parking lots or driveways

Oil spots are one of the banes of any parking lot or driveway owner’s existence. Inconvenient to clean and unsightly to the eye, oil spots can do everything from stain the surface of asphalt to pit potholes in the pavement. Protecting your paving investment with a seal coating treatment is one of the best ways you can prevent oil damage. But what if oil spills on the asphalt before you seal?

Fresh oil spots: Cleaning and seal coating

So, you have a new driveway or parking lot and it looks pristine. You decided to put off seal coating for a few months to save, but then a vehicle leaks oil onto the bare asphalt. What do you do?

A fresh oil spot is the simplest kind to remove because it is merely a stain on the asphalt’s surface. The best action to take in this case is to scrub away the oil with detergent and thoroughly rinse the area with water to remove the oil. After removing the oil, you may then apply a protective seal coat.

When oil stains have seeped into the asphalt: Heat treatment

If the oil stains on your pavement sit long enough to seep into the asphalt itself the material will begin to ravel. At this point, more extensive treatment is required to repair an oil spot than soap and water.
When oil seeps into asphalt, the binder is dissolved and chunks of aggregate may break loose, resulting in cracking and often a minor depression in the pavement. As long as no severe pitting has occurred, infrared heat may be used to repair the asphalt damage before applying a seal coat.

When it’s time to start over with new asphalt: Cutting, repaving and seal coating

When the damage to asphalt from oil stains is extensive enough to soften the pavement, this means it is time to saw cut the affected area out, patch it and apply a protective seal coat. This is not an inexpensive job, but it is essential if you want to avoid liability issues with potholes in your parking lot or driveway.

The best way to prevent asphalt damage is to seal it

Sealcoating is one of the best ways to protect your pavement from oil damage. If you need pavement repair or seal coating services in Eugene, Springfield or the greater Lane County area, Aegis Asphalt Sealcoating has the equipment and expertise to get the job done. Feel free to contact us with any questions you have about pavement maintenance, or to request a quote today.