How to Deal With Oil Spot Damage on Your Asphalt Surfaces

Asphalt paving is a popular choice for many household driveways due to its low maintenance and ease of installation. If installed by a professional contractor, asphalt paving can last for many decades and increase the curb appeal of your home exterior.

Unfortunately, oil spills on asphalt driveways can severely damage the surface, leading to fading, unraveling, and even cracking. Successfully fixing oil spot damage greatly depends on the extent of the deterioration of the asphalt. Here is a look at how you can deal with slight and extensive oil spot damage so as to protect and restore your asphalt surface.

Fresh oil spills and moderate oil spot damage

In cases when you have a few fresh oil spots that have stained the surface but have not penetrated the surface of the asphalt, you may be able to prevent further deterioration by treating the surface immediately. You can use soapy water to emulsify the oil stains so as to prevent them from solidifying, allowing you to mop them away with lots of water. You may also use kitty litter to absorb small oil spills.

Huge oil spills on the surface of your asphalt surface can be effectively removed using a steam pressure washer. The steam will liquefy the oil as the pressure pushes it off the asphalt, leaving a clean surface. Use these tips for cleaning small and large stains before calling in a paving contractor to sealcoat the surface for added protection and color restoration.

For spills that have been around for a few days and that have already solidified, you may be able to fix the damage better by burning and scraping off the oil with a propane torch and a floor scraper before proceeding to apply a layer of sealcoat to protect the surface from further oil spotting.

Severe oil spot damage

If not removed early on, oil spills can infiltrate your asphalt surface and cause extensive unraveling, which is basically the loss of aggregates, leading to large depressions on the surface. Such extensive damage is not only be expensive to repair, but can also cause injuries to you and damage to your car tires.

To remove severe oil spot damage, call in a paving contractor, like one from, to cut off the entire affected asphalt section and replace it with fresh paving material. This is done using a small cold planer grinder to mill away the entire layer of damaged asphalt and remove the oil spill, allowing for resurfacing with hot-mix asphalt concrete.