How to Quickly Remove New Stains from Asphalt and Pavement
Many modern businesses include a parking lot, and some have welcoming drive-through designs as well. These public spaces reflect on the quality of your business just as much as the beauty of your lobby or the design of your offices. More, even, for customers who may never come all the way through your doors. Customers often judge a business when it has a rough or ragged parking lot, faded parking lines, or large unsightly pavement stains.
If your parking lot or drive-through space has recently developed a stain from a leaky car or outdoor accident, don’t worry. You don’t have to live with that stain forever, and it won’t become part of your brand identity. Today, PDXP is here to help you remove those unsightly stains quickly from your asphalt or concrete pavement.
Removing Oil Stains from Asphalt
Asphalt is a bonded blend of oil and aggregate. It is a little bit porous but the oil helps it to maintain water resistance and integrity in heavy rain. However, other oils can penetrate your asphalt and change its color, resulting in a stain.
Dish Soap Scrubbing
If you get to the oil stain early – in the first few days – then a round of dish soap might just do the trick. Dish soap is designed specifically to break down grease and can help remove an unwanted oil stain without damaging the oil bond of your asphalt pavement.
Use a large outdoor brush and a bucket with warm water saturated with dish soap. Scrub the soapy water into your asphalt and rise with a hose. Do this several times and allow the pavement to dry until all or most of the oil stain has come up.
Interestingly, you can also use absorption methods to pull the oil up out of the porous aggregate of your asphalt parking lot stain. One of the best options is kitty litter – not the clumping kind. Non-clumping clay or sand kitty litter is designed to absorb, and it can absorb oil out of asphalt as well as it can absorb cat waste with minimal smell. This includes clay, sand, sawdust, and gravel types of litter.
Simply lay a thick layer of kitty litter over your asphalt stain and allow it to soak up the oil for a few hours out of the top few inches of asphalt pavement. Then sweep up the litter and check on the stain.
Baking soda is also notorious for managing stains and pulling out unwanted moisture types. Sprinkle baking soda over your parking lot or drive-through stain. Let it sit for 30 minutes or longer to absorb oil into the powder. Then clean up the baking soda with a thick-bristled pavement brush and see how much of the stain is left. Surprisingly, it works just as well for asphalt as for carpet.
Removing Stains from Concrete
Of course, not all parking lots or drive-throughs are made of asphalt. Many businesses have concrete parking and traffic features instead, and this requires a slightly different approach if your concrete is stained by a leaking car’s oil pan or any other source, depending on the toughness and age of the stain. Explore your options and don’t be afraid to try more than one when looking for a way to remove stains from your parking lot and concrete pavements.
Soak Your Concrete in Dish Soap Water & Mop Away
One option is to fill a bucket with hot water and dish soap, then saturate the area. If not dish soap, you can choose a commercial degreaser and follow the instructions on the bottle. Soak the oil stain in your degreaser, and then mop it away with fresh rinsed water. This method works for both interior and exterior concrete that may have been stained.
Scrubbing with Laundry Detergent Powder
One interesting option to clean stains from your concrete pavement is using laundry detergent powder. We say powder specifically because detergent powder is both a degreaser and a scrubbing agent in its own right. If you need to scrub up a staining mess or penetrate the top layer of concrete to pull a stain from the porous surface, first sprinkle a generous layer of laundry detergent powder over the stain. Then, using a wet stiff-bristled floor brush, scrub the detergent into the stain and allow it to absorb any oil or staining moisture as you do so.
The final option for your concrete is to use a power washer. Often, concrete discoloration is the result of unwanted particles that get down into the porous surface. A power washer has the ability to blast dirt and other contaminants directly out of the top layer of your concrete pavement. A power-washed concrete slab or path may experience a surprising color change back to its original hue with all the ground-in dirt blasted away. This method works best for exterior concrete, as power washers are dangerous to use indoors.
Painting Over Parking Lot Stains
Very old and persistent stains can be difficult to remove. In this case, be prepared to retake control of the surface of your pavement using paint instead. Consider decorative or useful paint designs that can cover over an old asphalt stain that you did not have a chance to remove before the discoloration set in. You might add a handicapped parking spot or a walking path, if possible, or take this opportunity to create a parking lot mural.
Refinishing Pavement to Cover Very Old Stains
Lastly, you have the option to strip away the top layer of asphalt or concrete from your pavement and refinish in order to cover old and difficult stains. This can be done for both asphalt and concrete, and works best if you already have old, crumbling pavement in need of being refinished. Concrete coating may be the right answer for indoor and indoor/outdoor concrete, while asphalt patching methods may be the answer to an old parking lot with stains that can no longer be absorbed out of the surface.
Restore Your Parking Lot and Drive Throughs with PDXP
PDXP specializes in keeping your property clean and beautiful. We can help you with your stained pavements with either cleaning procedures or professional services. Contact us today to retake control of the beauty and quality of your business facilities.
Professional Parking Lot Stain Removal