A Complete Guide In Tackling Oil Spots on Your Asphalt

A Complete Guide In Tackling Oil Spots on Your Asphalt

A Complete Guide In Tackling Oil Spots on Your Asphalt


Oil spots on asphalt can be a real eyesore, whether it's your parking lot or driveway. They not only tarnish the appearance of your property but can also pose environmental hazards and compromise the integrity of the asphalt over time. Knowing how to effectively treat these blemishes is vital for any property owner looking to maintain the aesthetic appeal and structural health of their asphalt surfaces.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the different methods for treating oil spots on asphalt, ensuring you have the knowledge to tackle this issue head-on. Whether you're a homeowner or a facilities manager responsible for maintaining a commercial property, this guide is your roadmap to a cleaner, more presentable asphalt surface.


Why Oil Spots Are a Black Mark on Asphalt

Oil spots can seem like an inevitable consequence of a paved surface, especially in areas with heavy automotive traffic. However, understanding why these spots are problematic is the first step to addressing them effectively.

  1. Aesthetics: The most immediate impact of oil spots is on the visual appeal of your asphalt. They create dark, irregular marks that can quickly make a pristine parking lot or driveway look unkempt.
  2. Environmental Concerns: Oil is a notorious pollutant that can leach dangerous chemicals into the soil and nearby water sources, causing harm to plants and wildlife.
  3. Structural Degradation: Over time, oil can break down the binding agents in asphalt, leading to cracks and potholes if left untreated. This degradation can be a serious safety concern, particularly in high-traffic areas.

Initial Steps for Treating Oil Spots

Before you jump into the actual treatment of an oil spot, it's important to lay the groundwork with some initial steps.

  1. Assessment: Evaluate the size and severity of the oil spot. Is it a fresh spill or a long-standing stain? The treatment you choose will depend on the extent of the damage.
  2. Gather Supplies: You will need some basic items such as a broom, a scrub brush, degreaser, absorbent material like cat litter, and a garden hose. For tougher stains, a pressure washer and specialized oil stain remover could also be necessary.
  3. Safety Precautions: Always wear protective gloves and, if using a pressure washer, eye protection. Some cleaning agents can be harsh on the skin, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

The Step-by-Step Treatment Process

Immediate Action

For fresh spills, absorb as much oil as possible with the absorbent material. The goal is to prevent the oil from seeping deeper into the asphalt. Once the excess oil is absorbed, clean the stained area with your degreaser and apply gentle pressure with a scrub brush. Rinse the area thoroughly with a hose.

Intermediate Treatment

For more persistent oil spots, you may need to use a pressure washer with a hot water setting. Apply a solvent-based cleaner designed for asphalt surfaces and scrub with a stiff brush. Allow the cleaner to penetrate the stain for about 15 minutes, and then use the pressure washer to blast away the oil residue.

Advanced Remedies

For the toughest oil spots, enlist the help of professional asphalt cleaning services. They have access to industrial-grade equipment and can apply specialized treatments that may include environmentally safe solvents or even steam cleaning methods.

Protecting Your Asphalt After Treatment

Treatment is only the first part of the process. To prevent future staining and protect the asphalt, consider the following measures.


Sealcoating is a protective layer that can shield your asphalt from oil, water, and UV damage. It can also make your asphalt look like new, which is a great added benefit after having treated an oil spot.

Regular Maintenance

A proactive approach to maintenance can catch potential oil spots before they become significant problems. Regularly inspect your asphalt for signs of wear and damage, and address them promptly.

The DIY vs. Professional Help Decision

Deciding whether to tackle oil spot treatment yourself or hire a professional often comes down to the severity of the issue. Small, fresh spills can generally be addressed with a DIY approach, while larger or more entrenched stains often require the expertise of a professional.

DIY Pros and Cons

The DIY route can save you money and provide immediate action for fresh spots. However, without the proper equipment, older and larger spots may not be fully removed, leading to recurring issues.

Professional Help Pros and Cons

Professional oil spot treatment can provide a more thorough and long-lasting result. However, it comes with a cost and a need for scheduling around the service provider's availability.


Final Thoughts on Oil Spot Management

Proactive management of oil spots is a commitment to the overall maintenance of your asphalt surfaces. By understanding the impacts of oil spills, taking swift action, and considering protective measures, you can ensure that the life and look of your asphalt surfaces are preserved for the long term.

If you find the task daunting or would simply prefer to leave it in the hands of professionals, there are reputable paving companies ready to assist. For those in Sanford, Florida, Florida Sealcoating stands as a dedicated service provider specializing in asphalt maintenance. If you need help with asphalt maintenance or asphalt paving in Sanford, FL, get in touch with them for a free estimate and say goodbye to oil spots for good.

Don't wait until oil spots become an ingrained feature on your asphalt. Use the knowledge in this guide to address oil spills early and protect the investment you've made in your property's paved surfaces. With regular maintenance and well-informed treatment strategies, you can maintain a parking lot or driveway that complements the overall aesthetic of your property while promoting safety and longevity.