How To Clean Up An Oil Spill On Concrete

Friday 19th May 2023

Joanna Grimbley-Smith

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Oil spill from car on concrete CONTENTS

When oil spills on concrete, whether it’s in your garage or driveway at home, or in a warehouse, it must be cleaned up promptly by professional cleaners. Otherwise, people’s health will be at risk, the surface could be permanently damaged, and an unsightly stain could be left behind. 

Here at ICE Cleaning, we offer rapid response oil spill clean up services. Our technicians have experience cleaning up lots of different types of oil spills including on hard surfaces and in water. They are available nationwide and can be on site in several hours in an emergency.

Keep reading to find out what to do when oil spills on concrete.

What are the effects of oil spilling onto concrete?

Firstly, spilled oil is very dangerous to be exposed to and can harm people’s health in several ways. Short-term exposure could lead to headaches, dizziness, nausea, and loss of coordination.

Prolonged exposure, however, might have much more serious effects like cancer, high blood pressure, and organ damage.

Oil spills on the floor can also cause people to slip, trip, and fall, putting them in danger of physical injuries. It is a very flammable substance, as well, and an open flame or heat source may cause it to ignite.

As concrete is a porous surface that retains dirt, oil can easily leave behind unsightly, tough stains. Oil can even break down concrete as it affects its ability to form strong bonds between the cement and aggregate. It could contain contaminants, too, like sulphur, which might cause damage, too.   

To minimise damage, a prompt, thorough response is essential. The longer oil is left, the harder the stain is to remove.

Why you must not clean up an oil spill yourself

Oil spill clean up is a dangerous, difficult, and complex process best left to the professionals. Without personal protective equipment (PPE), you will come in very close contact with the oil and be putting your health at serious risk.

Although there are lots of home remedies online using household products like cat litter, WD-40, and dish soap, these might not be effective. They can even damage the concrete and leave behind a nasty stain.  

Unless you are trained in oil spill clean up and have the necessary equipment to clean it up, you may not remove all traces of the oil. You could leave behind a dangerous environment.

You also could clean it up incorrectly, such as washing it down a drain, or letting it spread onto soil and into waterways and drainage systems. Oil spills can have serious, long-lasting impacts on the environment and is very difficult to clean.

Should it spill onto concrete, it is especially hard to remove because of its porous nature. You must bring in professional cleaners who have PPE and specialist cleaning equipment, and know the best ways to clean up oil spill on concrete.

What you should do when oil spills

If oil has spilled in your garage or on your driveway, contact professional cleaners who provide car oil spill clean up services.

Should oil spill in the workplace, you must follow these steps to keep people safe, minimise the chances of pollution, and enable effective clean up.

  1. Alert staff that an oil spill has occurred. Depending on how big and serious the spill is, you may need to evacuate staff and contact the emergency services.
  2. Stop the spill spreading with specialist equipment, like booms and spill socks. Only trained professionals should do this.
  3. Make sure there are no ignition or heat sources near the spill which could start a fire.
  4. If you are trained to do so, clean up the oil spill and dispose of the contaminated oil and waste. Otherwise, bring in professional oil spill cleaners to remove the oil and clean the surfaces affected by the spill.

How to prevent oil spills on concrete

There are lots of measures you can take to stop oil spilling in the workplace including regularly inspecting equipment for leaks and making sure they are stored on secure shelving. Here are some ways you can stop oil spilling in your garage or on your driveway:

  • Place oil mats under your car to stop any oil leaking onto the floor
  • Have cars serviced regularly
  • Inspect vehicles for signs of leaks
  • Seal concrete so it does not absorb any oil should a spill occur

Contact us today

Our technicians can clean up any oil spill on concrete, no matter the size or severity. They are fully permitted to handle and dispose of oil, and are available round the clock, 365 days a year, including bank holidays.

To book our technicians for oil spill cleaning, get in touch on 0208 066 0360 or at enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk.

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