How To Clean Up An Oil Spill On Your Asphalt Driveway

Tuesday 5th September 2023

Joanna Grimbley-Smith

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Oil on an asphalt road CONTENTS

 

 

Dealing with an oil spill on your asphalt driveway can be a challenging task. A quick, effective response is critical to minimise potential health risks, avoid permanent staining, and protect your driveway from the damage the oil can inflict.  

At ICE Cleaning, we offer our oil spill cleaning services nationwide. Our technicians are fully permitted to handle and discard of oil, and can use state-of-the-art equipment to make the affected area safe again. They can clean up gasoline, diesel, and hydraulic oil, as well as oil spills in water, on soil, and on hard surfaces. 

Keep reading to find out how oil could damage your driveway and the best way to clean up an oil spill on asphalt. 

What are the effects of an oil spill on asphalt?

Asphalt is a popular paving material because its durable, long-lasting, and smooth. But oil leaks and spills from vehicles can leave behind unsightly stains and undermine its stability overtime. 

When motor oil seeps into asphalt, it alters the asphalt binder, making it soft and vulnerable to damage. As the binder weakens, car tyres can strip away aggregate, a problem known as "raveling", which will eventually lead to potholes. 

Expensive repairs may be required to restore the asphalt to its previous condition, like an asphalt overlay. You must tend to oil spills quickly to prevent it soaking deep into your driveway. 

Oil spills can also be dangerous. Inhaling the harmful fumes can irritate and damage your lungs, and if it gets onto your skin, it can cause skin irritation and dermatitis. It could even make your driveway slippery, putting you at risk of injuries and potentially leading to car accidents. 

Should the oil spread off onto nearby soil or into a water source, it can cause pollution, too.

Why you should not clean up oil spills yourself

There are plenty of oil spill cleaning methods shared online, ranging from pouring a can of cola over the stain to sprinkling over some baking soda, but these methods can be ineffective against such a stubborn substance. They also often require a lot of elbow grease, like scrubbing at the oil for long periods of time, and the process may need to be repeated several times.  

To minimise the effects of the oil spill and get rid of as much of the oil as possible, you need a quick and thorough response. 

Cleaning up the oil will bring you in close contact with it, too, and increase the chances of you touching the oil or inhaling its fumes. Some cleaning products can be dangerous to use, as well, like professional degreasers which can be toxic when inhaled, ingested, or touched. They can put you at risk of respiratory, gastrointestinal, and skin issues. 

You must contact oil spill remediation professionals as soon as you spot oil leaking onto your driveway. They will have the specialist equipment and products required to clean up the oil spill on the asphalt.

How to prevent oil spills on asphalt

Although it is recommended that cleaning up oil spills on asphalt is left to the professionals, there are lots of things you can do to minimise the chances of oil spills occurring and protect your asphalt against them. 

  • Have your asphalt sealcoated to protect it against oils as well as water and UV damage
  • Place spill mats and catchment trays under your car to catch any leaking oil
  • Make sure your car is serviced regularly, and get any leaks seen to and repaired immediately
  • Have your oil and oil filters changed regularly
  • Inspect your cars and asphalt driveway for signs of leaks and spills regularly

Frequently asked questions

Can Oil Stains Be Removed from Asphalt?

Yes - oil can be removed from asphalt using the right cleaning methods and products. However, it's important to address the issue promptly to prevent stubborn stains or potential damage to your driveway. It should also always be left to professional cleaners.

How To Repair an Asphalt Pavement After an Oil Spill?

If your pavement has been damaged by an oil spill, it often requires resurfacing or patching. It's best to rely on professionals who specialize in driveway repairs to ensure the job is done correctly.

Get in touch

Our fully trained, specialist technicians have many years of experience cleaning up oil spills on a range of surfaces. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In an emergency, they can be on site within several hours. 

Contact our friendly team on 0208 066 0360 or at enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk to learn more about our oil spill clean up services. 

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