“Service By Professionals”

Call Today!  540-731-3000


Removing Mulch and Oil Stains from Asphalt Pavement

Paving Plus Offers Tips on How to Remove Problem Stains

Are you worried about removing mulch and oil stains from asphalt pavement? For many property owners in southwest Virginia, it is common to have some amount of dirt or debris. We do use the pavement every day, after all.

In last month’s blog, we talked about a thorough cleaning being important to asphalt maintenance. Whether you have a residential or commercial asphalt pavement, this same cleaning suggestion applies. Common issues, such as mulch and oil stains, can occur and create distracting spots on an otherwise-inviting asphalt surface.


Issues with Regular or Common Stains, Like Mulch and Oil Stains

We can appreciate the appearance of having a clean driveway or parking lot. However, we can get just as accustomed to seeing a common stain once it appears. We may even think such staining is inevitable. But no, it does not have to be this way. There are ways to clean and restore the appearance of asphalt pavement.

The idea of having clean asphalt is an important one. We do not need to be excessively concerned about every little drop of dirt that appears. But we do need to stay on top of stains that occur regularly so that they do not infiltrate the quality of the surface.


Considering the Use of Power in Removing Mulch and Oil Stains?

Just as important as clean asphalt is the way we go about cleaning these noticeable or problem stains. For those with power equipment, the first idea might be, “Well, I’ll just blast that stain with a power wash!” But wait—before you unpack your power washer, read on. You may be surprised to find that power washing may not be the best method.

Why isn’t the power-wash equipment effective in tackling the stain removal job? Well, in much the same way the stain occurs, power washing can embed the stain deeper in the asphalt surface. Rather than blasting away mulch and oil stains, power washing can drive the stain deeper. This is the opposite effect when we want the stain gone!


Tackling Repeated Stain Problems on Asphalt Surfaces

So how can we tackle problem stains like those caused by a mulch delivery or repeated oil deposits? Driving our vehicles or doing gardening and landscaping work are very common activities. Who would expect that these would create a lingering issue for our asphalt pavement?

Perhaps you already have a handy cleaner that you use for cleaning outdoor stains. But will it be effective or simply cause more problems? Simply spraying it with water will not tackle repeated stain problems, either. Otherwise we could rely on a heavy rain to clean them away. It may be time to take a look at targeted ways to tackle repeated stain problems effectively:


Removing Mulch Stains from Asphalt Pavement

Problem: Landscaping supply makes a mulch delivery and leaves it in a pile on your driveway. Surprise, there is no tarp underneath! It may be some time before placing the mulch, and next there is a noticeable stain. What could we do to clean away this stain?

Solution(s): Although mulch is organic material, there can be oils in there that can leave stains. Depending on the color type or dye in the mulch, it may also leave the area discolored.

One solution is to use a mixture of dish soap and baking soda. Use a scrub brush to work the mixture into the stain for a few minutes then gently wash it away.

You may notice a stain of discoloration that you want to remove. Try the same cleaning method using either vinegar and baking soda or a small amount of bleach. (Use two capfuls of bleach with two gallons of water.) Be sure to rinse the area.

Removing Oil Stains from Asphalt Surfaces

Problem: Vehicles parked in your driveway or parking lot have leaked oil. Now there are definite oil stains sitting there on the asphalt. Is there a way to remove oil stains effectively before they cause oily streaks?

Solution(s): If it is a significant amount of oil, it may be best to absorb as much of it as possible. Step one in removing oil stains is applying a layer of cat litter to mop up the excess oil. Once the puddling oil is cleaned or wiped up, use dish soap or a paste of baking soda and water. Use a brush and rinse, as we mention above.


Upsides to Removing Mulch and Oil Stains from Asphalt

Beyond a cleaner and more uniform appearance, there are a few other bonuses to removing mulch and oil stains from paved surfaces. An important upside is enhanced safety. Removing oil stains, especially, will make it less likely for people and vehicles to slip or skid on the stained area.

The next upside is that it brings you closer to noticing the condition of your asphalt. If your pavement is in newer condition, you may be very happy with the results of your cleaning efforts. Congratulations!

Another bonus to the prompt removal of problem oil stains, especially, is noting when our vehicles may need service. Our personal or company vehicles are important. If they are leaking oil regularly, addressing vehicle maintenance may eliminate or reduce asphalt cleaning issues—a win-win.

On the other hand, removing mulch and oil stains could uncover additional concerns. This may be truer for those asphalt surfaces that are older. Sometimes, no matter how much attention we give to asphalt, it may need more work. Removing mulch and oil stains may lead us to realize that it is time for resealing or resurfacing.


Time to Reseal or Resurface Your Asphalt? Call the Pros at Paving Plus

For these larger maintenance issues like resealing or resurfacing, trust the local professionals at Paving Plus in Christiansburg. We serve residential and commercial clients throughout southwest Virginia. We can help resolve lingering asphalt maintenance issues, especially when it is time to reseal or resurface.

Residents and businesses in southwest Virginia are not alone in their desire for a fresh-looking asphalt pavement. Paving Plus is proud to partner in preserving the good looks of area driveways, parking lots, and other asphalt surfaces. Contact us today to get more troubleshooting tips and schedule services with us!


Contact Paving Plus, in Christiansburg, Virginia, today at (541) 731-3000. Our paving professionals serve residential and commercial property owners throughout southwest Virginia. Follow us on Facebook for more asphalt maintenance tips, like removing mulch and oil stains from asphalt pavement.