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Chemicals That Can Damage Your Asphalt

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If you have recently had an asphalt driveway installed on your property, then you want to make sure that it remains in good shape for as long as possible. Unfortunately, there are many types of substances that can cause harm to the asphalt. Specifically, chemical damage is common, so keep reading to learn about a few types of substances that cause harm and how the harm can be avoided.

Motor Oil

If you commonly change your own oil or if you have a vehicle that leaks motor oil on occasion, then some of the fluid can land on the surface of your asphalt driveway. This can and will cause chemical damage. The oil is able to mix with the petroleum materials that are already present in your driveway. This will loosen the binding effect and make your asphalt softer. The good news is that this will happen locally where the oil has gathered, but potholes and general erosion are likely in the region.

The easiest way to avoid damage is to place a large piece of cardboard or a tarp on your driveway if you are changing oil. Also, you should have your vehicle checked to find leaks.

If you do spill some oil, then you can clean it up, but you should do so right away. You want to soak up as much of the oil as possible first, so spread either kitty litter or sawdust on the area. Remove the oil-soaked material and then use a degreasing agent that contains a surfactant to clear away the rest of the residue. 

Once the cleaning job is completed, make sure to inspect the area often for signs of wear or damage. In this case, you will need to have the small section of asphalt replaced.


Unlike oil that mixes with the petroleum in the asphalt, gasoline actually eats away and breaks down the binding agents keeping your asphalt driveway together. And, this will cause the material to dry and crumble over time. So, you want to avoid the spilling of any and all fuels by refueling vehicles, lawnmowers, and other types of equipment somewhere off your driveway surface.

If you do spill any gasoline, then you want to soak up as much of the spill as possible like you would for an oil spill. 

Afterward, you want to use a neutralizing agent like trisodium phosphate to clean the area thoroughly. Mix up a paste with the powder by mixing in a small amount of water and use a scrub brush to work the compound into the surface of your driveway. Clear away the mixture with water when you are done.

Contact an asphalt contractor if you need more help.