Tackling Oil Stains on Asphalt in a Hot Tropical Climate: Best Solutions for Property Managers in Hawaii

oil stain removal

Living in a hot tropical climate like Hawaii comes with its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to maintaining your property. One common issue property managers face is dealing with oil stains on asphalt, which can be particularly stubborn in the heat and humidity. In this blog post, we will explore the best solutions for removing oil stains from asphalt, with a focus on addressing the unique problems property managers may encounter in a hot tropical climate like Hawaii.

  1. Quick Action is Key:
    In a hot tropical climate, the intense sun and high temperatures can cause oil stains to penetrate and bake into the asphalt more quickly. Hence, it is crucial to take immediate action when you spot an oil stain. The longer the stain sits, the harder it becomes to remove. Promptly applying one of the solutions mentioned below will increase your chances of successful stain removal.
  2. Absorbent Materials:
    Asphalt in Hawaii will absorb heatyear round, making oil stains more challenging to remove. However, using absorbent materials such as kitty litter, baking soda, or sawdust can still be effective. Sprinkle a generous amount of the absorbent material over the stain and let it sit for an extended period, preferably overnight. The longer the material can absorb the oil, the better the results. Sweep or vacuum up the material and dispose of it properly.
  3. Commercial Degreasers:
    With Hawaii’s climate, the heat can cause oil stains to become more stubborn and difficult to remove. Therefore, using a commercial degreaser specifically designed for asphalt is recommended. Look for a degreaser that can withstand high temperatures and has a proven track record for tackling tough stains. Follow the directions on the product label carefully and consider using a brush to agitate the stain before rinsing it off with a hose or pressure washer. Ultra-Oil stain removerfrom UltraTech seems to work well for most asphalt stains even those we have in Hawaii.
  4. Pressure Washing:
    In Hawaii's hot tropical climate, pressure washing can be an effective solution for removing oil stains from asphalt. However, it is crucial to use the proper technique to avoid damaging the asphalt. Choose a pressure washer with an appropriate PSI rating for asphalt surfaces and adjust the pressure accordingly. Before applying a detergent, wet the stained area with water to prevent the detergent from drying too quickly. Rinse thoroughly after cleaning to remove any residue. Hawaii has strict restrictions on where and how to treat water runoff, so please handle with care.
  5. Preventive Measures:
    Prevention is always better than cure, especially in a hot tropical climate. Consider sealcoating your asphalt regularly with a professional sealcoating product or service company to create a protective barrier against oil stains. Asphalt sealants can help reduce the absorption of oil and make future stain removal easier. Additionally, parking vehicles on a designated surface, such as concrete or gravel, can help minimize the chances of oil stains on your asphalt driveway.
  6. Professional Services:
    If all else fails or if you have a large area to clean, it might be wise to enlist the help of professional cleaning services. Cleaning experts in Hawaii are accustomed to dealing with oil stains on asphalt in a hot tropical climate. They have the necessary experience, equipment, and knowledge to effectively remove stubborn stains without causing damage to your pavement. Large amounts of oil left for an extended period, can cause tremendous damage, and cause the binder in asphalt to become ineffective. This results in asphalt acting like sand. There is not much holding the gravel together and any vehicle will cause deep ruts in the pavement. We had a project we worked on in Aiea that had the right mix of hot Hawaiian days, frequent rain and poor drainage that caused a bad oil spill to undermine the asphalt binder. We had to cut a section of the pavement out and replace it with new asphalt. We only do this when the surrounding asphalt is relatively intact.

Living in a hot tropical climate like Hawaii presents its own unique challenges when it comes to removing oil stains from asphalt. However, with the right solutions and preventive measures, property manager can successfully tackle these stains and maintain the beauty of their asphalt surfaces. Remember to act promptly, choose appropriate methods such as absorbent materials or commercial degreasers, and consider preventive measures like sealing coating your asphalt. If needed, professional cleaning services can provide expert assistance. By taking these steps, you can keep your asphalt looking clean and well-maintained in Hawaii. Call a professional like G P Maintenance Solutions to access your facility and give you the best recommendations on what options you have.

oil stain removal
oil stain removal

Sealcoat for Hawaii Army National Guard 298th Regiment Regional Training Institute


Authored by: Brad Tom

October 2020

Hawaii Army National Guard 298th Regiment Regional Training Institute Hawaii 2020

State of Hawaii, Department of Defense recognizes the importance of pavement maintenance efforts in maintaining its facilities. In October 2020, GP Maintenance Solutions was selected as the contractor for this project which included crack sealing, sealcoating, pavement markings and asphalt repairs for their facility in Kaneohe. The sealcoating involved 165,000 square feet of asphalt pavement, which also needed 4000 linear feet of crack sealing. The asphalt repair included tree root mitigation and removal of a tree undergrowth that was creeping up into the asphalt that would have eventually damaged the asphalt. There were also various asphalt repairs to address. Finally, to beautify and create safety for the parking lot users, the pavement markings were installed.

GPMS planned this project to ensure that the roads and parking lot were accessible to a fully-functioning training facility for windward users. Systematic project management and coordination included strategic closure of lanes and the security gate and conducting work in sections. GPMS also had to ensure adherence to safety and environmental protocols at the facility during the height of the Convd-19 pandemic. We ensured all our workers and subcontractors strictly adhered to the safety protocols outlined by the CDC, GCA of Hawaii and State of Hawaii in regards to wearing PPE and sanitation procedures.

With close coordination with the project manager onsite, GPMS was able to complete the work in time to allow the parking lot to be utilized for a large-scale training event for the National Guard at the Kaneohe facility.

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