Gasoline Spill On Driveway

denise54April 20, 2007

DH started our SUV this morning and drove out of our driveway without realizing he was spewing gasoline all over our driveway, down our street and into town. Fortunately, a good samaritan caught up with him at a stop sign, less than a mile from home, and he pulled over and called 911. The fire department had to put some special stuff on the spill to soak it up and a tow truck hauled the SUV off to be repaired.

Now the bad part - the driveway, which is asphalt, has a large circular stain where the car was parked, and a ribbon of gas all the way down our 100 foot driveway.

Question: Will it evaporate? It looks awful and there's a powerful gasoline odor for now. Our house is for sale and I think we should try to clean it up somehow. Any suggestions?

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Sounds silly but put a match to it and let it burn off then get your driveway seal coated.

When we have our driveway seal coated they always pour gas on any oil spot and light it on fire. It looks strange and I pretty much went nuts the first time I saw it.

The fire spots on a driveway are not hot enough to melt the asphalt and they burn off really fast, much less than a minute. For selling the driveway should be seal coated anyway.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2007 at 4:41PM
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Denise54 wrote:
"will it evaporate?"

Only to an extent. Because gasoline is a petroleum product, it will indeed leave a residue.

Grammyt recommends burning the spot. I don't. No two asphalt mixes are alike (and it also depends where you live, type of driveway [smooth or surface aggregate], etc.). If a mix has lots of tar, sand, and little surface aggregate (e.g. smooth paved, with aggregate not very visible), you'll melt the tar, weakening the binder (which will cause issues later on), and possibly, leave a depression.

Pressure washers can help (with a siphon and detergent for this exact use), and so can scrubbing it with any asphalt drive cleaner. Just takes a bit of work.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 10:53AM
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Thanks for the feedback. We reached the company who sealed our driveway three years ago and he said he has an industrial strength product to scrub the spill before sealing the driveway. He suggests waiting a few more weeks before he works on it. He said he's seen this before, so to him it's no big deal, but to me it was awful!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 12:51PM
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Dampen the surface, spread clothes washing detergent, use an acid brush on a pole and scrub.
Anything still showing after that will likely be surface damage and require a layer of sealer/topcoat to cover.
Gasopline dissolves asphalt (the actual binder) very nicely.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 12:33PM
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