Although we’re in the early part of fall, it’s never too early to look ahead at how to care for your asphalt driveway come summer. Today’s tips include insight on how to avoid and remove both color and oil-based stains left behind by mulch if landscaping is part of your summer plan.

Color-Based Stains

If you’ve already spent the money on fresh asphalt paving for your Murfreesboro home, you may be considering other exterior updates. When mulch is one of these, you should know that colored mulch can and will stain your driveway (or parking lot). Fortunately, if you’ve chosen colored mulch, which is usually red, the residue left behind is fairly easy to wash away.

Start by rinsing the surface with your garden hose. Although it might be tempting to use a pressure washer, keep in mind that this may only push the stains further into your pavement. Remember, asphalt paving material is porous by nature, and stains can get stuck in the tiny openings.

Next, take a brush with vinegar or soap and gently scrub the affected area. Once this has been rinsed away, you can use diluted bleach (approximately one to two ounces per two gallons of warm water) to spray or brush on and penetrate the stain for about half an hour. Once this is rinsed away, the stain should be gone, but you might repeat the process if it is not.

Oil-Based Stains

Some mulch is colored with oil similar to deck stain. This is a bit more difficult to wash away, and it starts by using kitty litter to soak up excess wetness left on your asphalt surface. You can then use the cleaner/degreaser TSP to scrub away the stain. For stubborn stains, coat with a thick paste and allow to sit for around 30 minutes before rinsing off with water.

Talk to your asphalt paving technician if oil-based stains don’t go away. They can point you to the right degreasing solution. Commercial products with solvents can damage your driveway.

Avoid Stains

The best way to prevent stains is to keep mulch off the driveway. You’ll also want to avoid having mulch delivered when rain is in the forecast, if possible. If you must have a load of mulch dumped on the driveway, consider using a tarp. If it does rain, you can then take old towels and lay them around the perimeter to soak up running dye. 

The asphalt paving professionals at Hargrove Sealcoating recommend having your driveway or parking lot sealed regularly to help avoid stain on your asphalt surface.