CD Designs Blog
Petrol spills can happen for a variety of reasons. If you’re a bit of a home mechanic you might’ve learnt this the hard way. But it could be something as simple as filling the tank of a petrol-engine lawnmower with fuel from a jerry-can that leads to you accidentally applying petrol to your driveway.
Concrete is as durable as it is versatile, and there’s a reason why petrol station forecourts are made of concrete; it can easily deal with such spills. Tarmacadam, however, the cheaper alternative to concrete for driveway surfacing, can be an absolute nightmare if exposed to petrol.
This is because the fixative which binds the aggregate in place in a tarmacadam surface is bitumen. Bitumen, like petrol, is derived from oil. What this means in practical terms is that petrol spilled onto tarmacadam acts as a solvent, compromising the bitumen’s ability to hold the aggregate together. If you give petrol enough time to work on tarmacadam, you’ll be left with a soft, useless area; the only available solution is to re-patch the tarmacadam. This entails cutting out the affected area, with a wide margin surrounding it, and re-pouring fresh tarmacadam.
Chemical substances can, of course, adversely affect concrete. However, it’s much more forgiving than tarmacadam, and provided that you mop up a spill quickly enough – it’s a bad idea to leave a puddle of noxious or corrosive substance sitting on any surface longer than is strictly necessary – your concrete driveway should show no ill effects. Soak up the petrol with cat litter, sand, or another absorbent, granular substance. When no more is being absorbed, give the area a thorough wash with plenty of water.
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29th March 2010