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One of the most common challenges encountered when Acid-Staining Garage Floors is the effective removal of motor oil in the driveway—the same issues arise with vegetable oil and animal fats that spill around outdoor grills and eating areas. Depending on the severity of the spill, oil that builds up over time can be very challenging to remove. Unless properly cleaned, oil will prevent Acid Stain, Concrete Stains and Sealer from penetrating the concrete.
Because oil penetrates deeply into concrete, it’s essential to clean up a spill the moment it happens. Once oil enters porous concrete, nothing else can penetrate or adhere to its’ surface. If nothing is done to clear the oil, acid stain won’t take to the concrete and the sealer will likely bubble up or flake off after application. Not the desired outcome.
The best way to determine if you have a stain requiring additional cleaning is to spray water across suspected areas. Spotting either of the following means you likely have an oil stain:
– Water “beads up”
– Water displays a “rainbow sheen”
Sometimes an old oil stain is visible but nothing remains at the concrete surface. If it passes the water test, it should be ready to stain.
If some evidence of beading or oil sheen persists, we recommend the following procedure:
Successful removal will not reveal a perfect looking concrete slab; instead, some signs of staining will remain beneath the surface. In most cases this should not affect acid staining.
Sometimes it will take more than one application to remove the oil from the concrete surface altogether. Repeat the steps until the beading and sheen disappear. The process may need to be repeated up to 4 times if the oil stain is particularly large or very old. Vegetable oil, oddly enough, is one of the most difficult oils to dissolve and sometimes requires mechanical abrasion using a floor sander and a 50-100 grit pad to resolve finally.
Keep in mind that with a few exceptions, most concrete is not visible below patio furniture, barbecues, or other things that make oil stains less apparent when you begin “living” on the concrete.
If you have more questions, or for more helpful DIY tips, call one of our expert technicians Toll Free at: (877) 255-2656 or (405) 275-6657
If you prefer email, send in a Free Online Design Consultation and we’ll get back to you within 24-48 hours.