Driveways, Walkways

Published on May 7th, 2013 | by Henri

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Oils from driveway turning vinyl floor yellow

Q.    My new vinyl flooring is turning yellow from what I am told are the oils from my driveway. The flooring manufacturer states that my pattern is not warranted for this problem. I have tried stripping to no avail so I am living with a floor that is turning colors and is only 1-1/2 years old.

Is there any kind of paint I can use of my asphalt driveway? I live in a senior park and everything has to look alike so I am looking for black paint or some other way to stop the problem.

A.    Your resilient floor is indeed being discolored from the oils in the asphalt being tracked onto it. You should be able to remove the oils with a liquid paint and varnish remover (do not use the gel kind). Use a clean, white rag, let the remover soak for 15 to 20 minutes and change the rag after each application (it may take several).

You cannot paint the asphalt but you can have a sealer applied. The best sealer is an acrylic sealer that is now available in black (it used to be solely used on tennis courts) but it costs more than the other two good choices. They are:1. an asphalt-based emulsion that is healthier than coal-tar pitch for the applicators and 2. coal-tar pitch emulsion — the old standby. Coal-tar pitch emulsion is a very dark, dull black. Do not accept any shiny cut-asphalt sealer.

Remember that asphalt driveways must not be sealed until they turn grey, which happens when the oils have fully evaporated. This may take two to three years after installation. Sealing a driveway too early will keep it soft and easily damaged.

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