How to Remove Tire Marks from Concrete + Paver Driveways (Step-by-Step Guide)

by Luke Whittaker

How to remove tire marks from concrete pavers
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Poured concrete and paving stones differ in many ways, including durability, skid resistance and the capacity to increase the value of your home. However, they are similar in one: They are both porous materials that can stain or become discolored from tire marks. Sealers can help, but skid marks and tire scuffs can occur on any of the popular driveway materials, including concrete, bricks, natural stone and pavers. They can even occur on asphalt; however, tire marks are generally not as noticeable on asphalt driveways.

If you have unsightly tire marks on your driveway that are taking away from your home’s visual appeal, this guide will help you remove the marks and bring your driveway back to its former luster.

Before we go into how to remove skid marks and tire scuffs from concrete and paving stones, we need to address a few things you should not use or do.

Belgard Pavers Driveway
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1. Do not use a wire brush.

Stiff, metal wire brushes can leave noticeable marks on any type of stone, paver or concrete surface. These will normally look like scratches or scrapes and will detract from the appearance of your driveway.

2. Do not use bleach.

Bleach is not an environmentally friendly option, particularly if you will be rinsing down your driveway after cleaning it, which could introduce the bleach into surrounding soil, groundwater or storm drains. It is also not a good idea to use bleach on colored concrete, because it may discolor the area in which the bleach was used.

3. Avoid harsh chemicals.

Concrete cleaners made from harsh chemicals may remove stains and marks effectively, but they can also discolor or damage concrete or stone surfaces. Using a strong solvent or other chemicals on a sealed driveway can also degrade or strip the sealer.

4. Do not let the mark sit any longer than necessary.

While it is not impossible to remove older stains, it is much easier to remove marks, scuffs and other discolorations soon after they occur.

Aqua Roc Permeable Paver
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How to Remove Tire Marks from Concrete and Paving Stones

Removing Tire Marks Step 1: Before moving to harsher solutions, the first thing you should do is try removing tire marks with water and a bristle brush or broom. In some cases, this will be enough to get the job done and will save you from spending money on commercial cleaners or having to worry about rinsing those cleaners into your landscaping or a storm drain.

Removing Tire Marks Step 2: If plain water does not work, the next step is to try a mixture of dish soap and water. Dish soaps with mild degreasing qualities can help lift the mark from the concrete without harsh chemicals. After applying your mixture of dish soap and water, scrub the area with a bristle brush (e.g. a deck brush), and then rinse with water.

Removing Tire Marks Step 3: If neither of the above solutions works to remove tire marks from your driveway, you can opt for a commercial degreaser designed for use in removing stains from concrete and paving stones. If you go this route, follow the directions provided by the manufacturer, wear eye and skin protection, and try to avoid rinsing the degreaser into nearby soil or gutters that drain into waterways. It is generally considered a good idea to try to stick with water or a mild dish soap if your driveway is sealed.

It is also possible to try to remove the marks with a pressure washer; however, this should either be left to a professional or done very carefully. Be sure to test this method out in an inconspicuous area first, since improper pressure washing can cause significant damage. If the pressure is too high or if you do not continuously move the pressure washer wand, it can leave unsightly marks on your driveway. Also keep in mind that using a pressure washer on paving stones may dislodge the joint sand, which will need to be replaced.

One of the many advantages of having a paving stone driveway is that stained pavers can be removed and replaced without affecting the overall look of your driveway if stain removal methods are not effective. This is not possible with poured or stamped concrete.

Tire Tread
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How to Prevent Tire Marks and Skid Marks on Concrete and Paving Stones

Have you ever noticed how some driveways seem to be more susceptible to tire marks than others? This is largely due to the use of different sealers. Tires have plasticizers that leach from the rubber when it gets hot. This interacts with different sealers in different ways. For example, if your driveway seems particularly susceptible to getting tire marks, you may have an acrylic sealer with a lower level of cross linking. Resealing it with an epoxy or polyurethane sealer with a higher level of cross linking may help prevent future tire marks.

Further Reading

Photo Credits (in order of appearance): morgueFile, Alvimann; morgueFile, DuBoix

Luke Whittaker

Luke is the Co-Founder of  INSTALL-IT-DIRECT, Venuelust.comEstate Weddings and Events, & YourNorthCounty.com. When Luke is not working on his businesses, his second passions are in health, education(obsessed with learning) and traveling the world(life is too short to remain idle). His favorite destinations to date are Laos, Croatia, South Africa & Sri Lanka. New Zealand is next on the list...Follow him on Google+Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin.

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