A few weeks ago, we replaced the 40-year-old asphalt on our driveway
with pavers. Yesterday afternoon, when I came home, I noticed a large
stain that I am 99% positive was not there when I left in the morning.
The pavers are grey. The stain is an orangish-brown (more brown than
The stain is roughly the same shape as the shadow that would be cast
by the tree in the neighbor's yard if the sun were directly overhead.
The tree looks like a birch or beech tree.
It looks like something is dripping off that tree. Could it be sap? I
stood under it and didn't feel anything and I can see anything. The
stain is dry, not sticky. It's also very even, like it was painted
oon, not speckled, so if it dripped, it was something fine. PLus, I;m
pretty sure it happened in just a few hours.
Does anyone have any idea what this could be and, more importantly,
how to remove it?
We never saw anything like this on the old asphalt driveway, which was
I can take a photo if that would help. Is there some good place to
Dang, I forgot to mention the rain. It didn't rain that day, but it
did rain a little the night before and some of the previous few days.
I am 99% certain that the stain was not there at about 9:00 am when I
went out. I think it happened between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.
I just went out and took a few photos. The driveway is still in shade,
so they aren't that good.
I felt the pavers. They are dry (not sticky). I also felt the tree. It
is not sticky and does not appear to be dripping anything.
Here are 3 photos:
This view shows the entire stain. It is rust colored. It looks a bit
darker than the photo shows. Viewing the photo from just below
horizontal gives a good image.
The shape is about the same as the tree shadow. Notice the clean strip
under the hedge. This seems to me to confirm that it came from above.
This is a slightly closer view. The stain area was never "wet".
This is a closeup view. Notice that within the larger stain, there are
areas that are less stained. It seems to me that if it rained down
from above, it would have stained everywhere about the same.
As far as I know. They arrived on 3-4 pallets and I believe the
wrapper had the same lot number.
In any case, they were all the same color when first installed and the
stain appeared in one day.
That's a concern, of course. Removing the tree is not an option, but
if I can figure out what it is, maybe it can be treated or prevented.
Or maybe that will suggest how best to remove it.
It's a beautiful tree. If I have to clean the driveway 1-2/year, I'll
live with that.
We've lived here for 20 years and this has never happened before,
unless it was not visible on the old asphalt driveway.
None of the pictures show the tree itself which means can't identify it
for certain nor see anything that might be telling about it.
The shape certainly is conclusive it came from the tree; again w/o more
details on the source it's not reasonable to expect too much on
discerning the actual cause since it's a result not a cause.
More than likely; unless there is an infestation of something this year
which is possible but not terribly likely to have not been at least
earlier signs if so--problem generally grow w/ time rather than come in
full bloom initially, so to speak.
As for the clean up, pressure wash and what goes away goes away and what
doesn't, doesn't. There are surely more significant issues to worry
Just remove a paver or two, and turn them over, and then see what
happens. Spread some clean sand on the pvers in the area anbd see if
the sand turns color. OR, just put paper down and see if it collects
Someone mentioned tannins, which I hadn't heard of.
I tried that with little effect. Since the arborist said it would be
mold, I tried a shower mold cleaner (Tilex). Bye bye stain. It was a
little work scrubbing, but the stain is completely gone.
Here are a few photos:
Someone asked to see the tree, so here they are:
Thanks. When the boss first suggested pavers, I didn't like them at
all. Quite a few houses in this area have driveways that I considered
"too busy" (bricks, concrete with brick borders, and pavers). I voted
for replacing the asphalt or plain concrete or maybe exposed
aggregate. As usual, my vote had little effect and we got pavers.
Now, after a month or so, I'm starting to like them more. I can't say
anything, of course, or I'll get "I told you so for years". ;-)
The only drawback until this stain was the unholy racket hard plastic
wheels on the garbage bins make when I drag them out to the curb.
Cure found, but I sure hope I don't have to do it very often.
Anyway, thanks to everyone for the suggestions.
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