Removing Tar from Stucco Siding

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Dave in New Jersey needs some help with tar removal. Tell us about where it is, what happened. This sounds like a disaster.

    DAVE: Well, it’s not that big of a disaster but the last homeowner apparently did a do-it-yourself job on the driveway …
    TOM: OK.
    DAVE: … and they got tar on the stucco of the house and all along the sides of – the driveway is a Belgian block; it’s a very nice like edging on the side. But the entire inside now has tar on it and about four or five inches up from the driveway on the house has tar on it as well.
    TOM: Man, a lot of tar.
    DAVE: (chuckles) Yeah.
    TOM: I’ve got to tell you, Dave, it’s going to be really hard to get that tar off. I mean you can remove tar with mineral spirits but because you’re dealing with a concrete surface, it’s going to end up staining the area around it with sort of a dark, tar-like stain to it. The other thing that you can do is abrade it. You could try to scrape it off or grind it off and get down to some of the raw surface but it’s very difficult to do.
    As far as where it hits the house, is it a concrete stucco – like between the siding and the ground – that’s being affected? What exactly is the surface there?
    DAVE: It is a concrete stucco.
    TOM: Well, you might want to think about painting it; painting all of that concrete, using a good-quality concrete paint and then painting over the tar to boot to make it all look consistent.
    DAVE: Oh, OK. That’s a good idea.
    TOM: Yeah. Use a good-quality concrete paint. You know it’ll last quite a long time.
    DAVE: Any possibility of heating up the …
    LESLIE: Burning it off?
    DAVE: Yeah.
    TOM: No, no. Because it’s just going to carbonize on the concrete itself and you’re not going to get it down to where you want it to be. You can try a solvent. I mean try mineral spirits and see what happens; but I’m telling you, I have a feeling that it’s going to look worse when you do that.
    DAVE: I think I’m going to go with the painting. (Leslie chuckles)
    TOM: Alright, well good luck with that project. Wise choice, my friend.
    DAVE: Thank you.
    TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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