What to Do About Tire Marks on Concrete

Black tire marks are an unfortunate reality of a car on your concrete driveway or garage floor. Here, we discuss how to remove tire marks from concrete or epoxy surfaces.

HOW TO GET TIRE MARKS OFF CONCRETE

The method you use to remove tire marks depends on where the mark is in your garage or driveway.

Removing tire marks from a concrete driveway

If your driveway has a decorative concrete coating, follow the following steps. This information also applies if you’re looking into how to get burnout marks off concrete.

  1. Apply a cleaning product such as SunSpot, a concrete degreaser, Natural Orange (or other citrus cleaner), Simple Green, or automotive brake cleaner to the affected area.
  2. Allow the cleaner to sit on the surface for a few minutes.
  3. Scrub the spot with a brush with stiff bristles.
  4. Rinse the area thoroughly with a high-pressure nozzle.
  5. Repeat steps 1–5 as needed.

Removing tire marks from an epoxy garage floor

If your garage floor has an epoxy finish, follow these cleaning steps.

  1. Apply a non-filming detergent such as SunKleen, 409, or Fantastic on the affected area. (You can also use a paint thinner, but only for spot cleaning.)
  2. Allow the solution to soak into the area for a few minutes.
  3. Scrub the area using a brush with soft bristles.
  4. Rinse the area thoroughly with a high-pressure nozzle.
  5. Repeat steps 1–5 as needed.

Caution: When searching online for how to clean tire marks off concrete, you might see alternate remedies such as Goof Off. From experience, we have found Goof Off to be too harsh, so we do not recommend it to remove tire marks from concrete or epoxy.

If you have an alternate product you’d like to try, or you want more information about how to get tire marks off concrete, contact us.

Can tire marks be prevented?

Although you can’t prevent tire marks, you can prevent buildup that will make the tire marks harder to clean. We recommend hosing off and cleaning the affected area on a regular basis to prevent a heavy buildup.

Some customers place mats on the floor where their tires will be resting while parked in their garage.

Why does it happen?

If you’re curious why tire marks happen, Chris Sullivan provides a summary of the chemical process behind tire marks (from an article on ConcreteNetwork.com):

“This is a phenomenon called “plasticizer migration.” Plasticizer are polymer compounds added to rubber, glue and plastic to make them flexible. The rubber used to make car tires contains plasticizer to improve traction. But when the car is driven, the tires heat up, causing the plasticizer to soften and leach out of the tire. When a hot tire is parked or driven on certain types of sealers, the plasticizer migrate into and discolor the sealer. The better the tire quality, the higher the quantity of plasticizer —and the greater the chance for hot tire marking. Lower-quality tires are harder and contain less plasticizer, so they usually result in less hot tire marking on sealers.”