What Causes Tire Tracks on Pavement?

tire tracks on pavement

You just got your parking lot sealcoated, knowing that it was a good decision for you and your business. Putting your money into an investment as significant as your parking lot was such a wise idea: it’s worth it to protect it from damage and keep it looking good for aesthetic and safety reasons alike. Then, one day, you notice scuff marks and tire treads on your beautiful, brand-new, sealcoated parking lot. Wasn’t sealcoating supposed to prevent this?

Don’t worry: scuffing on freshly-applied sealcoating is normal and doesn’t affect how your parking lot will hold up. These marks tend to appear within a few weeks of sealcoating and disappear without a trace later on. So how do they happen? Command7 has a few ideas and answers to your other parking lot maintenance questions.


The only way to completely avoid getting scuff marks on your pavement is to give it time to cure without touching anything, which isn’t always possible. The longer you keep a sealcoated area closed off to traffic, the less likely scuffs are to appear, and the less dramatic these scuffs will be. Rest assured that once the sealant has properly aged, new scuff marks won’t be as common, and the early ones will fade on their own.


New pavement, sealant, and binder tend to be softer and flexible than older pavement, meaning that scuffing is more likely. This flexibility is necessary in order to stand up to the demands of a parking lot’s life. Scuffing will become less likely both as the sealcoat cures and as the lot itself ages.


Hotter temperatures mean more scuffing: the pavement is hot, and tires heat up and leave more material behind. Areas with a lot of humidity are also more likely to have scuffed parking lots. Sealcoating your lot in spring or fall could help the sealant set before extreme weather sets in: call Command7 to ask about a schedule that works for you.

Vehicles and Tires

Heavy vehicles with large tires, including off-highway vehicles, trucks, and SUVs, can cause a lot of scuffing, as can vehicles with power steering capabilities. Off-road and steel belted tires with coarse and broad tread styles are better at gripping the pavement and are more likely to leave material behind in the form of scuffing.


Vehicles don’t drive themselves: sometimes, the maneuvers of their drivers can cause scuffing to appear on your newly-sealed parking lot. It’s often aggressive or sudden movements that are the roughest on fresh sealcoating, and this can be aggravated by the type of vehicle or tires. Turning the steering wheel on a stationary vehicle, making sharp turns, and sudden braking can all leave scuffing on your parking lot that wasn’t there before.

Parking Lot Maintenance with Command7

Scuffing will not hurt your lot in the long term: in fact, scuff marks are a sign that your sealcoat is doing its job. If you can see scuff marks on it, that means that the coating on your lot is resilient enough to stand up to daily wear and tear and that it will be thick and effective enough to last for years to come. If you’re still interested in removing marks on your parking lot, though, concrete degreaser might be able to help you. In some cases, removing the existing sealant and starting over might be necessary for tracks that have really sunk into sealant. However, the best way to avoid scuffing on your parking lot is to sealcoat and maintain it. If you are interested in a quote or have questions about parking lot maintenance, including what sealcoating can do for you, the team at Command7 can help. Call 855-214-2168 or contact us online if it’s easier.

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