Question: Our insurance company recently paid out on a claim for loss in appearance of a driveway surface. A policy holder put in a new driveway and three weeks later someone backed into the driveway and laid rubber as he accelerated back onto the street. In case I should encounter this problem again I wonder if there is any effective way to restore the appearance of the driveway surface without damaging the texture.

Answer: We don't know of a proven method but it might work to flame clean. A gas or oxyacetylene flame could be applied cautiously, not letting the flame linger long in one area lest it cause spalling. This would have to be followed by brushing vigorously with a stiff fiber, but not steel, brush. If the workmen use hand held torches they should try to use enough artistry to blend out any small differences in appearance that develop.

If the contractor would rather not work with ordinary torches he might like to purchase Swedish flame cleaning equipment like that shown in the photo. This is available from AGA Gas Division, AGA AB, S-181 81, Lidingo, Sweden. Swedish flame cleaning equipment that removes coatings might also remove rubber.