When you invest the time and money on having a new asphalt driveway poured, you will undoubtedly want to make sure that it is cared for correctly. You have completed your planning on where you want to have it poured, excavated the area, and have found the qualified company to complete the work.
Or maybe you have made arrangements to have the existing driveway extended. Or resurfaced. The same need to maintain it exists to protect your investment.
The asphalt company may have provided you some information regarding correct maintenance on fresh asphalt paving. But just to give some independent insight, we are providing you some useful tips for driveway maintenance.
Using a Driveway after Asphalt Paving
You can walk on your new driveway as soon as it is paved, but you should wait at least three days before driving on it with a car (longer in hot weather). It takes around 6 to 12 months for the liquid asphalt in blacktop to become fully hardened and cured, during which time it will remain somewhat soft. Although not as hard as concrete, your asphalt driveway will be very strong once it has completely cured.
Parking on a New Asphalt Driveway
It is advisable to exercise caution when parking your car on the newly-paved driveway for the first six months to a year, as it is still curing. To ensure that you don't damage the driveway, it is best not to leave your car in the same spot each day and avoid turning its steering wheel if it isn't actually moving. If you must use a ramp or jack stand for repairs, put some plywood underneath them so that their weight can be evenly distributed.
Marks and Scarring on an Asphalt Driveway
Driving with excessive speed can easily lead to damage being done to your driveway. Making sharp turns, abruptly coming to a stop, and accelerating quickly can all leave marks on the surface of your driveway. The best advice is to take it slow and easy when driving on the driveway.
Heavy Vehicles and Asphalt Driveways
It is recommended that you avoid parking large, commercial vehicles such as concrete trucks or oil trucks on your new driveway until it has fully cured, as their weight can cause indentations in the surface. If you must store a camper or boat on the driveway, placing plywood beneath the tongue jack and tires will help spread out the weight of these items.
Holes and Depressions on Asphalt Driveways
Putting lawn chairs and kickstands from bicycles or motorcycles on your freshly laid driveway can cause indentations and cavities due to the concentration of pressure. Additionally, during the summertime, avoid walking on it with stilettos or other shoes with sharp heels!
Asphalt Driveway Edges
The edges of your new driveway are the most fragile because there is no support on the sides. Consequently, you should not drive close to them as it could cause them to crack or break. It is suggested that you add topsoil along the sides of your driveway for additional strength and beauty. Additionally, leave one inch from the top of the driveway so that grass can grow and water can drain off properly.
Asphalt Driveway Textures
The composition of asphalt can lead to some areas of the driveway having a smoother surface while other spots may be rougher. Asphalt consists of different sizes of stones, sand, liquid asphalt, and other components which gives it an uneven texture. Additionally, a driveway that was spread by hand will have a dissimilar look compared to one that was applied with machinery.
Holes and Cracks on Your Driveway
It is best to stay away from substances like gasoline, oil, anti-freeze, power steering and transmission fluid that can weaken the liquid asphalt in your new driveway and create holes. If a hole does appear, you can fill it with cold patch. Additionally, small cracks may occur during winter due to the ground's expansion and contraction; these should be filled with crack filler or sealer from a local store or by a professional.
Sealing Asphalt Driveways a Necessity
To preserve the lifespan and quality of your newly paved driveway, sealing it after completion is necessary. Unsealed asphalt becomes rough and deteriorates quickly due to frost and freezing. Sealing also guards against gasoline, oil, grease, salt and antifreeze leaking from cars which can cause damage. However, having it sealed too soon can be detrimental; therefore professional sealing with regular maintenance is recommended to protect your driveway for the long term.