"I have a newly paved asphalt driveway. What do I do now?"
Asphalt pavement contains "Liquid Asphalt" which is the black, tar-like substance that holds the pavement together, and this liquid needs time to harden and cure. Your new asphalt driveway could take up to a year to fully cure. We recommend not parking personal vehicles on the new asphalt for at least a day or two. Larger vehicles such as motor homes and boat trailers should be kept off longer.
Even when fully cured, asphalt pavement can sometimes soften in extreme heat, or harden faster as temperatures drop. To temporarily harden the pavement, you can water down the surface with a garden hose. If soapsuds appear, don't be worried. This is a reaction between the chlorine in the water and the asphalt.
To avoid scarring your new driveway, do not pull in or out too quickly, or drive to fast on the new surface. Avoid parking in the same place during the cure time and do not use jack stands or car ramps unless you place a piece of wood underneath them to help distribute the weight. Also avoid turning your steering wheel when the car is not moving.
Large heavy vehicles can cause ruts in your new asphalt. Keep heavy trucks (concrete, landscaping, dump-trucks) off of your driveway. If you own a camper, boat or a large trailer, place a piece of wood under the jack and tires to avoid any depressions in your asphalt.
The edges are the weakest part of your new driveway due to the lack of side support. Avoid driving over the edges, since they will crack and crumble away over time. Placing top soil and grass or stone along side your new driveway is good step to protect the edges from deteriorating. We recommend calling Cork Moore of Lawns & Moore, LLC. at 419-656-8427, to handle all of your edge landscaping needs.
"How do I keep my new driveway looking good?"
Your new driveway may look smoother in some ares than in others due to the material makeup of asphalt. Asphalt concrete is made up of various sizes of stone, sand and liquid asphalt which can cause a varied texture in the surface. You may also notice some areas look different than others due to how the asphalt was placed, either by raking with hand tools or spread by a paving machine. Don't worry about these initial texture differences, normal wear caused by using the driveway will make these abnormalities disappear in no time.
Avoid any gasoline, oil, anti-freeze or other spills and leaks from your vehicles. These chemicals will dilute the liquid asphalt overtime and cause your driveway to start breaking down.
All pavement, whether it be asphalt or concrete, cracks over time. Any cracks that may develop can be filled with a crack filling material found at any local hardware store.
Although asphalt sealing and crack filling can be self performed by the homeowner, we recommend that you call a trained professional to handle this type of work as it will ensure that your asphalt maintains its strength and appearance. Precision Paving can assist you in finding a qualified installer in your area.
Preserving your driveways appearance and structure by seal coating is the best way to keep the life in your asphalt. We recommend that you seal your new driveway 3 to 12 months after it was paved. This time frame has been shown to give the asphalt time to cure as well as ensuring you get a coat on before the elements start to harm your pavement. We also recommend sealing your driveway every 2 to 5 years after the initial seal coat has cured. Due to asphalts naturally porous state, and our wet springs and snowy winters here in Northern Ohio, water seeps in and can cause cracks and upheaval. Seal coating creates a barrier that is impervious to harmful elements such as water and chemicals. By not seal coating your asphalt in a timely matter you are allowing your beautiful new driveway to dry out and rapidly loose its appearance and structural integrity.