Your new asphalt driveway may last up to 20 years, with proper care and maintenance. These tips will help you get off to the right start, so your asphalt driveway will continue to be an asset and investment that you can be proud of.
Wait to Drive on Your Driveway
Your new driveway will be soft at first. To prevent the driveway from becoming cracked or pitted within the first few weeks, you'll need to avoid driving on it when the asphalt is first laid down. The exact length of time that you will need to avoid driving on it will depend on what the temperatures are outside, because warmer temperatures will make the asphalt softer than cooler temperatures. You'll need to speak with your paving contractor to find out exactly how long it will be before you can park a car on your driveway, but the amount of time could be a few days if the weather is cool, or perhaps a week if the weather outside is hot.
Avoid Using Beach Chairs on Your Driveway
Beach chairs and other objects that distribute weight in small, concentrated areas can drive holes into the surface of your driveway. Avoid using beach chairs on your driveway, especially when temperatures outside are hot and the asphalt is soft.
Keep the Driveway Clean
Dirt can absorb protective oils from your asphalt, so keep dirt off your driveway as much as possible. Chemical spills like gasoline and transmission fluid can do damage to your driveway. If your car has a leak, keep it off your driveway as much as possible. If your driveway is exposed to a chemical spill, speak with your paving contractor about making any necessary repairs.
Wait Until the Driveway Has Cured to Seal It
Sealer will protect your driveway from harsh chemical spills. However, your driveway can't be sealed until it's finished curing. Driveways can take up to a year to cure. To check your driveway and find out if it's ready to be cured, spray the asphalt with water and watch to see if the water forms beads on the surface of your driveway. If the water beads up, this means that the driveway isn't ready to be sealed yet. Once you're ready to seal the driveway, you may purchase commercial sealer at a home improvement center or at a hardware store.
Enjoy your new driveway. With proper care, your driveway will be an important and functional part of your home for many years to come.