Congratulations on your new asphalt driveway! We are pleased that you have chosen us as your paving contractor and are confident this information provided will answer all of your questions for a longer lasting driveway.
Since the liquid asphalt in blacktop needs time to harden and cure, usually 6-24 months, your driveway will remain somewhat soft and pliable until then. You may walk on your new driveway immediately but keep automobile traffic off of it for at least 3 full days and longer in hotter temperatures. Although not as hard as concrete, your asphalt driveway has many advantages and when fully cured will be very durable.
Your new asphalt driveway will soften and harden as temperatures rise and fall. Watering down your driveway with a hose on hot days will temporarily harden the asphalt. This is helpful, but not mandatory. If soap suds should appear do not be alarmed, this is a reaction between the diesel fuel found in asphalt and a high chlorine content found in some city water.
Although every effort is made to avoid puddles in your driveway, some small ones are inevitable depending on the natural slope and drainage of your ground.
Please be cautious, your driveway may be scarred by automobiles starting out to fast, pulling in too quickly, turning around in tight areas and just plain driving to fast.
During the first 6-12 months while your driveway is curing don’t park on the same spot every time. Do not turn your steering wheel back and forth when your car is not moving.
Avoid using jack stands or car ramps unless a piece of plywood is placed under them to help distribute the weight. Excessive weight from large heavy vehicles can depress your new driveway. Keep oil trucks, concrete trucks and any other heavy vehicles off your new driveway.
When storing campers, and boats for a long period of time, place a piece of plywood under the tongue jack and also under the tires.
Also, avoid lawn chairs, bicycle or motorcycle kickstands and high heels. All exert weight on concentrated areas and will create holes and depressions in your new driveway. Especially during the warm months when your driveway is new.
The edges are the weakest part of your driveway due to lack of side support. Avoid driving on the edges since they will crack and crumble in time. We suggest building up the sides of the driveway with topsoil to approximately one inch from the top of the driveway to allow room for sod growth and water drainage. This will support the edges and enhance the appearance after grass is grown.
Your driveway may look smoother in some areas than in others because of the makeup of asphalt. Asphalt has various sizes of stone, sand, liquid asphalt, and other ingredients which cause a varied texture of surface. Also, driveway areas that have been raked and spread with hand tools may appear different texture from those spread by machine. Although every effort is made to remove and kill any grass, weeds and dandelions before your driveway is paved, they sometimes have very deep roots. If any should push up through your driveway, please contact you’re paving contractor for instructions. They may suggest using a spot weed killer to simply correct this.
Avoid getting gasoline, oil, diesel fuel anti-freeze, power steering and transmission fluid on your asphalt driveway. These chemicals will dilute the liquid asphalt in your driveway. Any holes left by these spills should be filled with a cold patch. Any hairline cracks that may be developed over the winter due to the concentration and expansion of the ground should be filled with crack filler or sealer.
To preserve your new driveway, it is advisable to seal it after it has been paved. Unprotected driveways remain porous, dry out, become rough, and lose their life rapidly. This results in deterioration, ridges, and upheaval due to frost and freezing. Asphalt is also softened and broken up by gasoline, lube, oil, grease, road salts, and anti-freeze which drip from cars. Sealer protects asphalt with a coating that is impervious to these harmful elements and also fills and seals hairline cracks. Sealing too soon however may cause damage to your new driveway.
Consult your paving/Sealing contractor for their recommendation on the best time to seal your driveway. With a professional job and scheduled maintenance, you can preserve the life and beauty of your new driveway for many years to come.