Proper Asphalt Care
Asphalt is a durable surface which can take years of heavy use, but it is not invincible, especially in the heat of summer and the freezing temperatures of winter. To keep in in good condition for as long as possible, it’s important to provide the correct seasonal care. Here are a few tips for maintaining your asphalt.
Refrain from driving on your new driveway for at least (3) days after paving completion. Always make sure that your vehicle is in motion when turning your steering wheel to help prevent “power steering” marks. Seal coat your driveway approximately 1 – 2 years after new paving installation and then every 3 years after that. Vary your parking in the driveway to help avoid depressions. Avoid sharp objects such as bicycle kickstands, lawn chairs, high heels, etc. which can puncture the new asphalt.
It may take up to a full year for the asphalt to fully cure, so on consistently warm days throughout the summer, you may experience softness of the asphalt and need to exercise caution of the above care and maintenance tips!
Seal Cracks Promptly
Asphalt accumulate cracks over time, and the more there are, the more quickly the surface will break down. Heat weakens the binding materials in asphalt and freezing water expand and enlarges any surface ruptures. Both significantly contribute to the breakdown of your parking lot or driveway. Repairing these cracks as soon as they appear and scheduling regular driveway/parking area sealing to address smaller, invisible fractures will help slow this degradation.
Avoid Damage From Heavy Objects
Heat makes your driveway more vulnerable to warping and compression, which can leave the surface uneven. Avoid leaving heavy objects like campers and boats on your driveway/parking lot and save heavy duty work for cooler seasons.
Seal Asphalt Regularly
As a general rule, you should seal your driveway or parking lot every 1 to 3 years. More specifically, if you can see the color of the individual stones that make up your asphalt surface, you know it's time to seal it up. A few rules apply before you seal, however. For starters, never seal new asphalt. Asphalt needs at least six months for the oils in it to evaporate. The less oil, the harder the surface, which is the goal. If you apply driveway sealer before it has time to cure, it won’t achieve the necessary hardness.