You have completed the work and put in a new asphalt driveway. The next step is to make sure to care for it properly. The first thing to be aware of is that it will take at least six months and up to 12 months for the asphalt to harden and cure. During this time, be on the lookout for damage such as holes and sinking.
Important Care Tips
There are lots of things you can do to take care of the driveway, but some of the key ones are listed below.
- Give Time to Set: Do not drive on the driveway for at least three days, and if the temperature is really hot, five days is ideal. Because new asphalt is still so soft, tire tracks will be left on the surface, especially if you make tight turns. If this happens, there is very little you can do to correct it.
- Low Spots: Also known as bird baths, these are small pockets of water that may settle on the driveway after it rains. Shallow low spots are not a problem; however, if they are deep then you need to take action.
- Avoid the Edges: Do not drive on the edge of the driveway as this will cause crumbling
- Stains: Using salt and other material to melt ice during the winter months will not damage asphalt, but it can leave stains behind. Washing these off as soon as possible will prevent permanent stains
- Oil Spills/spots: Clean up oil spots as soon as possible after they appear. Once they are cleaned up quickly before they get a chance to be ingrained into the asphalt there is no problem
- Power Wash: This not only cleans the driveway but also helps to preserve it as it removes a build-up of oils and other material that can affect the asphalt
- Cracks: During the winter months, asphalt is susceptible to cracks. If these appear, repair them as soon as possible before they expand and become a major problem.
Winter Time Care
Extra care needs to be taken during wintertime to protect asphalt. Make sure to have visible markers to identify the edges of the driveway so that accidental damage from shovels can be prevented. Make sure to use the right type of de-icing products. Some products such as rock salt can damage porous material.
Placing a sealant on the driveway is one way to help preserve and care for it. Your contractor will help you decide when it is best to seal your driveway. Because asphalt needs time to cure, you can apply sealcoat between six months to one year after you have put in your asphalt driveway.