Just had a beautiful new asphalt driveway laid and want to keep it that way? Here’s a few maintenance tips to help your new surface last longer and reduce costly future repairs.
In the first year:
- Leave at least 3 months before you seal coat the surface. Your driveway needs time to cure and harden. If you seal coat too early, oils that make asphalt flexible are locked in. While this can sound like a good thing with seasonal changes to the weather, too much flexibility will lead to tire impressions, early deterioration and make it easy to damage.
- Avoid making sharp turns with your vehicle or turning your steering wheel while the car is not in motion. This will create tire track marks and power steering scuffs on the surface.
- Avoid heavy machinery, moving vans and trash collection trucks from using your driveway. As a relatively low traffic area, unlike a road, it wouldn’t have the same gravel base to carry these heavy loads.
- Keep sharp objects off the asphalt to reduce impressions left in the asphalt. This includes motorcycle stands, boat jacks and high heels.
- Heavy vehicles like a boat or RV should have plywood placed under the wheels, especially if they’ll be sitting on the driveway for a long time.
- Rotate where you’re parking vehicles to evenly distribute the weight while the asphalt is curing. Asphalt only cures during the hot summer months so during the winter the hardening process is halted.
- In the summer months, try to keep vehicles off the driveway during the hottest times of the day as this is when imprints are most likely to be formed in the asphalt.
- If you’ve chosen to have a driveway laid without supportive bordering, avoid driving vehicles off the edges as this will lead to cracks which will crumble over time.
- Asphalt becomes brittle with age as the oils in the binder breaks down. A new seal coat should be applied within 5 years of the first coat and every 3 years after that. Contact AC Paving for a quote to seal coat your driveway.
- Never let any citrus based cleaners spill on your driveway as they will damage the seal coat.
- Sweep the driveway of grass clippings as the seeds will find their way into tiny cracks. Pull growing weeds immediately. If they’re left to keep growing they’ll widen the crack.
- Repair cracks with filler to slow down further deterioration. Un-drained water gets through cracks into the gravel base, washing it away and causing potholes.
- Regularly hose down your driveway to remove built up mud and other dirt.
- Oil and fuel spills should be cleaned off the driveway as soon as possible. While they won’t immediately lead to deterioration, they will leave ugly spots on your new surface.
Asphalt is a valuable investment to your home and these tips will help protect that investment. A little time over years will save a lot of costs in the future.
If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of asphalt paving, request an estimate or call (410) 923-6100 TODAY!