While re-paved driveways are long-lasting and durable, they do require ongoing asphalt driveway maintenance to remain clean, bright, and free from unwanted depressions. To help you extend the lifespan of your freshly re-paved driveway, here are some tips on how to properly care for it.
1. Week One of Your New Drive
During the first few days of your freshly re-paved drive, it is important to keep vehicles off of it.
Your new drive will not have had any time to harden up, so any weight on it can cause distresses in the asphalt. While you can walk on your new drive right away, hot temperatures in the first week can increase the likelihood of depressions in the asphalt.
2. The Hardening & Curing Time
It can take your drive anywhere between 3-12-months to completely harden and cure.
In the meantime, it will be pliable and soft, making it more susceptible to damage.
With hot temperatures, even after the curing and hardening process has been completed, your asphalt drive can soften. One way to temporarily harden it is to hose the drive down with water.
3. Minimizing Spot Damage
As part of your asphalt driveway maintenance, look to minimize spot damage from your vehicles, sharp objects, and excess weight on concentrated areas. To do this, don’t stop and start car movement too fast, avoid using kickstands and chairs on your drive, and use plywood to evenly distribute weight from large objects like boats, campers, car jacks, and ramps.
4. Avoid Cracking
Try not to drive near or off the edge of your asphalt driveway, as this will cause the sides to crumble.
The edges of the drive can be supported with topsoil but not until the drive has cured.
5. Remove Dirt & Professionally Repair Spills
You do not want dirt to get on your drive at all, as this will pull up the oils in the asphalt prematurely. These oils are what make the blacktop malleable and will naturally evaporate during the curing process. Besides this, you can scuff the surface if you continuously drive over dirt.
For transmission, power steering, antifreeze, oil, and gasoline spills, have these professionally repaired as these will break the asphalt up.
6. How to Handle Winter Cracking
If you live in a climate with winter months, expect cracking in the drive. The ground will contract with cold weather and then expand as winter subsides, causing cracking.
Fill in cracks with a reputable brand of crack filler.
7. After 1 Year
If you know that you have frequent spills on your drive, consider adding a sealing step into your asphalt driveway maintenance routine. A sealer will help protect your drive from these spills and keep it looking black and clean. This is a recommended step after the first year of re-paving.
Other than the above, it is highly recommended that you keep heavy vehicles off your driveway altogether.
This will ensure that no depressions form as a result of concentrated weight on small regions of the asphalt.