Follow these tips to protect your investment & ensure it holds up well through the hot midwest summers and frigid Toledo winters.
1) Automobile Traffic
After your driveway or parking lot is paved, you will need to keep automobile traffic off of the asphalt for 24 hours or even longer in hotter temperatures. Even after the asphalt has cured, do not expect it to be as hard as concrete. Your asphalt will remain pliable for a period of 8 to 12 months until the liquid asphalt has totally cured.
2) Watering your Asphalt
Your new asphalt will soften as temperatures rise throughout the day. Watering your driveway or parking lot with a hose will help cure and harden your asphalt.
3) Prevent Scarring
During the first 8 to 12 months while your asphalt pavement is curing, try not to park in the same spot every time. Avoid turning the steering wheel while your car is not moving. Doing so may create “power steering marks.” This “scuffing” is normal and will subside as the pavement cures. Turn the wheel slowly and gradually as to not scar the asphalt.
4) Support the Edge
The edges of your pavement are the most vulnerable to cracking and breaking. It is beneficial to backfill up to the side of the pavement with topsoil to support the edge. This will also enhance the appearance and allow for easier maintenance.
5) Bicycles and Motorcycles
Bicycle and motorcycle kick stands, if placed on asphalt at any time while the weather is hot, will sink into the asphalt leaving either a hole or a mark. To prevent this, you will need to place a board between the asphalt and the kick stand.
6) Gasoline – Motor Oil
Gasoline, motor oil, transmission fluid and power steering fluid, if spilled, will penetrate through the asphalt. The damaged surfaces should be repaired as soon as possible. Small areas of repair can be done by the owner by purchasing “cold patch asphalt” from a hardware store. Large areas of repair should be repaired by professionals using standard asphalt methods or the new infrared technology.
Asphalt should be Sealcoated every 2 to 4 years depending on the amount of traffic. It is not recommended to Sealcoat new asphalt during the first 12 months. This may cause asphalt to soften and prevent it from curing. Sealcoating will enhance the appearance and preserve the the life of your asphalt, as well as protect your asphalt from oil, gas, and other harmful fluids. Unsealed asphalt may dry out and become rough, thus reducing its useful life.
8) It’s Only Natural
Asphalt has various sizes of stone and sand, which cause a varied textured surface.
It is natural for areas that have been raked and worked by hand to appear a little rougher than areas paved by a machine. This should not be a concern.
Due to expansion and contraction of the ground, it is natural for random cracking of the pavement to occur. The cracks should be sealed promptly to prevent water from penetrating the asphalt and causing further deterioration of the pavement.