Like all other features in your home, your new asphalt driveway will last longer if you give it better care throughout its lifespan. Remember that the real cost of your driveway is measured over its lifetime, so giving proper maintenance is vital in keeping yearly costs low.
As soon as the local asphalt paving contractors finish paving your driveway, its “life” begins. Here is a care and maintenance guide to help ensure that you will enjoy a long-lasting, attractive-looking driveway well into the future.
The First 14 Days
The most crucial period for your new asphalt driveway is its first 14 days. It is at its most vulnerable, and you must not drive over it for three to five days. You have to wait for 14 days before parking your car in your new driveway. Also, you must park only during the cool part of the day.
The Next 100 Days
The next hundred days after the first 14 crucial days are referred to as the curing period. Since asphalt is oil-based, it will take a while for it to cure, especially during summer. Thus, special precautions must be observed during this period. These include:
- Not turning your steering wheel if your car is stopped
- Not parking on it during the hottest part of the day
- Placing plywood under tires for boats and campers parked for long periods. By doing so, the weight of the tires will be evenly distributed
- Keeping boat jacks, bicycle and motorcycle stands, and other sharp objects off the newly installed driveway
- Not allowing garbage trucks and other heavy machinery on your driveway
Industry experts further emphasize that if you had your driveway installed in the fall, curing will only stop if the weather turns cold. Nevertheless, curing will resume in the spring.
Continuing Care and Maintenance
1. Fill cracks
Because of the movement in the base or in the subsoil during the thaw cycle or a freeze, cracks might appear. Also, the movement is a result of water seeping into the driveway due to too much rain, over-watering, or landscape design.
Eventual cracking can be avoided by keeping the cracks filled and having your driveway seal coated. You can fill the cracks yourself, but it is still recommended that you let professionals perform this job to ensure a long-lasting driveway.
2. Prevent gasoline and oil spills
As mentioned earlier, asphalt is an oil-based material. Thus, oil and gasoline spills will dissolve the surface of your driveway, leading to deterioration.
Moreover, oil can stain your driveway and cause it to get gummy over time. Oil will also attract dirt and dust.
Fuel spills, on the other hand, can cause severe damage when it sits on your asphalt driveway for long. Know that diesel fuel is a solvent for asphalt, meaning it can quickly destroy your driveway. It can dissolve asphalt binders, which can eventually lead to a hole.
You can prevent and minimize damage by not leaking these materials and using absorbent materials to clean up spills as quickly as possible.
3. Stop grass and weeds from growing through the cracks
Grass and weeds can push through asphalt if there are cracks in it. To remedy the situation, you can use a spot killer, but this is not effective for plants and trees near the edge of your driveway. So your best solution is to hire professionals to perform effective hedging and pruning techniques.
4. Protect the edges
The driveway edges are the weakest part because of the side support, so you must avoid driving over the edges to prevent cracks. Experts suggest building up the soil near this area with topsoil to allow for proper water drainage and sod growth. Doing this will also support the edges as well as enhance the appearance once the grass is grown.
5. Consider seal coating
A quality sealcoat will boost the appearance and life of your driveway. Professional seal coating will lock in the existing soils. This way, the asphalt becomes flexible, leading to reduced cracking.
Make sure to commit to sealcoating your driveway five years after installation and every three years after.
Your driveway will play a crucial part in making your home attractive and valuable. This means an asphalt driveway installation is a wise choice. Use this new asphalt driveway care and maintenance guide to get the most out of your investment in your home.
Ron Shattuck Jr. built Shattuck Paving into a trusted, reputable family business. Ron Jr. learned a lot about the industry and the hard work ethic that Ronald Sr. lived by, and has now followed in his father's shoes to operate the company and help it grow. Today, Shattuck Paving is more determined than ever to serve their customers' needs with integrity. No compromises!