It’s important to realize that asphalt takes a minimum of 2 years to fully cure, or harden. During that time there are some things that you, as a homeowner or business owner, can do to preserve the appearance of your new asphalt.
New asphalt is soft, particularly on warm sunny days. Here are some tips that will prevent damage or marking of the pavement.
- Be sure to back up the edges of your fresh pavement with loam or gravel after paving. The edges are the weakest part of your driveway and need that support. Be careful not to drive on the edges as well.
- Wetting down your asphalt with a garden hose will cool and harden the asphalt temporarily.
- Avoid parking in the same spot every time until the asphalt has fully cured.
- Definitely avoid turning your steering wheel while the vehicle is not in motion.
- Spinning your tyres, rapid starts and stops as well as sharp turns may also result in marking.
- Sharp or heavy objects such as kickstands, dumpsters, ladders, automobile ramps and jacks may create dents or holes in your asphalt. Use these items cautiously even after the asphalt has cured. Placing a board of plywood under heavy items with a small footprint is strongly advised.
- Automotive fluids, chemicals, oil, gasoline, diesel and heating oil will soften or dissolve unsealed asphalt. Spills should be cleaned up as soon as possible. Oil dry, kitty litter or rags will absorb the fluid. Cleaning the area with a mild detergent and flushing with water may also work with some chemicals.
- We recommend waiting 12 months before sealing your new asphalt. Asphalt needs exposure to the air and elements to cure, so Sealing too soon will increase the time it needs to fully harden.
- Heavy trucks such as those used to deliver heating oil can also cause damage, particularly in the spring when the ground is soft.
With a little care and some common sense, asphalt should last for many years.