Do's & Don'ts of Newly Paved Driveways & Asphalt Parking Lots
What Not to Do & Why
DON’T: Drive on your driveway for at least five days. Longer wait times may occur if the weather is hot.
DON’T: Place sharp or pointed objects on your driveway. They will cause indentations, especially in the first year of your driveways life. Even on hot summer days, high heels, bicycle kickstands, ladders, and porch chairs can cause imperfections.
REASON: With small pointed objects, the weight is localized to a small area, causing concentrated weight in one spot, which results in indentations.
DON’T: Drive near the edges of your driveway. The weight of the car may cause the edges to crack, resulting in damage to the entire edge. Soil and sod can be placed around the edges to build up the support for the asphalt.
REASON: Asphalt is supported by the stone or gravel base. If a large amount of weight is placed on the unsupported edge, it will crack.
CURE: We construct our driveways slightly above grade, so proper drainage can occur. When this is not done, water collects along the edges of the driveway, eventually eroding the ground beneath it, and exposing the edge. To prevent damage, the area should be backfilled or supported.
DON’T: Turn your car wheels sharply on the pavement. Also turning the wheels while the car is not in motion will result in power steering gouges. These are bruises or lacerations to the surface of your driveway. They are caused by the grinding action of the tires on the asphalt. Even greater care should be taken on hot days, as the asphalt is softer and more likely to scar.
REASON: Asphalt contains certain oils and volatiles that make it more malleable. It can take up to a year for these oils to evaporate, and until then the asphalt will remain soft. This is called the aging, or curing process. Weather and blacktop thickness can greatly influence the length of the curing process.
DON’T: Be alarmed by small puddles. Subtle shifting in the sub-base layer can cause some puddling. Any spot holding water less than ¼” deep is almost impossible to eliminate. The areas usually dissipate after use of the driveway. The oils in new asphalt tend to hold the water, therefore, once the oils have evaporated, the puddling should decrease.
DON’T: Allow weeds or other vegetation to grow around the edges of your driveway. Small bumps and minor eruptions in the driveway are evidence of soon to be blooming weeds. The heat from the blacktop also speeds up the germination progress.
CURE: Applying weed killer or simply applying table salt and water to the area should eliminate the problem.
DON’T: Pulling out too fast, or pulling in too quickly can cause scarring of the driveway. During the curing process drivers should not park in the same spot all the time. Changing where you park your car, or camper can ensure that no depressions are made in that area.
What You Should Do
DO: Drive over your driveway once it has been dug out, further compacting the area makes for a better sub-surface. The driveway will need to sit for at least 4 weeks. The longer it sits, the better the driveway will turn out.
DO: Place soil along edges of driveway; this will help support the edges and prevent cracking.
DO: Sealcoat your driveway. Sealcoating helps lengthen the life of a driveway. A sealcoat should be applied between 90 days to 1 year after paving.
DO: Spray weed killer along the edges of your driveway, this will prevent weeds from growing up through the asphalt.
DO: Sweep your asphalt driveway at least once a year. This removes any rocks or debris that could damage the driveway, and allows you to see any cracks or imperfections that need to be repaired. Catching repairs early will prevent high cost repairs later on.