You’ve worked, you’ve saved, you’ve dreamed, and finally, the day is here. You’ve watched pavers lay down the most gorgeous asphalt driveway you’ve ever seen, and you can’t wait to enjoy it. But you want to make sure that the paved driveway stays in amazing shape for years to come.
It’s important that you care for your paved driveway the right way, especially during its first few months. Read on to learn how to maintain a new asphalt driveway so it will look as beautiful as the day it was laid.
Let It Cure
It may sound obvious, but the first thing you need to do to care for your new paved driveway is to let it cure. Depending on the weather when you have your driveway paved, it can take up to five days for your asphalt to fully cure. Avoid parking on it during this period to give it chance to set.
When you’re working on a car, it can be easy for oil, gas, antifreeze, and other such substances to get spilled on your driveway. It’s important to clean these up as quickly as possible using kitty litter or soap and water. Leaving them on your driveway can cause the asphalt to break down and become damaged over time.
Sweep off Debris
In addition to keeping your driveway clear of spills, it’s a good idea to sweep it off regularly. Stones, sand, and even dirt can pull oil out of your asphalt and get trapped under vehicle tires, causing dents. Aim to sweep debris off your driveway at least once a week for the first year while the asphalt continues to cure.
Park on Plywood
During the early months of your driveway’s life, the asphalt paving will still be soft and in the process of curing. It’s a good idea to park vehicles, especially larger, heavier vehicles, on plywood during this time. This helps to distribute the weight of the tires and avoid dents.
Shift Where You Park
In addition to parking on plywood, you may want to try to shift where you park on your driveway during that first year. Consistent pressure in the same area can cause a low spot that may begin to collect water (more on that later). By moving around, you distribute that weight evenly and keep your driveway nice and flat.
Avoid Concentrated Pressure
During those first few months after you pave your driveway, you want to avoid any source of concentrated pressure on your driveway. Kickstands for motorcycles or trailer stands can cause spot damage that can leave dents in your driveway. You should avoid using these, as well as lawn chairs, on your driveway without some sort of protective layer under them.
Avoid Standing Water
If your driveway was laid properly and you maintain it well, it shouldn’t hold standing water. However, try to remove any water that you do notice standing on the surface. Over time, puddles can break down your asphalt and cause it to crumble or crack during the winter months.
Maintain the Edges
The edges of your paved driveway will be the most delicate, especially at first. Try to avoid driving over the edges, and be sure to keep grass trimmed neatly back away from them. After the first year, you can build up the topsoil around the edges of your driveway to help protect them.
Weeds and tree roots are the biggest culprits when it comes to cracks in your beautiful new driveway. Don’t let them get enough of a hold to damage your pavement. Spray weed killer on any weeds you notice beginning to grow in and around your driveway.
No matter how careful you are with your driveway, there’s a good chance that, when winter rolls around, you’re going to get some cracks. These are a normal part of the asphalt expanding and contracting with temperature changes. However, it’s important to seal these cracks as soon as possible so they don’t spread, allow your pavement to dry out, or give weeds a fertile environment.
After the first year, your pavement should be fully cured and ready for regular use. However, it’s still a good idea to reseal your asphalt every year or two in order to keep it in good condition. This can help to keep your pavement from drying out and will give it that like-new black sheen we love so much.
During the winter months, we know the last thing you may want to do is to go shovel snow off the driveway. But if you have new pavement, this is incredibly important; snow represents two of asphalt’s worst enemies: cold and wet. Shovel or blow snow off the driveway and put down salt to keep it clear of ice during the winter months.
Learn to Care for Your Paved Driveway
A paved driveway can be a beautiful addition to your home, but, like anything, it needs care and maintenance. During the early months of your driveway’s life, avoid putting too much pressure on it, especially in one specific spot. Try to keep your driveway clear of water, snow, debris, and chemicals, and reseal it annually to keep it in tip top shape.
If you’d like to learn more about caring for your paved driveway, check out the rest of our site at Washington Pavements, LLC. Driveway paving has been a family tradition and trade, and we bring passion and quality workmanship to every job we do. Get a quote from us today and discover the hardworking pride we put into every project.