Remember that the liquid asphalt in blacktop needs time to harden and cure, usually 6-12 months, your driveway will remain somewhat soft and pliable until then. You may walk on new asphalt immediately, but keep automobile traffic off it for at least 2-3 full days and longer in hotter temperatures.
Your new asphalt will soften and harden as temperatures rise and fall. Watering it down with a hose on hot days will cool and temporarily harden the asphalt. This is helpful but not mandatory. If soap suds should appear do not be alarmed. This is a reaction between the products found in the asphalt and a high chlorine content found in some city water.
Your new asphalt can be scarred by automobiles starting out too fast, pulling in too quickly, turning around in tight areas and just driving too fast. If this happens, it can be easily fixed. Asphalt becomes pliable again with heat. Simiply heat with torch and iron smooth with a flat shovel.
During the first 6-12 months while your asphalt is curing don't park in the same spot every time. Do not turn your steering wheel back and forth when your car is not moving.
AVOID using jack stands or car ramps unless a piece of plywood is placed under them to help distribute the weight.
Lawn chairs, bicycle and motorcycle kickstands exert weight on concentrated areas and will create holes and depressions in your new driveway.
The edges are the weakest part due to the lack of side support. Avoid driving on the edges if at all possible. We suggest building up the sides with topsoil, this will support the edges and enhance the appearance after grass is grown.
Avoid gasoline, oil, anti-freeze, power steering and transmission fluid spills and leaks. These will dilute the liquid asphalt in your driveway. Any hairline cracks that may have developed over the winter due to the contraction and expansion of the base is common. This should be filled with crack filler or sealer. This is necessary to prevent moisture from penetrating and weakening the base.
To preserve your new driveway, it is advisable to seal it after it has been paved. Unprotected driveways become porous, faded, unravel and lose their life rapidly.
Note: Asphalt needs 60 - 90 days after installation to cure, before the first sealer should be applied. It is recommended to seal approximately every 2 - 3 years. A better determination when ready for sealer is by appearance, not calendar. When asphalt becomes dull, grey or faded looking, it is generally ready for sealer. If possible, apply on a hot day for optimal absorbtion. Some will say they will seal for you with top grade sealer, not necessary to seal again for 5 - 10 years. It is preferred to seal more frequently. Because of freeze and thaw cycle, asphalt will crack. Sealing every 2 - 3 years will seal hairline cracks that develop due to freeze/thaw cycles. Larger cracks should be filled with a form of crack filler.
However, too much sealer is not good either. Excessive sealer build-up will eventually chip or flake off. Sealer needs to absorb into asphalt, not continually pile on top of asphalt.
Call Absolute Asphalt today with any questions or concerns. With a professional job and scheduled maintenance, you can preserve the life and beauty of your new driveway for many years to come.
At this time Absolute Asphalt Ltd. does not provide sealcoat/crackfill services. Consult directory for qualified asphalt maintenance contractor.