Caring for Your New Home’s Asphalt Driveway: Tips & Tricks
As a new homeowner, one of the joys is seeing every part of your property in pristine condition, including your freshly poured asphalt driveway. Asphalt is a popular choice for driveways due to its durability and aesthetic appeal.
However, to maintain its pristine condition, understanding the hardening and curing process, and knowing how to care for it, especially during the hot summer days, is crucial. This blog will guide you through the essential care tips for your new asphalt driveway with Progressive Builders!
Don’t forget to let us know if you have any questions about home building or real estate!
Understanding the Hardening and Curing Process
Asphalt is a mixture of aggregate (stone, sand, and gravel) bound together by bitumen, a petroleum-based binder. When first laid, asphalt is heated and poured at high temperatures, making it malleable.
The hardening and curing process is the period during which the asphalt cools and sets. This process can take up to a year to fully complete, with the surface hardening first and deeper layers following gradually.
Tips for the Initial Weeks
For the first few days, avoid driving on the new asphalt. This gives the surface time to begin the hardening process without being disturbed.
Avoid Heavy Loads
Keep heavy vehicles and equipment off the driveway for at least the first month, such as delivery trucks, fuel delivery vehicles, truck/trailer combos, RVs – essentially anything larger than a passenger vehicle.
Preventing Scars and Depressions
During hot summer days, asphalt can become softer and more susceptible to damage. Here’s how to prevent scarring or depressions:
Furniture legs, bicycle kickstands, or high heels can leave marks. Use plywood under any sharp objects to distribute the weight. Use wider tires or place boards under tires to distribute the weight and avoid tire marks.
Turn Vehicles Carefully
Avoid turning your car’s steering wheel when the vehicle is stationary, as this can twist and scar the asphalt.
Be Aware Of Parking Habits
In the first three days, don’t park on the driveway at all. In the first year, try not to park in the same spot every day to prevent depressions.
Avoid Driving on the Edges
Try to keep vehicles centered to prevent putting pressure on the vulnerable edges. The center of an asphalt driveway is typically thicker and more robust than the edges. The edges are more prone to crumbling due to their thinner construction and lack of side support. Installing a border of pavers or stones can provide additional support to the edges.
Regular Sealing for Protection
In Minnesota, the freeze/thaw cycle can be harsh on asphalt driveways. Water seeps into cracks, freezes, expands, and causes further damage. Regular sealing is essential:
Wait at least 90 days before the first sealcoating to ensure the asphalt is fully cured.
Sealcoat your driveway every two to three years to protect it from water penetration, UV rays, and chemicals.
Caring for Your New Home’s Asphalt Driveway
Your new home’s asphalt driveway is an investment worth protecting. By understanding the curing process, taking precautions during hot days, being mindful of where and how you park, and regularly sealing the driveway, you can maintain its pristine condition for years to come. Remember, a little care goes a long way in preserving the beauty and functionality of your asphalt driveway.