What You Should Know Before Driving on New Asphalt

April 5, 2021

Are you planning to resurface or add a new driveway or parking lot to your property? Attractive paved areas instantly improve the curb appeal of any building, but remember that you won’t be able to use these areas right away—they need time to properly cure. Here’s what you need to know about driving on new asphalt at your Damascus, MD property.

How long should I stay off new asphalt?

One of the most fundamental tips for new asphalt at your Damascus, MD property is to stay completely off the area for at least 72 hours. At that point, the blacktop is dry enough for foot and vehicle traffic. While it’s generally safe to drive on new asphalt at this time, it’s still not completely cured—that comes after six to 12 months.

It’s a much different case when you’re resurfacing paved areas like parking lots or driveways. Resurfacing projects generally dry within a few hours. You can get back to using these areas the same day they are resurfaced.

How does the weather affect drying times?

It’s important to keep the weather in mind, whether you’re putting down new pavement or resurfacing. If you’re getting asphalt work done on extremely hot days, it slows down the drying process and keeps the surfaces soft. You should wait for the temperature to cool down before driving, walking or parking on these areas. You can spray the blacktop with water to help it harden, but as a general rule, it’s best not to schedule asphalt repairs or maintenance if temperatures in your area are over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

How does sealcoating affect drying times?

If you’ve chosen to apply a sealcoat to your paved surfaces—which is absolutely recommended—you need to wait 30 days after the blacktop was installed. Once the sealer has been applied, it generally takes 48 to 72 hours to dry. If you’re planning to do any paintwork to the asphalt, such as designating parking spaces, fire lanes, loading zones, etc., you should wait another 30 days to make sure the paint won’t soak into the surface. In commercial applications, it might not be legally or practically feasible to wait this long, but each situation is different.

How can I keep my new blacktop in good condition?

Even after curing, your asphalt driveway or parking areas will not be as hard as concrete. Spot damage can occur if you aren’t careful. Keep the following tips for new asphalt in mind to keep the entire surface of your new pavement free from blemishes:

  • As you drive, don’t start or stop too fast.
  • Avoid using lawn chairs or kickstands to prevent pits, holes or gouges
  • Make sure weight is well distributed when parking boats, campers or other special vehicles. Park these vehicles on top of a piece of plywood on your driveway or lot to help distribute the weight.
  • Keep large, heavy trucks and other machinery off new blacktop.

It’s always smart to improve the look of your property with freshly paved surfaces. Be mindful of these tips for driving on new asphalt at your Damascus, MD home or business and your investment will last for years to come. Contact Maryland Asphalt LLC to give your property an updated look with attractive paved surfaces.

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