Caring for New Asphalt

July 19, 2021

So, you’ve just gotten a new asphalt driveway, road, parking lot or recreational court—chances are, it’s a big improvement over your last pavement. Do you know how to care for new asphalt so it stays looking great longer?

While asphalt is an incredibly durable pavement material, it’s subject to wear and tear all the same. Knowing how to take care of your new pavement will help ensure it lasts as long as possible. Here are our best tips for new asphalt care:

  • Wait three days before allowing traffic: Your asphalt takes some time to cure and harden. In fact, it can take up to a year before it’s fully hardened. Until then, it will probably feel somewhat soft and pliable when you walk or drive upon it. As a general rule, you should wait three full days before allowing any vehicle traffic on the asphalt. Otherwise, your pavement could get dented and pitted.
  • Don’t park in the same spot for the first six months: Since the asphalt takes so long to cure, it’s important that you change up your parking spot each day. You’ll need to do this for at least six months, and potentially for up to a year. This will prevent the asphalt from compacting under the weight of your car in the same spot each day.
  • Avoid driving on the edges of the pavement: If your pavement has “bare” edges, we suggest packing the sides with topsoil or curbs whenever possible. Not only will this look more attractive, but it will keep your edges from crumbling under pressure.
  • Keep heavy trucks and machinery away: If you allow heavy trucks and machinery on your new pavement, you may notice large dents, potholes or depressions forming. If you must allow heavy vehicles or machinery on the pavement, make sure they’re moved frequently to avoid issues. If you plan to park trailers on your asphalt, put plywood under the trailer tongue jack and tires to prevent depressions. Using the plywood will help distribute the weight evenly, so you’re less likely to see damage.
  • Water down the pavement on hot days: When it gets hot outside, your asphalt surface needs some extra care. This type of pavement softens and hardens based on the ambient temperature, so it can get extra-soft on especially hot days. Use a hose to spray down the pavement. Don’t be alarmed if you see “soap suds” come up—that’s a reaction between the diesel fuel in the asphalt and the chlorine in city water supplies.
  • Clean up fluid spills immediately: Finally, make sure you clean up any fluid leaks or spills as soon as you notice them. Antifreeze, gas and oil can dilute the materials in the blacktop and cause holes. Fill these with cold patch asphalt repair as soon as possible to avoid further damage.

With a little care, your asphalt will last for years before it needs repair or resurfacing. When you have questions about how to care for your new asphalt, get in touch with the team at Maryland Asphalt LLC.

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