Asphalt Care and Maintenance
- Automobile Traffic: After your driveway or parking lot is paved you will need to keep automobile traffic off of it for 24 hours or longer in hotter temperatures. Even after the asphalt had cured, don’t expect it to be as hard as concrete. Asphalt remains pliable for a period of 8 to 12 months until the liquid asphalt has totally cured.
- Watering Your Asphalt: Your new asphalt will soften as temperatures rise throughout the day. Watering your driveway or parking lot with a hose will help cure and harden your asphalt.
- Prevent Scarring: During the first 8 to 12 months while your asphalt is curing try not to park in the same spot every time. Avoid turning the steering wheel while your car is not moving. Doing so may create “power steering marks”. This scuffing is normal and will subside as the pavement cures. Turn the wheel slowly and gradually as to not scar the asphalt.
- Support the Edge: The edges of your pavement are the most vulnerable to cracking and breaking. It is beneficial to backfill up to the side of the pavement with topsoil to support the edge. This will also enhance the appearance and allow for easier maintenance.
- Bicycles and Motorcycles: Bicycle and motorcycle kick stands, if placed on asphalt at any time while the weather is hot, will sink into the asphalt leaving either a hole or a mark. To prevent this, place a board under the kick stand.
- Gasoline – Motor Oil: Gasoline, motor oil, transmission fluid, and power steering fluid, if spilled, will penetrate through the asphalt. The damaged surfaces should be repaired as soon as possible. Small areas of repair can be done by the owner by purchasing “cold patch asphalt” from a hardware store. Large areas of repair should be repaired by professionals using standard asphalt methods.
- Sealcoating: Asphalt should be sealcoated every 2 to 4 years depending on the amount of traffic. It is not recommended to sealcoat new asphalt during the first 12 months. This may cause asphalt to soften and prevent it from curing. Sealcoating will enhance the appearance and preserve the life of your asphalt as well as protect your asphalt from oil, gas and other harmful fluids. Unsealed asphalt may dry out and become rough thus reducing its useful life.
- It’s Only Natural!: Asphalt has various sizes of stone and sand which cause a varied textured surface. It is natural for areas that have been raked and worked by hand to appear a little rougher than areas paved by a machine. This should not be a concern. Due to expansion and contraction of the ground, it is natural for random cracking of the pavement to occur. The cracks should be sealed promptly to prevent water from penetrating the asphalt and causing further deterioration of the pavement.
Common Questions about Concrete
- Q: My concrete was just poured and its all different colors. Is this normal?
- A: Yes. It is normal for the color of the concrete to appear uneven and have different shades of dark and light throughout for the first couple of weeks. Concrete cures for a couple of weeks eventually bleaching itself to the color
- Q: I just had my driveway poured in concrete, can i drive on it?
- A: We prefer that you wait at least 4 days before driving your car on it.
Concrete Care and Maintenance
Although concrete is an extremely durable product, the following care and maintenance guidelines will add to the value of your investment:
- Do not apply deicing chemicals for snow and ice removal during the first winter. To provide traction, sand is recommended.
- Never apply deicers containing ammonium sulphate or ammonium nitrate. These products may be packaged and sold as deicers, but aggressively attack and deteriorate concrete surfaces.
- For stain removal, do not use harsh acids. Use a product specifically designed for the stain in question and for use on concrete. I recommend household bleach for rust stains. Kitty litter and/or laundry detergent for oil stains.