Clean up the curb appeal of your home affordably by hiring a local firm that specializes in driveway paving. Asphalt is applied to a gravel base, packed down and smoothed to a flat finish that will be easy to walk, drive and play on. But in order to keep your asphalt looking great for years there are certain maintenance steps that each homeowner will need to do.
Immediately After Installation
Driveway paving is a relatively short process. Even a large driveway will take just a few hours once excavation and base preparation has been completed. But the period of time right after the installation is crucial in terms of access and traffic in and around the area.
Be sure that no vehicles and foot traffic travel on the driveway for at least two to three days. This is the minimum length of time required for the asphalt to set up and harden to a point where vehicle traffic is permissible. If you allow cars and trucks to park on the driveway too early the smooth finish will be marred with wheel marks and other blemishes. Even foot traffic can affect the flat surface and mar your driveway permanently.
Asphalt is black and gets very hot, particularly just after it has been laid. Because of this heat the surface of your paved driveway can be extremely pliable and susceptible to marks even from patio furniture and sports equipment (such as basketball nets). In the heat of summer, do not place these items on the driveway for at least a week after the asphalt has been laid or a few days beyond a period of cooler weather. Also, be sure not to turn the wheels of a parked vehicle when the asphalt is hot from the sun.
To Ensure a Lasting Finish
Protect the finish of your driveway by keeping an eye on the edges. A strip of gravel or topsoil along the sides of a paved driveway will keep the powerful weeds and grass away from the pavement. The tendency of these plants to spread into and even through the asphalt can cause serious damage that requires costly repairs. Maintaining that strip of gravel or soil (without letting the grass and weeds spread into it) acts as a form of protection for the paving.
If a random dandelion or other weed sprouts up in the asphalt you need to take action immediately. Experts suggest pounding a nail through the asphalt beside the stem. After pulling out the nail, pour weed killer down the hole and watch the weed disappear. The asphalt should settle back in to fill the space left by the nail and weed, although you can apply a filler if necessary.
By taking good care of an asphalt driveway you can ensure your paving investment lasts much longer. Keep traffic off of newly paved surfaces for at least three days and even longer when the summer sun heats up the driveway surface and makes it pliable. After it has hardened and to maintain durability a strip of gravel or weed-free topsoil is needed around the edges of the driveway. With proper maintenance you can expect to avoid repaving the driveway for a number of years — a wise investment in both your time and money.