Maintaining Your New Asphalt Driveway: Tips from a Paving Contractor

April 4, 2018

Did you recently get a newly paved asphalt driveway? Great! Now it’s time for you to take some simple steps to make sure it will be protected and functional for many years to come.

Here are some examples of ways you can maintain your asphalt driveway, both by yourself and with the assistance of a paving contractor in Nokesville, VA. Following these steps will help you keep your asphalt looking good as new and prevent you from having to make extremely expensive and unexpected repairs!

Seal Coating your Driveway

The vast majority of the driveway repaving performed today is needed because of a bad sealing job, or the wrong materials having been applied to the surface of your driveway. You don’t want materials that are water-or latex-based, as they tend to have additives that will dry out the surface and cause cracks within just the first three to five years.

The last thing you want is to have to repave your driveway again that quickly. We understand that it can be tempting to head to your local home improvement store and find the cheap repaving materials to quickly shore up your driveway, but in general those types of materials are inferior and will result in a low-quality job.

At Paveco Inc., we only use the highest-grade materials available, including petroleum-based asphalt sealers. We have used this type of product since the 1960s with great success—it’s done a tremendous job for all of our customers in the northern Virginia area.

Oil-based sealers come with a variety of benefits. For example, they are significantly more penetrative. They are applied in a heated state, and once applied will cool down and harden up, preventing water from being able to get through the surface, which in turn prevents cracks caused by freezing water. This also helps keep the oils alive in your asphalt, preventing them from drying out and causing surface cracking over time.

We highly recommend performing protective driveway sealing annually for the first three years, with the first coat coming within the first year. It takes between 60 and 90 days to cure before you can put on the first coat, and after you’ve completed your first three coats, you can start skipping a year or two between coats, depending on weathering.

Take Care During the Girst Year and a Half

Beyond seal coating, there are other steps you can take to maintain the surface of your driveway. For example, when the car is not moving, you should avoid turning on your power steering. Doing so can loosen surface stones and create scruffs on the asphalt.

Why is this? It takes 12 to 18 months for new asphalt to fully cure, so during that time it is more susceptible to new marks and indentations. While driving over those scuffs will help smooth them back out, it’s better to avoid making them altogether.

Protecting Edges

The edges of a new driveway are always quite vulnerable, and your asphalt will often require backfilling to prevent the edge from falling away. Do not drive along or off the edges, as this could break the edge off, or at least cause cracking.

It is highly recommended you engage in proper backfilling with topsoil in any areas that have lawn, mulch or gravel. This will help maximize the life of your driveway and maintain its appearance.

For more tips, contact Paveco Inc. to speak with an experienced paving contractor in Nokesville, VA.

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Paveco Inc.