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NEW DRIVEWAY CARE
Asphalt contains liquid that needs time to harden and cure. It will be fully cured usually within 6-12 months; until then it will remain pliable and soft. We recommend keeping automobiles off for at least 5 full days, and longer in hot weather.
Even when cured, asphalt can sometimes soften in extremely hot weather and harden as temperatures fall. To temporarily harden hot asphalt, you can water it down with a garden hose. If soapsuds should appear, do not be alarmed. This is a reaction between the diesel fuel found in asphalt and the chlorine found in some city water.
To avoid scarring, do not pull out too fast, pull in too quickly, or drive too fast on your asphalt driveway. During the initial curing time, 6-12 months, don't park in the same spot all the time and don't use a jack stand or car ramps unless you put a piece of plywood underneath to distribute the weight. Do not turn your steering wheel back and forth when your car is not moving.
Large heavy vehicles can depress and cause ruts in your new blacktop. Keep heavy trucks (concrete, oil, landscaping, etc.) off your new driveway. If a camper or other vehicle will be stored for a long period of time, place a piece of plywood under the tongue jack and tires.
Do not walk on your new drive with pointy high heels, place lawn chairs, bicycle kickstands, or any other sharp objects on it. They will create holes and depressions. Walking on your new driveway may track oil when you go into your home.Cleaning or taking off your shoes is advisable.
The edges are the weakest part of your driveway due to the lack of side support. Do not drive on the edges, since they will crack and crumble in time. Building up the sides of your driveway with topsoil will support the edges after the grass is grown. If you have opted to install curbing (i.e. Belgian block, asphalt or concrete), then building up the edges is not a necessity.APPEARANCE
Your driveway may look smoother in some areas than in others because of the makeup of blacktop. Blacktop is composed of various sizes of stone, sand, liquid asphalt and other ingredients that cause a varied texture of the surface. Also, blacktop areas that have been raked and spread with hand tools may appear different in texture from those spread by machine.
Avoid gasoline, solvents, oil, anti-freeze, power steering and transmission fluid spills and leaks. These will dilute the liquid asphalt in your blacktop. Any hairline cracks that may develop due to the contraction and expansion of the ground should be filled with crack filler. These products can be purchased from your local building supply store.SEAL COATING
To preserve your new driveway, it is advisable to seal coat it after it has been paved. Sealing too soon, however, may cause damage to your new drive. The best time to seal is 6-12 months after it has been paved and every 2-3 years after that. Sealing is done in the spring, summer and early autumn. Because blacktop is naturally porous, water can seep into and through the paving. This not only causes deterioration, but also results in ridges and upheaval due to frost and freezing. Asphalt is also softened and broken up by gasoline, lube oil, grease and anti-freeze that drip from cars. Sealer protects blacktop with a coating that is impervious to these harmful elements. Unprotected driveways remain porous, dry out, become rough, and lose their life rapidly.
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