Since the liquid asphalt in blacktop needs time to harden and cure, usually 6-12 months, your driveway will remain soft and pliable until then. You may walk on your new driveway immediately, but keep automobile traffic off of it for at least 3 full days and longer in hotter temperatures. Even after the blacktop has cured do not expect it to be as hard as concrete.Your new blacktop will soften and harden as temperatures rise and fall. Watering down your driveway with a hose on hot days will cool and temporarily harden the blacktop. This is helpful but not mandatory. If soap suds should appear do not be alarmed. This is the reaction between the diesel fuel in blacktop and the high chlorine levels found in some city water. Although every effort is made to avoid puddles in your driveway, some small ones are inevitable depending on the natural slope and drainage of your ground. Blacktop is scarred by automobiles starting too fast, pulling in too quickly, or simply driving too fast. During the first 6-12 months while your blacktop is curing, don’t park in the same spot every time. Do not turn your steering wheel while your car is not in motion.
Avoid using jack stands or car ramps unless a piece of plywood is placed on your blacktop to help distribute the weight.
Excessive weight from heavy vehicles can depress your new blacktop. Keep all heavy trucks off your driveway. If storing campers for a long time, place plywood underneath the tires and tongue jack.
Lawn chairs, bicycle and motorcycle kickstands exert excessive weight onto concentrated spots and can leave holes or depressions in your new driveway. Especially watch out for those pointy high heels during the warm months when your driveway is new.
The edges are the weakest part of your driveway due to lack of support. Avoid driving on the edges as they will crack and crumble in time. We suggest building up the sides of your driveway with topsoil. This will support the edges and enhance the appearance when grass is grown.
Your driveway may look smoother in some areas because of the makeup of blacktop. Blacktop has various sizes of sand, stone, liquid asphalt, and other ingredients which causes a variety of textures on the surface. Also surfaces that have been raked and spread by hand tools may have different textures than those done by machine.
Avoid gasoline, oil, anti-freeze, power steering, and transmission fluid spills and leaks. These will dilute the liquid asphalt in your blacktop. Any hole left by these spills should be filled with a cold patch. Any hairline cracks that have developed over the winter due to contraction and expansion of the ground should be filled with crack filler. These products can be purchased from your local building supply store.
To preserve your new driveway, it is advisable to have it seal coated after it has been paved. Sealing too soon, however, may cause damage. The best time to seal is 3-12 months after it has been paved, and every 2-3 years thereafter. Because blacktop is naturally porous, water can seep into and through the pavement. This not only causes deterioration, but results in ridges and upheaval due to frost and freezing. Blacktop is often broken up and softened by gasoline, lube oil, grease, road salts, and anti-freeze which drips 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.