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Since the liquid asphalt in blacktop needs time to fully harden and cure, usually 6-12 months, your driveway will remain soft and pliable until then. You may walk on your new driveway immediately. You may drive over your driveway after 2 days, but do not park on it for 5 days and possibly 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. 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.
Your driveway may look smoother in some areas than in others because of the makeup of blacktop. Blacktop has various sizes of stone, sand, liquid asphalt, and other ingredients which 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.
During the first 6-12 months while your driveway is curing do not park in the same spot every time. Please do not be concerned with tire marks caused by power steering (especially in confined back-up areas), as further traffic will help heal this particular material.
Excessive weight from large heavy vehicles can depress your new blacktop. Keep any heavy trucks off your new driveway. When storing campers or boats for long periods of time, place a piece of plywood under the tongue jack and also under the tires. Lawn chairs, barbeques, bicycle and motorcycle kickstands exert weight on concentrated areas and will create holes and depressions in your new driveway, especially in hot weather.
The edges are the weakest part of your driveway due to the lack of side support. Avoid driving on the edges since they will crack and crumble in time.
These will dilute the liquid asphalt in your blacktop. Any holes left by these spills should be filled with cold patch. Expansion and contraction cracks are unavoidable in northern climates where weather changes are extreme. Any hairline cracks that may have developed over the winter due to the contraction and expansion of the ground should be filled with crack filler.
Apply a seal coating one year after the asphalt has been applied and then every 2-3 years thereafter. Unprotected driveways remain porous, dry out, become rough, and lose their life rapidly. We can schedule this preventative maintenance for you, just give us a call!
If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to call us at 908-689-7747!
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