You’ve weighed your options and considered your alternatives. Now that you’ve decided to have PALERMO PAVING install a new asphalt driveway or parking lot, what’s next? Here is what you can expect when you have a new asphalt surface installed by PALERMO PAVING.
The key to a long life is careful preparation. For a new blacktop driveway, PALERMO PAVING typically starts by regrading and compacting the sub-base. After which most driveways get a 4”-5” recycled concrete blend base layer followed by compaction. This process helps make sure the foundation of your driveway is stable, and ensures your new blacktop driveway provides you with the durability you expect.
Once the driveway has been compacted with a settling period of at least 2 weeks, an asphalt (also called blacktop) layer comes next. This layer is typically installed with an asphalt paver 2” thick and then compacted again. Asphalt simplistically is made up of different sizes of aggregate, sand, and liquid asphalt (black tar-like oil substance that holds the pavement together). This is the layer that provides the distinctive look of asphalt.
New Blacktop Appearance
The new blacktop surface may look smoother in some areas than others due to the make-up of asphalt. Asphalt consists of different sized aggregates (which gives the driveway its strength), sand, and liquid asphalt that may leave a varied texture in the surface. A few areas may look different than others because of how the asphalt was placed. Some areas may be placed by hand tools and raked, other areas are spread by an asphalt spreader. Don’t be surprised when your asphalt surface doesn’t have a 100% uniform appearance. The textural differences are completely normal.
You may also notice slight compaction or roller marks. The roller machine is vital to properly compacting your driveway. These streaks are only temporary. Roller marks will disappear gradually and become less noticeable over time.
Taking Care of New Blacktop
As soon as your blacktop cools and hardens (usually 3 days), it is ready for foot traffic. However, you want to keep vehicles off the surface for at least five (5) days. We recommend waiting up to 14 days for parking on the new surface. And when you do park on it, only park on it during the cool part of the day.
Like cement, asphalt needs time to cure. It will take 6 months to a year for your blacktop to fully cure and harden. But, after five (5) days it will be ready for automobile traffic. During the first year, it’s important not to park in the exact same spot each day. By moving your vehicles, even slightly, you’ll prevent depressions.
Protecting Your New Blacktop
Scuff marks are the most common cause of damage to blacktop. This happens when you turn the wheels of your vehicle while the vehicle isn’t in motion. It’s easy to prevent scuff marks, just make sure the vehicle is in motion before you turn the steering wheel.
Avoid placing jack stands or car ramps directly on your new blacktop. Place a piece of level wood under the jack stand or car ramp to distribute the weight and prevent damage to your blacktop.
Don’t park heavy trailers or campers on your blacktop until it is fully cured.
Leaking oil, gas, antifreeze, brake fluid and other automotive fluids break down asphalt and damage your blacktop. Don’t park vehicles with leaks on your blacktop. If you spill automotive fluid, clean it up immediately. Once your new blacktop is cured, it can be sealed to protect from fluid spills.
Sealing Your Blacktop Driveway
After your blacktop has cured, ask PALERMO PAVING to apply a sealcoating. This application can be done anytime after six (6) months. Sealcoating protects the asphalt and prevents water and automotive fluids from damaging your blacktop. Once the initial seal has been applied, you should call PALERMO PAVING at least every 2 to 3 years to apply a fresh sealcoat.
When an asphalt driveway receives proper care, you can expect it to last 15 years or more.