Every driveway cures at a different rate. Since the liquid asphalt in your bituminous driveway needs time to harden and cure (normal cure times can be anywhere from 6 - 12 months) your driveway will remain soft and pliable throughout the curing process. Your new driveway will soften and harden as the temperatures rise and fall through the day. On hot sunny days, watering down the asphalt can temporarily cool and harden the surface. The oil in your asphalt driveway will not cure when the temperatures drop below 45 degrees. Driveways placed in the fall or late in the summer take longer to cure because the nighttime temperatures tend to drop around or below the 45 degree mark. The cooler temperatures mean a temporary harder surface, but will prolong the curing process. Even after it has cured do not expect the bituminous driveway to be as hard as concrete.
During hot sunny days the sun will reheat the asphalt oil in the driveway softening the surface and increasing the risk of marking from tires. During the curing process don’t park vehicles in the same spot every time, and don’t turn your steering wheel back and forth while your car is not moving. Excessive weight from heavy vehicles or from small pressure areas such as kick stands, jack stands, lawn chairs, trailer stands, etc. will leave imprints in the driveway.
The edges of your driveway will be the weakest part due to the lack of support on the sides. Avoid driving close or on the edges since they will crack and break away from the driveway. We suggest backfilling and building up along the edges with topsoil to support the edges as well as enhance the appearance after grass has grown. Your new asphalt driveway may look smoother in some areas than others. Bituminous mixture is a composition of various sized stones, sand, and liquid asphalt oil which will cause a varied surface texture. Areas which have been worked or placed by hand tools will appear different then those spread by the machine. It is the Rocks in the bituminous mixture that give it the strength.
Although every effort is made to avoid puddles on the driveway, depending on the grade/slope or drainage of the area, some small ones are inevitable. Due to the surface viscosity of the oil in new asphalt, water will try to pool before it runs off the driveway. Many times the drainage is there, it’s the surface tension of the new asphalt holding the water back.
Weeds and grass can and will grow through asphalt. This is especially true on the edges of the driveway. As water seeps under the asphalt from the sides, seeds may germinate and grow. We recommend you treat the edges of your new driveway with an herbicide to kill off any growth. If a weed should try to grow up through the new asphalt, spray an herbicide in the growth immediately.
Avoid spilling Gas, Oil, Diesel, Power steering fluid, transmission or Hydraulic Oils on the asphalt. These materials will dilute and “cut” the asphalt oil destroying the bituminous. If you do accidentally spill any of these materials on the driveway, we recommend that you immediately try to soak or absorb it up with either a cat litter, floor dry or other absorbent material to “lift” the oil off the surface.
Cracking, settlements and heaving are all common occurrences in the State of Minnesota. Due to the climate changes we experience every year, some years are harder on your driveway than others.
Cracks are caused by a variety of things. Most are related to the expansion and contraction of the ground beneath the driveway. These are NOT a warrantee issue. When a crack occurs in the driveway we recommend you fill or seal the crack with a crack fill product that can be purchased at your local building supply store.
If you do happen to accidentally damage your new driveway, we recommend a product called “Hot-Patch”. “Hot-Patch” is a product which works well for wide cracks, deep indentations and or potholes. “Hot-Patch” is available in some stores around the metro area or through our office.
Feel Free call or email with any questions as to the application of this product.