Once your new asphalt parking lot is in place, it will require care and maintenance, both when it’s new, and over its lifetime. Like the rest of the improvements on your property, the better care you give to your asphalt parking lot, the longer it will last. You can help assure yourself of a long life for your new parking lot by following the care and maintenance tips below.
Caring For Your New Asphalt Parking Lot
- If possible, wait at least 24 hours before driving on your new asphalt surface. The asphalt mixes contain a high quantity of oil to help ensure a longer-lasting formula, so the cure time, or the time it takes for a material to harden is slightly longer for this product. Your asphalt will remain pliable for a period of 8-12 months until the liquid asphalt has totally cured.
- During the first few months, do not turn your steering wheel when the car is stopped on your new asphalt. Doing so may create “scuff” marks. This “scuffing” is normal and will subside as the pavement cures. After pulling into your parking lot, always park the car in a straight line after coming to a slow stop. Small things like this will help extend the life of your asphalt pavement for years to come.
- For vehicles or trailers that are parked and not moved for several days at a time, place a piece of plywood under the hitch and each of the wheels; this helps to disperse the weight of the tires. If possible, try not to park heavy vehicles on the asphalt for long periods of time during this first season.
- Keep motorcycle and bicycle stands, boat jacks and other sharp objects off the surface. Indentations will result. This will certainly be true for the first year of its life and perhaps longer (such as on hot summer days when the temperatures get higher).
- The edges of your pavement are the most vulnerable to cracking and breaking. It is beneficial to backfill up to the side of the pavement with topsoil to support the edge, followed by seeding or sodding. This will also enhance the appearance and allow for easier maintenance.
- Don’t feel that the parking lot should be completely puddle-free. In areas completed by hand or where close drainage tolerances are encountered, this may sometimes occur.
Continuing Care and Maintenance for Your New Asphalt Parking Lot
- Prevent Oil & Gasoline Spills – Asphalt is an oil-based material. Gasoline and oil spills can dissolve the surface of your parking lot and cause deterioration. Avoid spilling or leaking these materials, and clean up any spills using absorbent materials to minimize damage.
- Clean and Crack Seal annually. Keeping pavement free of debris and sealing cracks and joints annually will help prevent standing water that can cause further damage.
- Seal Coating – Using a quality seal coat will increase the life and appearance of your asphalt. Seal coating your parking lot will lock in the existing oils to keep the asphalt flexible, which reduces cracking. We recommend that you seal coat your parking lot before the 3rd season of the new asphalt and then every 3 years after that.