Although asphalt is known for its durability, there are a few things you should be aware of before putting it in a new asphalt driveway. Why should people stay off the freshly paved asphalt driveway?
Asphalt paving is a method for laying hot asphalt over a prepared surface. The asphalt is compacted to produce a smooth, level surface. Depending on the temperature and the type of asphalt mix used, it can take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours for the asphalt to cure enough to support the weight of vehicles.
The Asphalt Paving Process:
Asphalt paving begins with preparing the surface that will be paved. It involves removing the existing pavement, grading the surface to ensure it is level, and compacting the base material. Once the surface is prepared, a layer of hot asphalt is laid down and compacted. This process is repeated until the desired thickness is achieved.
Fresh Asphalt Compaction:
One of the most crucial phases in asphalt pavement is preparation asphalt paving is compaction. It ensures that the finished surface is strong and will last many years. The asphalt is compacted using a heavy roller that applies pressure to the surface. This process must be done while the asphalt is still hot. Otherwise, it will not compact properly.
Asphalt Cure Time:
After the asphalt has been compacted, it needs to cure or “set” before it can support the weight of vehicles. The curing process is affected by many factors, such as temperature, humidity, asphalt mixture, thickness, and compaction. Typically, it requires 24 to 48 hours for the asphalt to cure enough to support the weight of vehicles.
5 Factors that affect the curing process
1. Temperature – The curing process is slower at lower temperatures.
2. Humidity – High humidity levels can prevent the asphalt from properly curing.
3. Asphalt Mixture – The type of asphalt mix will affect the cure time.
4. Thickness – Thicker layers of asphalt will take longer to cure than thinner layers.
5. Compaction – Proper compaction is essential for the asphalt to cure properly.
Asphalt Surface Finishing Touches:
Once the asphalt has cured, repairs, such as filling cracks or potholes, are made. Then, the surface is cleaned and primed for sealcoating. Sealcoating is a protective coating that helps to extend the life of the asphalt by protecting it from the elements.
How Long Should You Wait: Driving on the New Asphalt Driveway
Asphalt is a durable material that can endure daily use. However, it’s essential to allow the new asphalt time to cure before putting any strain on it. The surface may be damaged if you walk or drive on it too soon, resulting in long-term issues. How long before you can drive on new asphalt?
It is recommended that you wait at least 24 hours after the asphalt has been laid down before driving on it. It gives the asphalt time to cure and become strong enough to support the weight of vehicles. However, be cautious not to damage it.
These are the few things you can do to prevent harming fresh asphalt:
- Avoid walking or driving on the new asphalt for at least 24 hours.
- If you must drive on fresh asphalt, wait at least 48 hours and drive cautiously if necessary. Make gradual stops and turns to minimize the risk of accidents and asphalt damage.
- Don’t stray from the middle of the lane to spread weight equally while driving.
- Don’t drop anything heavy on new asphalt until the surface has hardened.
- On new asphalt, avoid parking in the same location for extended periods. The asphalt may sink and fracture as a result of doing so.
- Avoid high heels or patterned shoes when walking on fresh asphalt; they can leave marks and ruin the smooth surface.
- Place a piece of cardboard or plywood beneath any heavy things you’ll have to carry across the street.
- New asphalt should not be exposed to harsh chemicals or cleansers. These may harm the surface.
- When using power or pressure washers, be cautious. The high-pressure water may harm the asphalt.
How To Distinguish Dry From Cured Asphalt Driveways?
It’s important to know the differences between dry and cured asphalt. Newly laid asphalt that has not had time to set or cure is known as dry asphalt. Curing is the process of hardening and solidifying a still-wet asphalt surface.
The new asphalt driveway is extremely susceptible to damage throughout the first few months. When a new driveway is constructed, it is prone to rutting, potholes, and other types of damage. The asphalt’s oils haven’t yet been fully cured, and the aggregate is still loose.
It takes roughly six months for the new asphalt to cure fully. Your new asphalt driveway will be more durable after the six-month curing period, and it will be able to withstand more wear and strain. However, it is still important to maintain new asphalt paving.
Work With Professional Contractors
Premier Asphalt is a trusted name in the asphalt paving industry. We’ve been serving the Naperville, Illinois area for over 40 years. Our goal is to offer our customers a beautiful, long-lasting asphalt surface that will withstand the elements and daily use. We specialize in asphalt paving, from new construction to repairs and maintenance. We also offer sealcoating services.
Need assistance with paving asphalt? We encourage you to contact us here at Premier Asphalt. You may rely on us for your asphalt needs in Naperville, Illinois! We’ll be happy to discuss your project and provide a free estimate.