Caring For Your New Asphalt Driveway

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Congratulations! You're the owner of a beautiful, new asphalt driveway. It's an investment that, if properly taken care of, can last 25 years or longer and add value to your property. Like any other paving, maintaining your driveway is an important factor in how long it will last and how well it will stand the test of time. Due to the unique physical properties of asphalt, there are many things you can do to ensure that you get the most out of your beautiful new driveway.

  • Immediately after your asphalt driveway is installed, it is still quite soft. To keep the surface from becoming marred, avoid driving on it for the first 3 to 5 days and don't park on it for the first 2 weeks. If you must drive or park on it, try to do so when it isn't hot outside, since heat can substantially soften the new asphalt and make it more susceptible to ruts and dips.
  • It can take 6 months to a year for asphalt to harden and cure. It will soften on very hot days and harden on cooler days. When it is warmer, you can cool the driveway down by watering it.
  • The weakest part of your asphalt driveway is the edge. You can reinforce the edges by pouring a curb against it or building up the ground around the driveway with dirt level to or above the blacktop. You should also avoid driving off the side borders of your driveway, to keep from stressing the edges, which can crack and crumble.
  • Allaboutdriveways.com states that if left over long periods of time, oil spots can soften your new asphalt driveway and cause it to become sticky. The best practice is to clean up oil spills right away. Most automotive stores carry substances that can be sprinkled over oil to absorb it, then it's as easy as getting a shovel to scrape it up. 
  • If you want your asphalt driveway to last as long as possible in new condition, don't park heavy vehicles on it for long periods of time. Boats, campers, and other heavy equipment should be stored elsewhere. If it can't be helped, use a piece of plywood or some other type of cushion to protect the blacktop from the tires and hitch jack. For the same reasons, avoid walking in high heels or placing kickstands and other sharp objects on your driveway.

These tips are great for maintaining the appearance of your asphalt driveway in the first year, but within the first three years (and every three years after that), most experts suggest applying a seal coat. A seal coat will lock in the asphalt's natural oils, which help it expand and contract and keep it a dark, beautiful black. If you do end up having a problem with your driveway, make sure to contact a company like Asphalt Maintenance to make repairs quickly before the problems get large.

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19 November 2014

Pool House Parties: Building Your Backyard Escape

When I decided to turn my backyard into a pool and spa space, I wanted to have a pool house built. Adding a pool house would give me somewhere for everyone to shower and change without tracking pool water and dirt into the main house. I worked with a local contractor to construct a pool house with an outdoor kitchen, outdoor showers, and full indoor restroom facilities as well as a game room and changing rooms. I created this site to journal the process so that I could hopefully inspire others to do the same. I hope this site takes some of the mystery out of the construction process for you so you can build the backyard structure you've always wanted.