Spring is one of the best times of year for asphalt paving because the mild temperatures allow the asphalt to cure properly. When your driveway is first installed on your property, the asphalt will remain somewhat soft and pliable even after the initial curing period is complete. In fact, your driveway will remain "soft" for approximately one year after installation. If you're getting your new driveway put in this spring, knowing how to protect the asphalt from pits, cracks and gouges is important, especially for that first year. The following tips will help.

Park in the Middle

The edge of your asphalt driveway is its weakest point. Parking around the outer portion of the driveway can cause the edge to crack and break. Parking near the middle of the driveway is safest. If you frequently have guests at your house, remind them to do the same. You can also prevent guests and visitors from parking too close to the edge of your asphalt driveway by lining the edges of your driveway with flowers or shrubs. Having landscaping elements near the edge of the driveway can encourage people to park toward the middle because they'll want to avoid opening their car doors on the shrubs or flowers.

Avoid Parking in the Same Position

Parking in the same spot every day can cause your vehicle to sink into the asphalt over time, creating permanent indentations. You can avoid this problem by making the effort to park in a different spot every day.

Avoid Parking Permanently on Your Driveway

Leaving a vehicle parked permanently on your driveway can create as many problems as parking a vehicle in the same location over and over again. If you own a heavy vehicle that typically sits on your driveway all day and all night long without moving, look into vehicle storage options, or simply park on the street if it's allowed.

Keep Pointed Objects off of the Asphalt

Pointed objects like table legs and bicycle kick stands can create indentations in the asphalt. Avoid parking bicycles or putting tables on your driveway. If you must set up a table on your driveway, set the table legs on a large board to distribute the weight and avoid damage to the driveway.

For more information about the best ways to protect your asphalt driveway this spring and summer, talk to the asphalt paving contractor who installs your driveway. He or she can give you suggestions for keeping your driveway looking its best.