Whether your asphalt paving project involves a single residential driveway or a large commercial parking lot, you'll definitely want to preserve the work for as long as possible. A paving job is a big investment, so it's important to take steps that will protect your asphalt surface over a long period of time. In fact, you'll need to use extra caution in the days after the completion of the job to maintain the quality of the asphalt. Once your project has wrapped up, be sure to do these 3 things to effectively care for your pavement.

1) Stay off of the freshly paved surface for at least 24 hours. 

As exciting as it may be to drive on a brand-new asphalt surface, it's essential to keep all traffic away from the area for a full day. Since the surface will be soft, driving on the asphalt too soon may cause tearing and scuffing from heavy tires. Any movement on the surface before the material is ready could result in substantial damage, so make sure that you leave enough time for the asphalt to properly cure. If you live in hot climates, the asphalt may need additional days to adequately set as well. Your asphalt paving contractor will give you more guidance about when it is safe to travel over the surface of your particular project. 

2) Clean up all fluid spills and leaks right away.

Your blacktop can be irreparably damaged by fuel or oil leaks, as liquid spills can weaken the asphalt and create holes in the pavement. For this reason, vehicle fluids should never be ignored. If you notice spills of any kind on the asphalt, take the time to clean up the mess immediately. Watch for oil, anti-freeze, and gasoline leaks, which can dilute the asphalt quite rapidly. Once the disintegration begins, the breakdown could quickly spread throughout the entirety of the pavement. As soon as you see a leak, ask your asphalt paving contractor for the best techniques for removing spills without harming the surface.

3) Add sealcoat after the asphalt is fully cured. 

Applying a protective sealcoat is a crucial method for prolonging the overall functionality of your asphalt surface. Sealcoating prevents moisture, dirt, and other debris from permeating the asphalt. By adding a layer of defense directly to the pavement, you'll greatly increase its lifespan. It's important to note that sealcoating should only be placed once the asphalt is entirely cured. This can occur several months after the asphalt paving process is initially performed. Without waiting for the asphalt to sufficiently harden, the sealant may not effectively bond to the surface as it should. You should also reseal the asphalt every two to five years to ensure that the blacktop maintains its structural integrity over time. 

Having a plan for the days and months that follow the end of your asphalt paving project is essential for the long-term success of the new surface. The tips described above will help you safeguard the work for many years to come. For more information, contact an asphalt paving service.