How Long Before Parking On New Asphalt Driveway

Parking On New Asphalt Driveway

There is so much to learn or know about driveways. You need to know that there are several different types. Each type of driveway comes with each own set of upsides and downsides. Two of the most common types of driveways are concrete and asphalt. You also need to know that driveways are prone to wear and tear. It is vital to appreciate that driveways tend to be susceptible to flooding too. Asphalt driveways tend to be the most common. This is because they are relatively low-cost and last considerably longer than other driveway types. Asphalt comprises bitumen, sand, and aggregate. Today let us discuss how long you should wait before parking on a new asphalt driveway.

It Could Be A Maiden Or Reworked Asphalt Driveway

It could be that this is a newly developed asphalt driveway; typical for a just constructed property. The most common scenario would be a reworked driveway. Since driveways are prone to wear and tear they may need to be reworked. The most basic is to seal or patch cracks in the driveway. That is then often followed by resurfacing the driveway. After resurfacing the asphalt driveway you need to know how long it takes to be ready. This is paramount because freshly laid asphalt is delicate; it needs ample time to dry and harden.

Understand The Nature Of Asphalt To Handle It Well

Asphalt is defined as a sticky, black, and lightly viscous liquid or semi-liquid, composed entirely of bitumen. Notice the two operative adjectives used there: sticky and lightly viscous. This means asphalt is highly responsive to early movements. If you walk on the asphalt driveway too early, the surface will bend, crack or deform due to pressure applied. Moisture and temperature shifts can affect the drying process early on as well.

That is why you might have to cover the asphalt driveway if there are threats of such shifts early on. Due to the nature of asphalt you also need to know how it dries. It dries starting from the uppermost. This means the surface might seem dry and solid but the parts beneath might still be sticky and somewhat viscous. All these elements underscore the need to give sufficient drying time before using the asphalt driveway.

How Long Should You Wait Then Before Parking?

The earliest thing that you can do on a new asphalt driveway is to walk on it. It is advised that you should wait at least 1 to 2 days to do this; longer is always better. You can drive on a new asphalt driveway at least 3 days after it is installed. As for parking on a new asphalt driveway, you must give the driveway at least 1 week. It is actually best to wait even longer. Some say waiting at least 2 weeks would be ideal. This is because a newly done asphalt driveway will completely solidify after roughly 1 month.

Remember asphalt dries in a layer by layer sequence. Plus due to the sticky and viscous nature of asphalt, parking a vehicle on it exerts substantial pressure. Driving on the asphalt driveway exerts less pressure because it is momentary. Parking would mean your vehicle mass pressing done on the insufficiently dried asphalt surface for hours. No wonder waiting for much longer is most recommended.

Factors That Influence Drying Time Of New Asphalt Driveways

Weather conditions are the biggest influence on drying time here. If the humidity is high and the temperatures are low, you would have to extend the typical drying times. Appreciate that when it is too hot (especially in summer), drying time can take a bit longer. This is because the freshly prepared hot asphalt will take time to cool off first and then dry. The thickness of the asphalt driveway surface is a key element as well. The thicker it is the more drying time has to be allowed.

Signs The New Asphalt Driveway Is Sufficiently Dry

Due to the variant nature of factors and contexts, you might wonder how to judge whether or not the asphalt driveway is ready. Well, you can touch or press down on it with you hand. If it feels substantially hard then it is a sign it has sufficiently dried. That would imply it is no longer sticky and lightly viscous. Another indicator is the absence of fumes; that shows drying has occurred. You can also inspect the colour of the asphalt driveway. When sufficiently dried, it changes to a grayish color from the initial black color.

Consider Using Asphalt Concrete To Streamline The Drying Process

Since asphalt dries in a layer by layer manner, it can take time. However, what is important is for the significant uppermost layers to dry to warrant use. You might even consider using asphalt concrete to provide a harder driveway covering. This makes it workable to start using the new asphalt driveway after a week. This would ensure that the insufficiently dried lower layers do not affect the uppermost layers. They can always drier later without any effects. Asphalt concrete is a material usually used for road, walkway, or driveway surfacing. It is composed of a hard, granular material e.g. crushed stones, mixed with asphalt as a binder.

That is what you need to know about how long before you can park on a new asphalt driveway. Asphalt is certainly a great driveway type choice. However, you need to be patient in allowing it to fully dry. The benefits of having an asphalt driveway can be eroded by using it too soon. The best thing to do is to ensure no one walks, drives, or parks on the new asphalt driveway for as long as possible. Ideally, wait at least 30 days before doing any of those 3 things. As a matter of principle you must consult experts to get the necessary guidance. Doing it yourself might seem cheaper but the long term implications might not be worth it at times.