Asphalt paving a driveway strengthens the driveway and helps it endure for years to come. It also makes your driveway look very nice. However, you can screw up a good asphalt job in a hurry. Here are just three of those no-no's you need to remember so that your newly-paved driveway stays just as it is.

Do NOT Drive on It or Play on It for at Least Twenty-Four Hours

Asphalt has to cool, settle, and set. It cannot do that if you drive your car on top of it the minute the paving contractor packs up and leaves. Your kids cannot play on it either. Nothing should touch the black top surface for at least a day.

Driving or playing on it before then causes little cracks in the asphalt, which sets it up for worse damage in the very near future. Hot asphalt is also extremely sticky, and can leave chunks of bitumen and tar on your shoes, outdoor toys, balls, and car tires. If you need something out of your garage, you will need to take the side door to get it.

Do NOT Use Salt in Winter

If you live where snow and ice accumulate in the winter, do not use salt to melt the ice. Salt is very damaging to concrete and asphalt, despite its effectiveness to melt the ice. It is the biggest reason why public roads are constantly under construction; the salt from the winter has caused some of the damage. It is also advisable not to use the lowest setting on your snowblower blades, or you could nick the asphalt.

Do NOT Forget Maintenance

Most homeowners assume that if a driveway is covered in asphalt, it no longer needs maintenance; not true. The apshalt surface needs sealcoat annually to maintain its perfect blackness and flawless texture. Otherwise, it will develop cracks and potholes just like the street in front of your home.

Other Guidelines

Listen to your paving contractor. He or she will have other instructions and guidelines for protecting and maintaining your new asphalt-covered driveway. You may need to repair it in a few years to a decade, depending on the approach used by the paving contractor. Plan ahead, but remember to take care of the driveway until then. Special tools for snow and ice removal help eliminate the need for salting, and maintenance products keep the surface smooth and black.

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