Having new asphalt installed at your commercial property is only the first step in securing a smooth, sturdy path for vehicles and foot traffic. Without proper care, your fresh pavement won’t live up to its full potential. Indeed, much of this asphalt maintenance is focused on long-term preservation – however, the best maintenance plans begin with the right moves immediately after the asphalt has been laid. Here are four steps to take following a fresh commercial asphalt installation.
1. Wait Before Walking or Driving on Fresh Asphalt
Asphalt isn’t ready to use right away. It takes some time for the new pavement to dry and cure. Generally speaking, you’ll want to wait at least 72 hours (3 days) after paving asphalt to let anyone drive on it (it’s best to keep feet off it during this period, too). Even after these few days, however, the pavement will remain pliable for several months (usually 6-12 months), so it’s best to limit heavy traffic for some time following new asphalt installation. Large, visible signage indicating the fragility of your fresh asphalt can help mitigate the amount of use until it’s completely hardened. If your asphalt undergoes too much pressure too fast before this point, it can suffer serious, long-term damage.
2. Lay Down those Lines
Most commercial asphalt surfaces aren’t truly complete until they’re thoroughly marked with visible, durable paint. Arrows, parking lines, handicap symbols, and other markings help direct the flow of traffic, maximize parking spaces, and increase safety on your property. Depending on your location and line of work, proper line striping might be required by law, so it’s a compliance issue, too. Whatever the case, this is an important step to take after fresh asphalt paving, but only after the asphalt has had time to cure. Generally speaking, new pavement should be painted about 30 days after installation.
3. Map Out a Maintenance Strategy
As alluded to earlier, even the highest-quality asphalt installation is vulnerable to the elements. Without a long-term maintenance strategy, you’ll find yourself investing in frequent costly and time-consuming asphalt pavement repair projects over the years. Regular maintenance will protect your asphalt from moisture, temperature fluctuations, impact, pressure, and more. These tasks include drain inspections and upgrades, curb fixes, crack and pothole filling, and so on. Ideally, your maintenance plan will be on a set schedule so a reputable contractor can keep an eye on its condition throughout the year – this is especially important in a climate like New England, where seasonal changes are often abrupt and intense. Staying on top of this maintenance will ensure that your new commercial asphalt installation keeps its composure over time.
4. Sealcoat Your Asphalt
Last but not least, you’ll want to keep sealcoating in mind following new commercial asphalt installation. This is a key long-term maintenance task that occurs after installation, just not immediately. Indeed, the asphalt must fully cure before sealcoating, which can take anywhere from 3 months to 6-9 months depending on outdoor conditions. When properly applied, a sealcoat layer provides additional protection to your pavement, combatting UV rays, moisture penetration, impact, and more. Sealcoating your pavement every 3-5 years will reduce the frequency and severity of pavement repair over your asphalt’s lifespan, so don’t lose sight of this important post-paving task.
After the Asphalt Is Installed
New asphalt paving goes a long way toward improving your facility’s exterior, but it needs ongoing attention to remain firm, safe, and appealing. With patience, proper line striping, careful maintenance planning, and periodic sealcoating, you can keep your asphalt around for a long time at a lower long-term cost. Let the experts at Cassidy Paving help you achieve your commercial asphalt goals this season and beyond. Call us today at 866-978-9788 for a free estimate on your next asphalt project!