If you’ve just gotten yourself a brand new driveway installed, the last thing you would want is to damage it right after you just unveiled it. That is why it’s important to know about some of the factors that could damage your new driveway. If you used the services of a professional and experienced driveway installation firm, they would certainly be able to give you sound aftercare advice so remember to take notes.
KNOW YOUR MATERIALS AND ENSURE THE RIGHT PREPARATION
The extent and type of potential damage to a new driveway does vary depending on which type of driveway material you have had laid, so knowing exactly what you have is key. Asphalt, for example, can take up to two years to fully harden and cure, and is not as hardwearing as concrete or pavers. Therefore it may be prone to more damage than other types of driveways. Concrete and aggregates, if not prepared and poured by a concrete driveway specialist, will quickly form cracks and crevices that allow water and dirt to enter, thus undermining the structure of the driveway. Also, if the foundations of any driveway has not been properly prepared and constructed, then signs of damage will quickly become apparent. Most of this can be avoided by engaging the right driveway professional for the job, so don’t try to skimp on costs by engaging a subpar contractor.
CHECK THE TEMPERATURE
Because your driveway is subject 24/7 to external factors such as climate and weather changes, you need to know how you can best protect yours. Extreme heat and extreme cold will affect a number of the softer materials used in certain types of driveways, especially asphalt. On very hot days, the asphalt can become softer and will need to be wetted using a garden hose. This will temporarily harden the asphalt and stop it from spreading and cracking in areas, particularly around the edges.
WATCH YOUR VEHICLE USE
Concrete needs to be allowed to cure properly and also sealed before it is put to regular use. Make sure your concrete driveway is ready for use before you start driving vehicles over it and parking cars on it – ask your professional driveway contractor if unsure.
Even though concrete is an extremely durable material, it is important to note that certain methods of driving can cause damage to a brand new concrete driveway, such as turning the steering wheel while the car is stationary, which could cause marks to appear. On other types of driveways, turning the steering wheel on a stationary car could damage bricks or cause worn patches in gravel to appear. Similarly, sudden stops, starts and sharp turns could also cause problems for your newly laid driveway.
BEWARE OF SPILLAGE AND SHARP OBJECTS
Automotive fluids and chemicals that are accidentally spilled on a new driveway could cause problems, depending on the nature of the driveway material used. Asphalt can be softened or dissolved by certain chemicals, particularly if it has not been sealed and is newly laid. Unsealed concrete is not as likely to be affected by harsh fluids and chemicals because it is a much harder material, but staining could occur and some chemicals could invade the micropores of the concrete, causing problems later on. Also, be careful of standing and storing sharp objects on a newly laid driveway, as those could cause dents in some surfaces.