If you've gotten an asphalt driveway for your home, chances are that at some point you've worried about how to keep it in the same terrific shape that it's in now. New asphalt looks beautiful, smooth and clean, and it's understandable that you'd want to prevent it from turning into something like the crumbling surface of an old, neglected car park. You can protect the asphalt to a degree and make that lovely new surface last.
Give It Shade
First, give the asphalt some shade if you can. Asphalt is a good material in cooler climates, such as in more southern portions of Australia, but excessive heat can soften it up a bit. That doesn't mean that the first hot summer's day you have will melt your driveway. But prolonged heat, such as the overall increase in heat you normally have in more northern regions of the country, can make the surface more susceptible to dents as heavy vehicles drive over it.
You can do two things to help your driveway. One is to ensure that the mix of asphalt used was appropriate for the season in which you had the asphalt installed; the ambient temperature affects how well asphalt sets, so paving companies need to use a mix that is made for the temperatures at that time. The second thing is shade. If you have tall trees on the south or west, that's good; if not, you might want to plant some. The shade will help keep the asphalt cooler during summer afternoons.
Take a Walk Once in a While
Every so often, walk all around and over the asphalt and look down. Try looking for cracks, chips, dents and any other sign that something needs repair on the asphalt. Move all vehicles off so that you don't miss that central spot where you normally park. If you see anything, call the company that installed the asphalt and arrange for repairs. The repair person can also take a look at the driveway to see if they can spot anything you missed.
Use Caution Regarding Landscaping Along Borders
Landscaping, such as grass and low shrubbery, along the sides of an asphalt driveway helps reduce soil erosion. But the maintenance of that landscaping can damage the edges of the asphalt if you hit it with lawnmower edges and other powered cutting equipment. And if you plant trees too close to the edges of the driveway, the roots can eventually be an issue if the trees have shallow spreading roots. Take care when doing yard work by the driveway, and if you plant anything, make sure it's an appropriate distance back from the driveway.
Keep these tips in mind when considering installing asphalt driveways for your home.