You’ve had a beautiful new driveway installed and you’re keen to keep it looking as good as new for as long as possible. But without property maintenance, your tarmac driveway isn’t going to fare well so it’s important to familiarise yourself with how to maintain a tarmac driveway.
In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know and give you some handy tips on keeping that tarmac driveway looking as good as the day it was installed.
Allow The Tarmac To Dry Before Using The Driveway
Once your beautiful new driveway is finished, we understand you’ll be eager to put it to good use. But you’re going to have to remain patient for a little longer. This is because, if you do not allow the tarmac to dry properly, damage could occur.
You see, when tarmac is laid, it will remain soft until it is properly dry and this usually takes around three days. If you park heavy vehicles on the tarmac during this time, there is a serious risk of indentations forming.
That said, you’ll be OK to walk over your new tarmac drive within those first three days as foot traffic isn’t heavy enough to cause any significant damage.
Be Mindful Of The Weather
Tarmac is highly susceptible to change due to the weather. The most concerning type of weather is heat. So, even though, here in the UK, we’re all desperate for some much needed sun, this isn’t the best news for your tarmac driveway.
When heat from the sun hits the tarmac, this can cause it to go soft which, as we have already learned, could result in indentations and damage. This shouldn’t mean that you cannot use your tarmac driveway over the summer; that would be hugely inconvenient. Instead, we recommend spraying cool water over the surface of the drive which will cause it to harden again and reduce the risk of damage.
Keeping Your Tarmac Driveway Clean
Cleanliness is next to Godliness, so they say and if you want your tarmac driveway to stay heavenly looking then you’ll need to make sure you keep it clean and well maintained.
However, there are good ways and bad ways to clean a tarmac driveway so it’s important to ensure you take the right approach. Not doing so could damage not only the surface of the driveway but also the base layers.
The best way to keep a tarmac driveway clean is by sweeping it regularly to remove any debris. If there are marks or stains then you can clean the driveway using water but make sure you don’t use high pressure as this will inevitably cause damage.
Things like jet washers can damage the driveway by loosening any stone chippings eventually causing them to dislodge entirely.
Ways Your Tarmac Driveway Could Be Damaged
If you’re going to install a tarmac driveway then it’s a really good idea to educate yourself on the things that could cause damage. As we have already mentioned, high pressure cleaning and the weather could both affect the quality of your driveway but here are some other things you’ll want to be mindful of.
We’ve all been there; the car leaks fuel or oil and leaves a mark on the driveway. This is, at best, unsightly and something you’ll likely want to get rid of. However, a single spillage probably won’t do much else than aesthetic damage. It’s when the spillages are regular that you need to worry.
Liquids such as gasoline and oil can, over time, weaken the structure of the driveway and could result in cracks. Even worse, the base layers of the tarmac drive can be damaged and this can result in costly repairs.
If you do encounter a spillage, then don’t worry too much as they’re pretty simple to remove. As we have discussed, you should not use high pressure but opt for sand or sawdust which will soak up the spill and can then be swept away. If you are in any doubt about cleaning your driveway, it can help to enlist the services of a professional outdoor cleaner.
It is very common for owners of tarmac driveways to notice scuffs and this is where the black part of the tarmac begins to fade. This will happen naturally over time but the process is often exacerbated when your car’s wheels turn on the drive. The best way to avoid this is by not turning the wheels when the car isn’t moving.
We have already talked about how tarmac can go soft and this can result in indentations when your vehicle is parked on the drive. But it’s important to note that these indentations and the subsequent damage aren’t only caused by your car.
This type of damage can also occur when other heavy items are regularly used on the driveway. This might include car jacks, ladders and other items but through the simple use of a piece of plywood underneath these things, the risk of damage is much lower.
The Best Way To Protect Your Tarmac Driveway
It doesn’t take us to tell you that maintaining your tarmac driveway is essential and following the tips we have already discussed in this guide will go a long way. However, the most reliable way to ensure your tarmac driveway stays in tip top condition is to apply a sealant over the surface.
If you’ve had your driveway professionally installed, your contractor will advise you not to apply sealant for around 12 months and you should follow these instructions. Applying sealant too early can result in damage as the driveway needs a good amount of time to properly settle.
Once the sealant is applied, it acts as a barrier to elements which may damage the surface of the driveway and in turn, this ensures the tarmas stays as fresh looking as possible.
While it might seem like an extra step and additional work, sealing your driveway means that your investment is better protected. The cost of sealing the drive is going to be far more affordable than the potentially huge cost associated with repairing damage, or worse, having to replace the whole driveway.
It is possible to seal your tarmac driveway yourself but there are many professionals out there offering this service which saves you the hassle and ensures the work is done to a high standard.
Nobody wants to fork out for a new tarmac driveway only to find that it is quickly damaged and in need of repair. But if you look after your driveway, you will notice that it stays newer looking for longer.
Make sure that you are careful with your drive when the weather is hot and never clean it using high pressure. Remove any stains or spills and make sure that you seal your driveway for ultimate protection against the elements.