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Tag: Tar

How to Care for your New Asphalt Driveway

How to Care for your New Asphalt Driveway

Naturally, once your new asphalt driveway has been installed you will want to keep it looking new and in great shape for many years to come! Below are some helpful tips for caring for your asphalt driveway.

  1. It is recommended that you keep cars off your driveway for 3 days as a precaution but you may walk on your driveway almost immediately.
  2. Your driveway may soften and harden as temperatures rise and fall. It would be wise to be aware of this in hot temperatures – although this is usually not an issue in Ireland, you can water down your driveway with a hose to temporarily harden it.
  3. Spot damage or divots may appear on your driveway if you start or stop your car too suddenly. This may also occur if you turn your steering wheel while the care is still set in place. These incidences tend to occur on a very hot day the best way to avoid power steering divots is to keep your car moving while you are turning.
  4. Oil, Gasoline, and power steering fluid can cause damage to your driveway over time if spilled. If these are not cleaned up immediately they can cause the Asphalt to soften and crack, if this does happen the asphalt should be professionally repaired.
  5. If you own a campervan, trailer or boat and intend to store them on your new asphalt driveway it would be wise to place some plywood under each tire. This will allow the weight to spread more evenly and prevent small divots from appearing in the asphalt.
  6. Finally, if you decide to seal your driveway with a Coal tar sealer it is recommended you wait at least a year. The sealer will help to protect against gas or oil spills and will rejuvenate your driveway, giving it a new black appurtenance.
Tarmac vs. Asphalt – What is the Difference

Tarmac vs. Asphalt – What is the Difference?

Tarmac and Asphalt are two of the most widely used road surfacing materials and, to the untrained eye; they can indeed be quite hard to differentiate between. Although they are essentially variations of each other there are in fact differences between the two, as detailed below. Tarmac, which is short for tarmacadam, was first pioneered by John Loudon McAdam, hence the namesake, in around 1820 when he created the method of “macadamizing” pavement by adding a layer of crushed gravel to surface a road. However, Tarmac, strictly speaking, refers to a material patented by Edgar Purnell Hooley in 1901. The British businessman was passing a tar works factory when he is reported to have noticed a barrel of tar had spilled onto the nearby macadamized roadway. Someone had subsequently placed gravel on top of the tar to cover it; Hooley noted there was far less dust created when travelling over this stretch of road. Tarmac is a registered trademark but has become a commonly used term to describe any kind of paved road.

Nowadays, tarless asphalt mixtures have largely replaced Tarmac, however many roads and airport runways are still referred to as “tarmacs”. Today we use bitumen from the oil industry rather than naturally occurring tar, and therefore we now have bitumen macadam, as we call it in the trade “bitmac”, or as it is more commonly know in Ireland – asphalt.

Asphalt can be a relatively cheap surface for larger areas but smaller areas can prove costly due to the initial set up cost. For residential driveways it could be advisable to encourage a few neighbours to have their driveway surfaced at the same time to reduce costs.

Roads, car parks, paths, driveways and play areas are commonly constructed using Asphalt. Usually asphalt is black, but it can also be blue, golden, red and green.