Have you ever noticed marks or scuffs on your newly paved or freshly sealed driveway or parking lots and wondered what caused them? These marks, commonly known as asphalt scuffing or power steering marks, can diminish the appearance of your driveway and raise questions about their origin. In this blog post, we'll explore the causes behind these marks specifically on home driveways and discuss ways to prevent them from occurring. Understanding Asphalt Scuffing on new pavement Asphalt scuffing refers to the black marks left on the surface of the driveway, particularly in areas where vehicles frequently turn or change directions. It often occurs on newly paved driveways that haven't fully cured or hardened. Several factors contribute to asphalt scuffing on home driveways:
Softness of the Asphalt: Just like with roads, newly laid asphalt on driveways takes time to harden and reach its optimal level of hardness. During this initial curing period, the surface can be relatively soft and prone to scuffing when subjected to excessive friction caused by vehicle tires. In the summer scuffing tends to be worse because the asphalt is hotter causing it to be softer. This is a normal part of the life-cycle of your driveway and while it can look worrisome there is nothing to be concerned about from a structural perspective.
These marks are especially seen in parking lots and on driveways where cars stop and turn their front wheels to start moving in a different direction. The things that make the marks worse are high temperatures, the weight of the vehicle and how fresh the asphalt is.
Preventing Asphalt Scuffing While it may be challenging to entirely eliminate asphalt scuffing during the initial curing period, there are steps that can be taken to minimize its occurrence on your home driveway:
Minimize Traffic and Turns: During the first few days after the driveway is paved, try to minimize the amount of traffic and turning maneuvers on the surface. Limit heavy vehicle usage and avoid sudden or sharp turns that can cause excessive friction and scuffing.
Give Ample Curing Time: Be patient and allow sufficient time for the asphalt to cure and harden. Follow the guidance provided by your paving contractor on the recommended curing time before subjecting the driveway to regular vehicle traffic.
The most important way to minimize scuffing and power steering marking is to make sure your vehicle is moving before you turn your front tires.
Power steering marks after sealing Power steering marks, similar to asphalt scuffing, are often seen on freshly sealed or resurfaced driveways. Like scuffing these marks are caused by the twisting motion of vehicle tires during turning or changing directions. Power steering marks can be even more visible on sealed driveways due to the smoother surface the sealer creates. Preventing Power Steering Marks: To prevent power steering marks on your freshly sealed home driveway, like with new asphalt, consider the following measures:
Proper Curing Time: Just like with asphalt scuffing prevention, allowing the sealant to cure adequately before regular vehicle usage is crucial. Follow the recommended curing time provided by your contractor to minimize tire marks.
Gentle Turns and Maneuvers: When driving on a newly sealed driveway, be mindful of your turns and maneuvers. Avoid sharp or sudden turns that can cause excessive twisting of the tires, leading to visible power steering marks.
Do not turn your steering wheel while your car is stopped.
Asphalt scuffing and power steering marks can be a temporary concern on newly paved or freshly sealed home driveways. Understanding the causes behind these marks and implementing preventive measures can help maintain the appearance of your driveway but know that not all scuffing or power steering marks can be eliminated and these marks will not effect the longevity of your asphalt.