Are Tire Scuffs on Your New Asphalt a Problem?


You just had your parking lot or driveway replaced or coated, but you notice tire scuffs soon afterward. These unsightly scuffs may have you concerned about damage to your driveway. However, that is unlikely the case. Here is more information about driveway scuffs, their causes, and what you should or should not do about them.

What Are Tire Scuffs?

Tire scuff is a term that refers to tire marks and trails that occur on new and recently sealed asphalt. They are very common. Tire scuffs usually occur when you first open your new lot or driveway to vehicles. You may notice them right away with the first vehicle or after a busy day. They don't go deep into the asphalt surface or take off any material. Their main concern is their appearance.

What Causes Tire Scuffs?

Tire scuffs have many causes unrelated to construction. Listed below are some of the common causes of tire scuffs.

Pavement Curing

When you have new asphalt or seal coat, you must keep vehicles off of it until it fully cures. In some cases, you can open your lot or driveway up within a few hours. Most people wait a day or two for good measure. If you open up too soon, you are more likely to have tire scuffs. New, uncured pavement and seal coats are softer and more prone to issues. The longer you let your new pavement cure, the less chance of tire scuffs you will have.

Tire Type

Some types of tires are more likely to scuff your new pavement. Tires with rough tread, like truck tires, can cause unsightly marks. Steel belted tires are also more likely to cause issues compared to bias-ply tires. Cars with hot tires, such as one that has been on the road for a long time, can cause scuffs as well.

Vehicle Weight

Heavy vehicles have more impact on fresh asphalt than lighter vehicles. If you have a busy area with constant truck traffic that backs up, stops, and turns around, your chance for scuffs is higher. If you let heavy vehicles on before the surface cures, you may risk deeper damage. To minimize this issue, limit the amount of traffic or heavy vehicles on your lot or driveway.

Weather Conditions

Weather is a factor in how fast your new asphalt and seal coat cures. Hot weather slows down the cure time for your new asphalt. High temperatures keep the asphalt softer longer, and this contributes to possible scuffs. You can minimize this problem if you schedule your asphalt replacement or seal coat in the cool months.

Asphalt Mix Choice

The type of asphalt you choose for your property affects whether it will have scuff marks. Coarser asphalt is less likely to have scuffs than smaller aggregates and thin seal coats. However, many people don't choose coarse asphalt because it tends to give a rougher appearance. Discuss your concerns with your contractor to see which asphalt type is right for your property.

In most cases, you don't need to do anything to fix tire scuffs. As your asphalt ages, the scuffs will fade. Eventually, they will disappear altogether. The only exception is the tire marks are accompanied by deep dips and divots. In that case, you may need to repair or apply a new coat to completely eliminate the issues.

Tire scuffs may not be completely preventable. However, that doesn't mean your driveway or parking lot is compromised. If the new surface was applied and cured correctly, then tire scuffs won't be a long-term problem. If you need a new asphalt surface, Star Paving Company can help. We can check over your property and see what works needs to be done. Contact us for an appointment and information.