I had a new asphalt driveway installed in March of 2020.

We didn't drive on it for 14 days. Right away I started noticing "indentations" when we parked on it over night.

Now it's July 1st (and hot) and my vehicles are leaving tread marks in the asphalt - in multiple places.

I have been VERY diligent to NOT turn the tires on the driveway.

Any input on why this is happening would be appreciated.

enter image description here

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. If an answer is helpful, please click the large check mark next to it to accept. And, please take our tour so you'll know the details of contributing here. Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 14:00
  • Not sure if the picture simply has low saturation but that asphalt looks almost dry, as if enough tar wasn't mixed with the solids.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 14:04
  • Yeah, that looks more like compacted gravel with fines than it does asphalt. I would think brand new asphalt would be very black. I'd expect this light grey after several years. Must be a white-balance issue.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 14:18
  • 1
    Also, curious where in the world you are. It's June 29th where I am. I don't there there are enough time zones around the world for it to already be July 1st where you are! ;)
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 14:19
  • 1
    That looks more like RAP (recycled asphalt product) to me than new asphalt. I JUST had some brought in here to top coat a gravel parking area and it looks exactly like the pic the OP posted. Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 15:34

3 Answers 3


Did the installers steam roller it when they installed it? There should be some sort of warrant on it. Call them back and have them compact it again now that it's hot out. That much settlement is not normal.

  • Something's definitely off if the OP is in the Northern Hemisphere and was getting tire indentations like that in mid- to late-March! (Presuming Northern, since he quoted July 1st was a hot day.)
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 14:20
  • I'm located in SE Pennsylvania - Yardley.
    – user119194
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 14:51
  • Contractor agreed to re-roll the driveway but was adamant that it wouldn't change anything - thoughts?
    – user119194
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 15:47
  • Save some of those bad area so he can see them. Make sure it's a hot day, hot week. He needs one of those large machine rollers, not one of those little hand jobs.... (don't comment)
    – JACK
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 15:53
  • @user119194 I'd ask the contractor if he thinks this is "normal" for his work (especially if you have pics of these indentations from March and April (I can't imagine it was that hot in PA then). If he says it's normal, ask why your neighbor's driveways don't have dents in the spring time. In summer, it's not unexpected.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 17:59

Asphalt pavement should contain about 6% asphalt; it is much more costly than the aggregate so a contractor is tempted to use less asphalt than necessary. Also asphalt is a mixture of components (asphaltenes, oils and resins ) which are blended by the producer; a contractor can order a lower cost mix with lower mechanical properties. But as JACK says, it comes down to the warranty.


Any input on why this is happening would be appreciated.

HEAT and Lack of proper compaction. (and as noted possible? corner cutting by the contractor)

Asphalt is black, if it is a 90+ degree day then the asphalt is well into the 100's. Heat will make it malleable (soft). You could tamp down the tire marks by heating them up with [propane weed burner]1 and a tamping tool. But it will probable happen again on the next hot day.

You could ask you contractor to meet you half way, See if they will come back on super hot day with steam roller at reduced rate since you feel it may not have been compacted sufficiently at the time of installation. If the contractor is not amenable to working with you then you could rent a compactor from a tool rental shop and work it a couple of times on a very hot day.

If compacted properly Will it be impervious to indentation in the future, no, not on very hot days, but it should be better.

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