A freshly paved asphalt pathway looks super, but like all asphalt, it will fade and start to look older over time. While you can't stop asphalt from doing that, you can care for the pathway so that it stays as clean and new-looking as possible. Basic cleaning of the pathway is obviously one step, but there are others you can take as well.
Add a Paver Border
An asphalt pathway that has no borders other than soil can end up looking a little messy. The soil can be tracked onto the pathway, and the edges of the path can deteriorate and look a bit ragged. Instead, install a paver border on both sides. Not only will that look neat and trim, but the pavers help prevent the edges of the asphalt from breaking off in crumbs as the asphalt gets older and more people step on the edge of the pathway.
Have Them Patched and Sealcoated
If your concern is keeping the asphalt's initial black surface and not letting it fade to gray, you've got a couple of options. One is to find a colored coating that you can cover the pathway with. However, these would require reapplication whenever you had to patch for damage. That would rely on the coating still being available in your chosen color. The other option is to sealcoat the pathway a little more often. You usually want to reseal asphalt every few years, but if you're determined to keep it a darker color, then moving to resealing every couple of years may be more appropriate. Be sure to patch any damage to the pathway as soon as you find it.
Check for Damage and Spills Regularly
A properly installed asphalt pathway shouldn't settle or become uneven, but heavy rains can create erosion that affects the soil on the sides of the path. The water can eventually start to work its way under the sand or gravel layer, resulting in uneven spots. Always check pathways after heavy rains to ensure the soil surrounding the path looks normal. You should also inspect the walkway for things like spills that no one reported (e.g., someone dropped their coffee cup and didn't think anything of it since the spill was outside). This gives you a chance to find and fix any leftover stains.
Asphalt does tend to change color over time, losing its shiny black surface and becoming grayer even as the surface stays in good shape. But redoing the sealcoating more frequently and fixing damage to the surface quickly can help keep the pathway looking as good and as new as possible.
Contact a commercial paving contractor for more information.