Your driveway is a feature of your home that’s noticed immediately by guests and potential homebuyers, making it incredibly essential to maintain and care for properly. So, if you’re a homeowner with an asphalt driveway, you may have been faced with the decision of whether you should sealcoat. While sealcoating comes with some costs, it’s an excellent preventive measure to maintain the appearance of your asphalt driveway, deter deterioration, and increase its overall lifespan. Keep reading to learn more about sealcoating the asphalt driveway!
- If you notice issues such as crumbling areas, potholes, fluid stains, or cracks, it’s likely your driveway is experiencing pavement fatigue, and it’s time to take action to prevent further damage.
- Sealcoating provides a protective barrier against wear, elements, freezing, and car leaks that can cause serious damage and deterioration.
- A layer of sealcoating should be applied to the asphalt driveway every few years- ideally between two to three years.
Why Should You Sealcoat Your Driveway?
While asphalt has impressive adhesive and waterproofing capabilities, it tends to break down over time. Salt, water, and other elements impact asphalt’s overall structure causing your driveway to lose its binding and waterproofing abilities. If you notice cracking, a change of color, potholes, or any other wear and tear, it’s likely time for maintenance. Sealcoating the asphalt driveway provides a barrier between harmful compounds, hence prolonging deterioration and enhancing the lifespan of the driveway. The benefits of Sealcoating include:
Sealcoating lays down a thin layer of asphalt that hardens and preserves the black color of the original asphalt. Without sealcoating, sun and weather damage eventually wear down the top layer and turn the signature black look into a worn gray. With sealcoating, the asphalt driveway will continue looking new.
Sealcoating prevents chemicals and water from entering small cracks in the surface, wearing down the asphalt and the base beneath it. It also protects asphalt against harsh weather. The sun’s UV rays can penetrate asphalt and weaken it. Sealcoating protects the asphalt driveway from these harmful rays.
Sealcoating allows new oil to seep into the asphalt, keeping it flexible. Flexible asphalt resists the effects of fluctuating temperatures better- it can expand when heated by the sun and contract in cold weather. As such, sealcoating is a crucial maintenance step that shouldn’t be missed.
Sealcoating maintains a smooth surface that makes it ideal for sweeping and cleaning. When you can keep your asphalt clean, it prevents chemicals and dirt from collecting on top and harming the surface.
Steps for Sealcoating the Asphalt Driveway
Here are steps to sealcoat the driveway:
- Prep the Area: Remove the grass overhanging the edges of the surface. Also, sweep the surface clean with a push brush and use a stiff-bristled brush to clean any oil and gas stains.
- Fill in Cracks and Depressions: Using patching compounds to fill in large cracks or depressions in the asphalt driveway.
- Apply the Sealant: Beginning in one corner, pour some of the sealer on the surface. You should apply the sealant in thin, overlapping coats with a long-handled application brush or squeegee. Keep in mind that putting on a thicker layer of sealant will not offer additional protection, so you may want to leave the sealant application to the experts.
- Allow Sealant to Dry: Drying time for sealant is a minimum of 24 hours, during which time you shouldn’t allow traffic of any kind on the surface.
How to Take Care of a Newly Sealed Driveway
After sealing the asphalt driveway, the maintenance starts. Seedpods, leaves, and pine needles will collect on the surface, and hence you should sweep them away with a broom. Keep watch for any gas or oil puddles, and clean them as soon as you notice them.
Besides that, you’ll need to reseal the driveway every one to three years. Take a look and see how your driveway is aging and if you see the color of individual stones that make up the driveway, it could probably use another coat.
Common Sealcoating Mistakes to Avoid
Applying Sealant Too Early
You should wait the appropriate amount of time before sealing your asphalt driveway. Experts recommend waiting approximately six months after the asphalt installation before sealing it. That’s because your driveway needs enough time to cure and harden properly.
Sealing Over Damage
It’s vital to repair any holes and cracks in the driveway before sealing it. Moreover, if your driveway is uneven, you should have a professional level it out before applying the sealant.
Sealing Too Often
You should avoid sealing the driveway too often. That means low-trafficked spaces should get sealing at least every two to three years, and high-trafficked areas should get it every year. Note that if you seal the driveway too often, you risk getting a build-up of sealant on the driveway that can crack and peel.
Enlisting the Wrong Professionals
It’s wise to hire an expert to sealcoat the driveway. But ensure that you hire the right pro for the job. Keep in mind that low prices don’t always mean they’re the best person to work with. So, when enlisting someone to seal your driveway, collect a few quotes and get references to ensure that the professionals you hire know what they’re doing, and can do it well.
Sealcoating Your Driveway? Ask the Experts!
Sealcoating protects and defends your driveway surfaces and brings their lifespans up into decades rather than years. And while doing your own asphalt sealing might seem cost-effective, it could cost you more time and money. Besides, choosing the right asphalt-sealing materials and equipment for your driveway can be challenging. That’s why it’s crucial that sealcoating be left to the professionals. If you’re considering sealcoating your asphalt driveway, consult our experts. We’ve been offering sealcoating services to our clients for years, and we’d love to do the same for you. Call us today!