Your driveway surface can last several years when properly maintained. Preventive maintenance includes periodically checking the asphalt for cracks and repairing them as soon as possible. When neglected, these cracks can turn into potholes. That’ll give you more expensive repairs or replacements. Sealcoating your asphalt is a necessity if you want to protect your pavement and driveway. Keep reading to learn more about sealcoating asphalt.
- Sealcoating is a cost-effective and easy way to maintain smooth asphalt surfaces.
- The low cost of regular sealcoating could save you money in the long run. A sealed asphalt surface has an extended lifetime and lowers long-term repair costs.
- If you aren’t sealcoating during the warmer months, ensure you check the weather forecast first. If it rains, your sealcoat won’t dry properly.
What Is Sealcoating?
Sealcoating is the application of a protective coating to asphalt surfaces to keep out chemicals, water, and other harmful things that can damage the surface over time and shorten its lifespan. Asphalt sealcoating is a thin mixture of liquid and small particles used to create asphalt, like minerals, sand, or asphalt itself.
How Does Sealcoating Protect Asphalt?
After applying the sealant, the oil inside it seeps through the existing asphalt. It replenishes the oil on the original surface and lubricates the binder that holds the asphalt together. Besides, the oil can keep the asphalt flexible since it needs the ability to expand in heat and contract cold weather. And without oil, the asphalt can dry out and becomes brittle, and cracks can develop and further the damage.
As such, sealcoating prevents that damage and the tiny pieces of materials in it serve as a filler for small cracks inside the pavement. It’ll fill these cracks with fresh materials, more effectively sealing out harmful chemicals and water. Besides, sealcoating gives permanent surfaces more uniformity that eliminates uneven wear.
How Do You Know if Your Driveway Needs Sealcoating?
Asphalt surfaces benefit from sealcoating six months to a year after the asphalt is applied. New asphalt surfaces shouldn’t be sealed earlier than six months. Sealcoating provides protection for up to three years if the surface is in good condition and free from large cracks or other damages. And if you’re unsure how long it has been since the asphalt was sealed, it’s better to err on the side of caution and sealcoat.
Sealcoating works best on surfaces that are still in good condition. It’s typically a maintenance step instead of a general repair. If your asphalt surface has significant wear, water damage, or visible cracking, you should avoid sealcoating. Instead, you should repair the surface and then seal the fresh asphalt at the appropriate time.
The Benefits of Sealcoating Asphalt
Here are the pros of sealcoating your asphalt:
Sealcoating lays down a thin layer of asphalt, hardening and preserving the black color of the original asphalt. Without sealcoating, use, weather, and sun damage can eventually wear down the top layer and turn the signature black color into a worn gray. With regular sealcoating, your asphalt surface will continue looking new.
Sealcoating prevents chemicals and water from entering small cracks in the surface that wear down the asphalt and the base beneath it. It’ll also protect asphalt against the sun’s ultraviolet rays and harsh weather conditions. UV rays can penetrate the asphalt surface and weaken it. Sealcoating protects the surface from these harmful rays.
Sealcoating is known to allow new oil to seep into your asphalt and keep it flexible. Consequently, flexible asphalt resists the effects of fluctuating temperatures. It can contract in cold weather and expand when heated. If your asphalt becomes dry and brittle, it can crack. Sealcoating is a crucial maintenance step that shouldn’t be missed.
Sealcoating maintains a smooth surface, making it ideal for sweeping. And when you can keep your asphalt clean, it prevents chemicals and dirt from collecting on top and harming the surface. A smooth surface also means reduced wear and tear on vehicles and less maintenance.
When you keep your asphalt surface smooth through sealcoating, you’ll prevent more damage from occurring. Potholes result when water can seep into the ground beneath the asphalt. Sealcoating prevents moisture from seeping through the surface to protect against potholes, cracks, and other damage.
Compared to the cost of repairing damaged asphalt or resurfacing the area completely, sealcoating is an affordable maintenance option that’ll lengthen the life of your asphalt surface.
3 Sealcoating Tips to Consider
Best Season to Sealcoat
While it’s possible to sealcoat during colder seasons, experts don’t recommend it. The best time to sealcoat asphalt is during summer and spring. UV rays help the pavement to dry out pretty quickly. Without the heat, you’ll need more time for the asphalt sealer to cure and dry.
Protect Your Sealcoating
Simply because your surface is freshly sealed doesn’t mean that it can’t be affected by the elements or other things like oil. So, watch out for vehicles that have oil leaks, since they can be damaging to your sealcoat.
Watch Out for Signs
If you bought a new home, it can be challenging to determine whether it’s time to reseal. In such a case, you can watch out for common signs that your asphalt needs a new sealcoat. These signs can be gray spots and patches on your asphalt, weeds, water seeping into the blacktop, and fine cracks on the surfaces. These signs will tell you that it’s time to sealcoat.
Need to Learn More? Ask the Experts!
If you want your asphalt surface functional, smooth, and attractive, you may want to consider a sealcoating application. With decades of experience, JB Lines can offer you a free detailed quote on your next paving project. Call us today, and let’s help you sealcoat your asphalt!