Asphalt Maintenance: What Seal Coating Will (And Will Not) Do For Your Driveway

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Asphalt Maintenance: What Seal Coating Will (And Will Not) Do For Your Driveway

24 February 2017
, Blog

Seal coating asphalt is one of the best preventative maintenance techniques for prolonging the life of your driveway or pavement. Often, homeowners fall prey to unscrupulous and inexperienced contractors who give unrealistic promises regarding the performance of sealers on asphalt paving. Here you will learn what seal coating will and will not do so that you can make an informed decision on whether to seal or not to seal your asphalt driveway.

Seal coating will protect asphalt

Seal coating an asphalt pavement using petroleum based emulsion or asphalt emulsion will protect asphalt from sun damage, deterioration from deicing chemicals, and the effects of oil and gas spills. When exposed to these elements, an unsealed asphalt driveway will begin to deteriorate and crack after a short time. The sealer acts as a barrier that prevents UV radiation from degrading the surface. Also, it prevents oil and gas from seeping into the asphalt and upsetting its chemical composition.

Seal coating will extend the life of asphalt

Asphalt is a durable material that can last for decades without cracking or showing other signs of deterioration. Seal coating it within the first year after installation and every two to three years after that can extend the life of your driveway by a few decades. Make sure that you observe the ideal time intervals to achieve desirable results. Also, techniques such as crack sealing should be undertaken before every seal coating project to repair cracks and other surface defects that may frustrate the performance of the sealing product.

Seal coating will not resurface asphalt

Poor maintenance and exposure to the elements and chemicals can cause asphalt to crack or wear out. When this happens, you may want to resurface the driveway. It is important to understand that seal coating does not resurface asphalt. Some seal coating products use the word "resurfacer" in their packaging, and this can mislead unknowing buyers. Resurfacing asphalt requires the installation of a new layer of asphalt which can be sealed afterward to protect it from damage and weather elements.

Seal coating will not improve degraded asphalt

An asphalt driveway that's poorly maintained, covered with alligator cracks, and has a rough surface with exposed stones will not benefit from seal coating. In fact, the process will be purely cosmetic, and it will add no structural value to your driveway. Instead of spending money on seal coating the driveway, you should consider repairing or resurfacing it before applying a sealer. This way, you will restore the structural and aesthetics properties of the pavement and extend its lifespan.

Now that you know what seal coating will and will not do for your asphalt driveway, you can make an informed decision when coming up with a maintenance program.