Sealcoating provides your asphalt driveway or parking lot with a layer of protection. This added protection can double the life of your asphalt, saving you a lot of money in repairs or replacement. In addition, when you sealcoat it makes old asphalt look black and shiny, improving its looks.
Should You Sealcoat Your Asphalt Driveway?
If you apply sealer to your driveway every 1 to 3 years, you will get the maximum benefit. Never seal a new asphalt driveway. You must wait for the oils in the asphalt to evaporate or the driveway will not harden as it should. Typically it takes about two years for a new asphalt driveway to turn gray. The grey color indicates that it is ready for sealcoating.
After the first sealcoat, your should seal your asphalt every 1 to 3 years. If you are able to see degradation, individual stones, or your asphalt has weathered to a dull gray color, then it is time.
5 Reasons to Sealcoat Your Asphalt
So, is sealcoating worth the investment? Let’s take a look at some of the primary benefits and weigh them against the cost. Then we will let you decide.
1. Sealcoating prevents long-term damage.
Remember, when you seal a driveway, you add a protective layer. It won’t prevent all damage from occurring, but it does slow the buildup of damage over time.
2. Sealing asphalt protects your pavement from the elements.
Sleet, snow, hail, sun, and even rain can weaken your asphalt or cause it to crumble. A layer of sealcoating offers protection from natural elements.
3. It improves the overall appearance.
Not only is sealcoating practical, but it also improves the appearance of the asphalt. The extra layer makes the asphalt look clean, black, and shiny, increasing curb appeal.
4. Sealcoating increases the melting speed of ice and snow.
If you have ever worn a dark shirt on a hot day, you know that it gets toasty pretty quickly. Likewise, black asphalt retains heat from the sun, which can help melt snow and ice at a faster rate than driveways without a sealcoat.
5. A little money now saves you money in the long run.
While the initial cost of paving or sealcoating a driveway or sidewalk might feel like a lot, remember the money you’re saving on future repairs. Investing a quality paving job increases the lifespan of your driveway, which overall, costs you less money. The cost of an asphalt driveway could be as much as $10,000 depending on the square footage. The average cost to sealcoat a driveway is just a couple hundred dollars. As you can see, in this case the “ounce of prevention” is way less than the cure.
How Else Can You Preserve Your Paving Job?
Proper asphalt maintenance plays an important role in helping you save money and avoid repairs. In addition to sealcoating your asphalt, you can also preserve your paving in the following ways.
1. Avoid parking on asphalt while it is curing.
You should avoid walking on the asphalt for one or two days, but even after the asphalt has “hardened,” it needs time to finish curing. Give it about a week and a half before parking on it, and avoid parking on it on hot days, as the sun re-softens the asphalt.
2. Invest in repairs as needed.
Sealcoating does not protect from everything, so make sure you repair small areas as needed. This will prevent them from becoming any larger, saving you money and a headache.
3. Fill cracks.
Use a caulking gun to fill small cracks in the asphalt.
4. Pay attention to oil, antifreeze, or chemical spills on asphalt.
If you’re dealing with a driveway, and you park your car on it a lot, keep an eye out for leaks. Excessive oil on the asphalt can cause staining or other problems.