Here at Prime Paving & Sealcoating, we are often asked if sealing a driveway is necessary? In short, the answer is yes; you should seal your driveway every 3 to 5 years as regular maintenance.
What is sealcoating?
Sealcoating is the process of applying a new layer of binder to your asphalt. The adhesive that holds asphalt together, called bitumen, is petroleum-based, and over time, it breaks down. The breakdown of bitumen can be seen visibly when your blacktop fades from a deep rich black to a lighter shade of grey. When a contractor reseals a driveway, they are replenishing the bitumen while also creating a protective barrier for your drive.
What are the benefits of resealing my drive?
As stated when you sealcoat your driveway, you are also adding a new barrier to repel things you do not want seeping into the asphalt.
Sealcoating protects your drive from many things such as UV rays, water, vehicle fluids, organic matter, and more.
Sealcoating your drive will also give it a visible facelift that will instantly boost your curb appeal.
The Enemies of Asphalt
When you pave with asphalt, it is crucial that you learn about its enemies.
The number one enemy of asphalt is water! Although water may not seem like it could possibly do anything to a road, the truth is that it can destroy it. Over time water will carry away portions of the bitumen binder, as well as drag particles such as dirt and grime onto your asphalt.
During the winter months, water will find its way down into the tiniest of cracks and freeze. It is common knowledge that when water freezes, it expands, and when freezing water expands in asphalt, it creates cracks. As cracks deepen and widen, water will follow the deterioration until it reaches the subbase. Once water takes hold of your subbase, you will soon find you have significant issues. As time progresses and erodes the base of your asphalt, it can create sinkholes and indentations, and these can prove hazardous to your vehicles and safety. Sealcoating your drive will create an excellent barrier for your pavement because, as we all know, oil and water do not mix.
UV rays from the sun also damage asphalt by breaking down the adhesive binder. As the ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun reach your pavement, the components that make it up, oxidize and break loose. This process will also lead to cracks and deterioration.
Other materials that can damage the surface of your pavement are chemicals from vehicles or pesticides and organic matter. Sealcoating will prevent any chemicals from promoting deterioration and will also keep any small plants from taking root.
Prolong the Life of Your Pavement
Finally, sealcoating will prolong the life of your paving investment. Completing any paving project is expensive, but it is also worth it. Without maintaining the asphalt, you are literally throwing money away because you will have to replace it sooner.
A properly maintained driveway can last upwards of 20-30 years, depending on the level of use it has. Sealcoating your drive is a much more cost-effective solution because it is a liquid-based sealer compared to digging up and laying down new asphalt. Taking the time to seal your drive also allows you to address any cracks that have been forming and stop them from spreading as well.
Overall, do we think sealing a driveway is necessary? Yes, here at Prime Paving & Sealcoating, we do. We are a professional paving contract company, and we offer solutions for both sealcoating and new paving projects. You can trust us when we say we understand why driveways need maintenance. Even if your driveway was laid down by someone else, we could still help you maintain it. Contact us today for more information and a free estimate if you have any concerns or questions!