Asphalt sealing is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to safeguard and prolong the lifespan of asphalt-paved surfaces. Generally, asphalt surfaces are prone to wear and tear because of numerous reasons. The most common reasons include weather, regular traffic, as well as the asphalt grade used to pave your pavement. Now, this is the reason why you should schedule asphalt sealcoating regularly if you want to give your pavement the extra protection it requires to resist deterioration and last longer.
How Long Does Asphalt Sealer Last?
Typically, an asphalt sealer should last for about 3 – 5 years. Now, once you sealcoat a roadway, it’s recommended that you allow traffic to the pavement as soon as possible, as this helps to embed the sealer into the aggregate. However, this is not the case with your driveway. Therefore, you might not get the required embedment unless you use a pneumatic roller after applying the sealant. Even so, since your driveway has less traffic, which means it will take a while for the sealcoat to wear down—and this means it will last longer than on a typical roadway.
However, how long your sealcoating lasts will depend on the quality of the materials used, as well as how well the sealant was applied.
Choosing the right sealer
According to the sealcoating contractors at ABC Paving, asphalt sealers comes in different grades, and price. That means you can get it from as little as $15/gallon to $35/gallon for premium sealants. Also, it’s important to note that some cheap sealants come with around 50% water, and these products don’t guarantee a longer lifespan. You can use such sealants when you need to improve the curb appeal of your home before selling it.
Premium sealcoating products, on the other hand, are made of high-quality UV stabilizers and resins. Besides, they have elastomeric and filler material, which gives them a longer lifespan. Also, it’s important to note that manufacturers make two sealcoating formulas for driveways that require different sealing solutions. These formulas are:
- For new driveways that in good condition
- Older driveways, which have not been well maintained
Now, these two formulas have different lifespans. Therefore, it’s important to read the manufacturer’s instructions before choosing the right sealer for your driveway. Besides, it’s important to use the right applicator—that is, squeegee or brush.
Using the wrong formula or applicator can lead to premature failure. Besides, you will need to remove any tree sap and car oil on your driveway using a driveway degreaser or cleaner. If there are visible signs of oil stains, consider using an oil spot primer to get rid of them.
Preparing your driveway for sealcoating
The average lifespan of an asphalt sealcoating is around 30 years. However, you can only hit that lifespan if you have a well-installed driveway, and you schedule regular maintenance, like sealcoating and filling cracks.
When preparing your driveway for sealing, set aside a full day because it’s a demanding and tedious job. The sealer application process takes a shorter time, as it requires a few hours for every coat. It’s recommended that you should apply two coats of asphalt sealer. Then, you should have a drying time of eight hours in between the coats. That means a complete driveway sealing project can take a whole weekend.
Here are the common mistakes that you should avoid when sealcoating your driveway
- Relying on the sealer to fill cracks. This will not happen unless you fill the cracks before applying the sealer.
- Failing to prepare and clean your pavement before sealcoating. If you don’t see the need of cleaning the surface, don’t bother applying the sealer because it cannot stick on a dirty surface.
- Failing to stir the sealer properly. Here, you shouldn’t rely on a stirring stick because it will not blend the solid and water properly to get a steady mixture.
- Using the wrong applicator. Using a squeegee when the manufacturer states a brush or vice versa can cause untimely failure of the sealer.
Please avoid sealcoating your asphalt too often, because it can make the surface start flaking. Therefore, you should wait until you start seeing asphalt aggregate before applying sealcoating the surface again.
What’s the best time to sealcoat your asphalt?
Typically, there is no right or wrong time to sealcoat your driveway. However, you need to postpone your sealcoating project if the driveway temperatures are going to drop below 5 degrees C at night. That means you can sealcoat your driveway at night as long as the temperatures are right. However, sealcoating on sunny days is better since it helps the sealer to dry quickly. So, if you are looking for fast dry times, sealing the driveway is the best option.
However, you will need to block traffic from accessing your driveway for 24 hours, to allow the sealer to cure. That means you should sealcoat your driveway when you don’t plan to use it for the next 24 hours—like during the weekend. For businesses, on the other hand, sealcoating at night time is the best option since it allows the parking lot to dry enough for traffic use the following day.
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