Using a good quality driveway sealer is a fast, easy and very cost-effective way of both protecting and prolonging the lifespan of your driveway!
You cannot avoid wear and tear on a driveway, as vehicles and foot traffic will make sure of that. Asphalt drives, in particular, are more susceptible to damage from both cars and the weather. The chances are that your drive will be laid using a poorer quality asphalt as well, making it even more likely to show signs of wear. Sealing your driveway regularly will give it that added protection to add longevity and resist serious deterioration.
Why Does it Need Regular Upkeep?
To get a better idea think of the asphalt roads around your neighbourhood. The upkeep on them is pretty much constant due to the high volume of traffic they need to withstand. But also bear in mind that the quality of asphalt on these roads is going to be a higher grade. So even though your driveway will only have a fraction of the traffic, it is also a lesser grade so it will not withstand constant usage. When an asphalt surface starts to crumble it can be both dangerous and unsightly, and only regular maintenance and resealing when needed can prevent this happening to your driveway.
The Benefits of Sealing
There are numerous benefits when it comes to sealing and preserving your driveway. First up, when properly applied following the manufacturer’s instructions, a driveway sealer will repel water, which is probably the biggest enemy of driveways. Concrete has an annoying tendency to crack if you allow water to permeate it, and the weight of the vehicles using the driveway increases this tendency even more. Once cracks start appearing, water has a field day and really goes to town during cold spells, where it will expand and contract thanks to the freezing temperatures.
The other enemies of your driveway which a good sealer protects against are sunlight and oxygen. Both of these hasten the corrosion process so regular application of the driveway sealer will protect your concrete from air, water and sunlight. An added benefit of sealer is that it repels the likes of oil leaks and spillages by making it a lot easier to sweep and then clean the surface. We do recommend any spillages be properly cleaned up as soon as possible as if you are unlucky enough to have one in an area where the sealer is wearing away you will have a nasty stain to deal with.
The general rule is 1-3 years, with most people sealing their driveways every 3 years. There are no guarantees you are going to be able to leave it this long, however, and there are telltale signs to look for. If you are able to see the color of the stones which are used to make up the asphalt surface it’s time to get the sealer out. If the concrete is starting to look a bit scuffed in areas, chances are the sealer has worn away and it’s time to give it a new application.
Never seal a brand new asphalt drive. It needs at least 6 months to allow the oils present to fully evaporate. The less oil present, the tougher the driveway. If you apply your sealer before the asphalt has fully cured it will never achieve the hardness needed and your driveway will not serve its purpose. The outdoor temperature must be at least 50° to maximize the adherence of the sealer. You also ideally need to allow 58 dry hours for it to dry so plan your sealing when there is zero rain forecast.