When it comes to driveways, homeowners naturally want to get the most out of their drive for as long as possible, as expensive damage results in costly repairs and paving a new one is an expensive project that can run several thousand of dollars . One of the easiest ways to maintain and prolong the life of your asphalt driveway is with sealcoating. This is an inexpensive preventative maintenance measure that applies a protective layer over your asphalt, helping you to keep your drive in great condition for longer.
How Does Sealcoating Extend Your Driveway’s Lifespan?
When sealcoating is used in combination with proper maintenance, the protective layer can shield your asphalt driveway from all kinds of elements that would cause damage. It helps protect against contaminants, inclement weather, ultraviolet sun rays, and damage from external items like shovels in winter.
Here is a full list of how sealcoating will extend your driveway’s lifespan.
1. It Shields Against Gas, Oil, and De-Icing Chemicals
Small leaks from your vehicle’s exhaust pipe, oil pan, or gas reservoir can eat away at your driveway’s surface if there is no protective barrier preventing it from coming into contact with the asphalt. Sealcoating acts as a shield, preventing chemicals and contaminants from leaking into the asphalt and causing damage. Since sealcoating will also fill in any tiny cracks that you have, chemicals will not be able to get into the substrate layers of the asphalt either.
2. It Waterproofs Your Driveway
Water deteriorates driveways quickly. When water is able to get into the cracks of your asphalt driveway, it erodes the ground underneath, causing the foundation of your driveway to become unstable. Sealcoating provides a protective barrier against inclement weather like rain, snow, ice, and water overflow from gutters.
3. It Provides Sun Protection
The sun’s ultraviolet rays are extremely strong and can be very damaging to your drive, as they cause a chemical reaction called oxidation. If this oxidation occurs within your asphalt driveway, your driveway will fade in color and the binders that keep the asphalt together will break down prematurely, causing your drive to deteriorate. Sealcoating will prevent the UV rays from aging the driveway by acting as a sunblock.
4. It Melts Ice & Snow Faster
The deep, rich black of the protective sealcoating layer will retain heat from the sun, which will help melt down any ice and snow on your driveway. This is advantageous as it allows you to remove snow, ice, and the subsequent water from your driveway quicker. Less exposure to these elements, the longer your driveway will last.
5. It’s Flexibility Protects Against Cracking
As noted in the point above, the layer of sealcoating will heat up from the sun, which makes it more flexible. This protects your driveway from cracking as the sealcoating will withstand the pressure of vehicles and wear and tear, easier than if there was no protective layer.
6. Your Driveway Becomes Easier to Maintain
By smoothing out the surface of your driveway with sealcoating, the driveway becomes a lot easier to maintain. You can wash the drive without fear of water seeping into any small cracks that you have, and debris like dust, sand, and dirt can be easily swept away with a broom.
Lifespan Extension: How Long Can Sealcoating Extend a Driveway’s Life?
When sealcoating is used as part of a preventative maintenance program, it can extend the life of your driveway by up to 20 years on average. For it to be successful though, you need to apply the first coat of sealant within 12-18 months after asphalt installation, and then again every 2-3 years. Any more frequent than this and your driveway may begin chipping or flaking, but any longer than this and your driveway could deteriorate. Combine regular sealing with driveway inspections and minor crack repair to get the most out of your asphalt driveway.