Asphalt is a popular driveway material that offers a lot of amazing benefits, such as aesthetic appeal, high durability, and minimal maintenance.
Even with its high durability, asphalt doesn’t last forever, but there are some ways you can extend its lifespan – you should aim to get your driveway laid by a high-quality, professional paving company like Kane Construction because they will have many ways to increase the lifespan of your driveway. One such way is the seal coating.
This process which involves the application of a thin layer of specialized asphalt sealer over a paved surface helps not only increase the durability but also the longevity of your asphalt driveway.
While seal coating will not fix any structural damages (like potholes or cracks) already done to your asphalt driveway, it does offer a host of benefits, and below are some of the top ones.
Prevents Water Intrusion Beneath the Surface
Most asphalt sealers, such as silica sand, contain very fine aggregates, making them ideal for filling hairline cracks which are an early sign of aging asphalt. Filling up these cracks reduces any likelihood of water finding its way beneath the surface of your asphalt driveway, and the longer you keep the water out, the longer your driveway lasts.
Improves the Appearance of Your Driveway
You would be surprised at what a new coat of asphalt sealer can do for your asphalt driveway’s appearance. While it won’t make the driveway look brand new, seal coating can significantly improve its appearance from that of a worn-out and faded driveway to a driveway that stands out.
Slows Deterioration From Oxidation
Deterioration from oxidation occurs when prolonged exposure to air and UV rays from the sun causes the asphalt’s binder to deteriorate. This can cause your driveway to become brittle, making it easier for cracks to form and grow.
While this oxidation cannot be prevented, regular and timely seal coating (every 2-3 years) can help slow down the deterioration. The asphalt sealer provides an extra layer of protection over the asphalt binder, so it is the sealer that becomes directly exposed to air and sunlight, not the binder.
Protects the Asphalt Binder From Oils and Gasoline
Petroleum-based liquids on asphalt driveways are a no-no. This is because the asphalt itself is petroleum-based, so any petroleum-based liquid that spills on it will combine with the binder and make the asphalt soft, essentially leaving room for more serious damage to the driveway.
Sealcoating is one of the best ways to protect your driveway from this type of oil leak. Make sure to repair all oil spots before seal coating, as the sealer has no impact on existing oil spots.
One of the first things that wear away as your asphalt driveway ages are the fines (tiny sand-size particles) that aid skid resistance.
By applying an asphalt sealer with boiler slag or sand on a regular basis, these fines are not only locked in place but replenished, so your driveway’s surface has some added traction.
Faster Snow and Ice Melt
Sealcoating your asphalt driveway regularly can actually help speed up the melting of snow and ice from its surface. Because the sealer also provides an extra layer of protection for the asphalt’s surface, any runoff or moisture from the melted snow will not be able to penetrate the surface of the asphalt.
An asphalt driveway is actually termed a “flexible” surface. This is because when vehicles drive over it, the driveway tends to flex (microscopically) under the weight of those vehicles.
As the driveway gets older and becomes more brittle, this flexing reduces, and heavy traffic can easily create cracks. Regular seal coating can help retain your asphalt driveway’s flexibility and slow down its path to brittleness.
Your driveway is an investment and should therefore be treated as such. Asphalt seal coating ensures that you get the best out of your investment by extending the lifespan of your driveway, enhancing its skid resistance, and improving its appearance.