Three Advantages Of Using A Seal Coat On Your Driveway
An asphalt driveway requires maintenance and special care in order to make sure that it resists the ravages of mother nature. If you do nothing to protect your driveway, it will slowly devolve into nothing more than a maze of potholes and cracks. One of the most important things you can do to protect your driveway is to apply a sealcoat. You might think that a sealcoat is nothing more than an additional cost, but it can enhance the performance of your driveway in three important ways.
The gently falling UV rays of the sun are one of the biggest dangers that a driveway has to cope with. The problem is that these UV rays will bake any residual moisture out of the tar that holds your driveway together. A driveway should be supple enough to react to constant expansion when heated by the sun and contraction as it cools in the evening. Once the moisture in the tar is gone, your driveway will be brittle and prone to cracking. Coating your driveway with a sealcoat right after it is poured will keep in the most moisture and thus keep your driveway viable for as long as possible. You can, however, apply a sealcoat at any stage in a driveway's life to prevent further damage.
If you have a car or motorcycle that leaks solvents, or you occasionally spill gas on your driveway when filling your lawnmower, then you are planting the seeds of potholes. Petroleum products contain solvents that eat away at the tar that holds your driveway together. Once the tar dissolves, the pebbles that make up the rest of your driveway will begin to separate and potholes form. A sealcoat will resist these solvents and thus keep the underlying asphalt intact.
Water can settle into the little cracks and divots between pebbles in your driveway and then freeze. As the water freezes and expands, it will drive pebbles apart and create cracks. Over even one winter, frost wedging, as described above, can create cracks that will only expand as the weather heats up and your driveway must cope with cycles of expansion and contraction. A sealcoat will keep water on top of your driveway, and thus prevent such cracking.
As the above examples should indicate, a sealcoat is important in maintaining the integrity of your driveway. While you could apply your own sealcoat, for the best, most even coating, you should leave the work to the professionals.