Why seal an Asphalt driveway?
It is very important to use an asphalt sealer on your driveway to prevent damage caused by sunlight, rain, and snow. A new, unsealed driveway will be fine for a few years, but neglecting to apply asphalt sealer to the surfaces of your property allows water to sneak beneath the porous surface. When the water freezes, heats up, or saturates the soil underneath the pavement, you will start to see cracks. Your only choice at that point would be relaying the asphalt.
Another reason you might consider it important to use asphalt sealer is to maintain the original, dark color of your driveway. The sealer will keep your asphalt black, rather than letting sun and traffic dull it to a faded gray. Asphalt sealer can also resist spills from car oil and other maintenance fluids that you don't want to stain your driveway.
If you owned a parking lot, you would have another reason to use asphalt sealer. The constant friction of tires will wear away the uppermost layer of asphalt. This layer has a lot of gummy petroleum material and not as many aggregate rocks. Once it wears away, the erosion of the parking lot will speed up. A thinner asphalt is even more likely to crack, buckle, or develop potholes.
What causes Asphalt damage ?
Cracks in asphalt occur when the earth underneath the pavement shifts for some reason. This could be due to seasonal changes in weather and humidity. Asphalt is designed to resist this moisture penetration, since it has glue keeping the aggregate material together. Even still, asphalt is not impermeable to water damage, especially in a driveway.When cold water sinks into or below the asphalt, it will freeze when temperatures drop. Freezing water expands, interfering with the stickiness of the glue. At some point, the water defrosts and shrinks, putting structural strain on the pavement. Pavement may buckle and make small fissures or larger cracks.
How often should I seal my driveway?
After the initial base application, your driveway should be sealed every 2-3 years depending on personal preference.
General rule of thumb is NOT to seal your driveway every year!!! Sealers are coatings, just like paint. You can easily apply too much and the coatings will begin to crack and peel. Only reseal the driveway after you can clearly see that the old sealer is wearing. When the color of the aggregate (rocks) begins to show, it is time to reseal.
What Type of sealers are there and which are the best?
The better type of sealers contains additional chemicals such as coal tars. These sealers are resistant to oil and gasoline and the ultraviolet rays from the sun. The best sealer to use is an acrylic based synthetic material. This type of sealer is often used on asphalt tennis courts and it actually has the best appearance. It costs about twice as much as traditional asphalt sealers, but it can last twice as longer as coal tar . This makes it a better buy in the long run. ProTect Sealer recommends Dural 100% Acrylic.
Will a sealed driveway be protected from oil & gasoline spills ?
100% Acrylic grade sealers are very resistant to oil and gas spills and protect the driveway until it is washed away.
Will other chemicals damage my sealed driveway?
There are some very harsh industrial cleaners and non scrub tire cleaning products that will soften and can in some cases remove the sealer. These produicts should not be used directly on the driveway.
What should I do when my asphalt driveway cracks?
Crackfilling is part of the preventative maintenance required for an asphalt driveway. It should be done prior to or in conjunction with sealing of the driveway. A rubberized crackfill is recommended.
What causes potholes and how do I fix them?
Most potholes are caused by improper drainage or lack of base material. They can be temporarily fixed with a cold patch material.
Can I seal my driveway myself?
Yes, but it is a very labor intensive project and we recommend hiring a professional. The results vary greatly with the materials used and application techniques. The do-it yourselfer who rolls on sealer must be very careful to select the proper sealer since roll-on technique leaves too thick a coating and when the sealer wears it leaves roller marks.
How long should I stay off a newly sealed surface?
We recommend staying off your driveway for a minimum of 24 hours. Weather conditions greatly affect the amount of cure time. Our sealer is usually dry and can be walked on within 3 hours.
Will Pro-Tect Company block my driveway off after services are completed?
Yes, we will block off your driveway when we are done, and you can open your drive to traffic the following day.
What if it rains after my drive has been sealed?
Once the sealer is dry, rain will not affect it. If it is not dry, the sealer will simply wash away and will need to be reapplied.