What Do I Need to Know About Sealing a Driveway?

February 19, 2021

It’s important to stay on top of driveway maintenance as a homeowner so you can avoid having to replace the asphalt or concrete prematurely, which would be a significant expense. The best, most cost-effective way to protect your driveway is to have an asphalt contractor in Montgomery County, MD seal it on a regular basis so you can protect it from the elements that would otherwise damage it.

Asphalt needs to be kept protected from the elements to avoid cracking and potholes. This is especially true for applications like driveways—the asphalt used on driveways is usually a lower-grade asphalt than what you’d see in community roads and parking lots, which is why it’s so important for homeowners to prioritize regular maintenance to prevent issues such as crumbling asphalt.

Why sealing the driveway is so important

Sealing your driveway will help the surface repel water. Over time, exposure to water is the single biggest factor in deterioration of pavement. When water permeates the surface, concrete and asphalt can start to crack, especially if you live in an area that sees cold winters with frequent freezing and thawing cycles, which causes the water in the asphalt to expand and contract. The damage this water causes is only exacerbated when the asphalt is exposed to the heavy weights of vehicles driving over the surface.

Because asphalt sealant protects the pavement and repels water, you don’t have to worry as much about the water permeating the surface and causing damage.

Additional elements that can damage asphalt include long-term exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays and potential corrosion caused by constant exposure to moisture and oxygen. By staying on top of the sealer, you can prevent sun, water and air from getting into the concrete and preventing those forms of deterioration.

Finally, driveway sealant also helps to keep oil spills and leaks out of the asphalt itself, which will go a long way toward keeping the asphalt in good condition for a longer period of time.

Applying the sealant

The general standard for sealant is that you should apply it every one to three years, depending on the level of wear you see on your asphalt. If you’re able to see the color of individual stones in the asphalt rather than a uniform color across the entire surface, that’s how you know it’s time for you to put down some new sealant.

However, you should never seal a newly installed asphalt driveway. It will take at least six months before the oils in the asphalt evaporate. Sealing the driveway before the asphalt is finished curing will prevent the driveway from reaching the necessary level of hardness, which will in turn mean the driveway will likely not last as long as it should.

You should also make sure the weather conditions are appropriate for sealing. It should be at least 50 degrees outside, and dry for at least a couple days so you can allow the sealant to dry before rain comes.

For more information about sealing a driveway with a proper asphalt mix, contact an asphalt contractor in Montgomery County, MD like Maryland Asphalt LLC.

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