The durability of your asphalt paving depends on a variety of factors. One of them is timely sealcoating. Sealcoating is essential to the long and damage-free life of your asphalt driveway or parking lot because it keeps contaminants and water out.
While it’s possible to take advantage of an asphalt driveway for a couple of years without sealcoating, its quality suffers tremendously. If you decide to avoid this process, you have to be ready to repave the asphalt after only a few years. Meanwhile, with regular sealcoating, your paving can last for decades.
If you are still deciding whether to opt for sealcoating, consider the price difference. The cost of sealcoating is around $0.20 per square foot. Meanwhile, the cost of asphalt repaving is between $7 and $13 per square foot.
While you have to reseal the asphalt every two to three years, the overall costs are still much lower than repaving.
Preparation for Asphalt Sealing
Before you sealcoat your driveway, you need to prepare for the process. Otherwise, sealcoating won’t provide the expected results.
1. Check the Weather
Just like asphalt paving, asphalt sealcoating requires certain weather to be successful. Take the time to study the weather reports. Ideally, you should start sealcoating with three to four of warm and dry days ahead.
The temperature for asphalt sealing should be above 55°F. If the temperatures fall below 50°F, avoid sealing your driveway.
2. Find Tools and Materials
If you are planning a DIY project, you need to:
· Measure the driveway to make sure you buy sufficient materials for sealing.
· Buy sealing materials, brushes, squeegees, crack filling tools, line-taping machine, etc.
While it’s possible to seal the asphalt on your own, the best way to ensure the asphalt’s durability and longevity is to opt for professional sealing. According to ABС Paving, sealcoating contractor from Florida, many property owners turn to experts after unsuccessful DIY sealing.
If you try and fail, consider calling sealcoating experts as soon as possible to minimize the sealcoating costs.
3. Clean the Surface
The key to successful sealing is a clean surface. Whether you’ve just paved your driveway or years have passed since the last sealing, cleaning is in order. Get rid of leaves, grass, loose gravel, and other contaminants. If any of the debris remains, it will reduce the lifespan of your asphalt sealer.
4. Fill Asphalt Cracks
It’s imperative to repair your driveway or parking lot before sealing. Otherwise, the sealing process will be nearly useless. When you apply the sealer, your asphalt surface should be smooth and even. To do that, you need to fill all cracks.
Clean the crack as much as you can by removing debris.
Use an air compressor to blow the remaining debris from the cracks (if you can’t buy or rent a compressor, you need to do extensive sweeping).
Fill the crack with special asphalt crack filler. Use an applicator to apply the filler.
Smooth the crack by using a squeegee.
You may need to reapply the filler once the first portion settles inside the crack.
Wait for at least 24 hours for the filler to settle in completely before sealing. The weather during these 24 hours should be warm and dry.
Important: Don’t use a pressure washer to clean asphalt cracks. When moisture enters the crack, it can damage the paving from inside and keep the sealer from working properly.
5. Clean the Surface Again
Once you finish crack repair, clean your driveway or parking lot again. If you are using a pressure washer, allow all moisture to evaporate before applying the asphalt sealer.
Before sealing begins, you need to make sure that the asphalt surface is completely dry. That’s why the best time for doing the sealing (in the majority of states) is during the warm summer months.
Sealing is an important part of your asphalt driveway maintenance. Without a regular approach to sealing, the lifespan of your driveway or parking lot can shrink significantly.
Before you start sealing an asphalt surface, it’s important to fill in all cracks. No matter how small the damage is, repairing it is imperative for the sealcoat to serve its purpose.