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Exterior renovations5 Things to Know About Driveway Sealer
While some believe that an asphalt driveway doesn’t require any maintenance, the fact is, it’s actually quite the opposite. Albeit it can withstand years of use, ultimately, over time, it’ll show some signs of wear if it lacks proper maintenance.
That’s why we strongly advise you to apply a sealer. So, what’s there to know about this product, which is a vital part of ensuring your driveway is safeguarded and will withstand years of use?
Although one could be led to believe that applying a driveway sealer is only necessary post-paving, that really isn't true. Albeit you do have to apply a first coat of sealer two to three months after it’s first paved, note that applying another layer is also necessary every two years after that.
In fact, the reason why an asphalt driveway must be adequately protected is that it'll be challenged against numerous sources of stress like deicing salt, heat, oil and gas.
Currently, on the market, there are three types of sealers: acrylic- or bitumen-based, or a mix between bitumen and polymers. Given that the acrylic-based sealer lacks impermeability and grip, and that their durability isn’t the best, it’s an option that’s often advised against.
As for a bitumen-based sealer, this one has a lot of benefits such as allowing the asphalt to breathe while also providing high-quality protection. Furthermore, this sealer has a smooth and uniform finish, which is especially aesthetically pleasing.
Lastly, the bitumen- and polymer-based sealer also allows the asphalt to breathe, on top of guaranteeing an impermeable finish (petrol- and water-wise). As opposed to the other two sealers, this one can seal cracks and fill potholes. That being, this option is often recommended to seal really damaged driveways.
As mentioned in the first fact, the sealer must first be applied two to three months after the paving is done. However, it’s still important to ensure that the oils found in the asphalt are completely evaporated before proceeding.
To do so, spray the asphalt with water for several seconds. If a rainbow appears, it means that the evaporation process isn’t completed and you’ll have to wait a little bit longer before applying the sealer.
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In order for the sealer to adhere properly to the surface of the asphalt, you have to be extra cautious during the planning phase. First off, you have to pick a day during which the temperature won’t drop below 10 degrees and no rainfall is expected.
Second, you have to make sure that the asphalt surface was thoroughly cleaned, ideally with a pressure washer. After cleaning the paving, the surface must be devoid of leaves, dust, or any other type of debris. Make sure to also scrub out any stains with a wire brush, to ensure that the stains don’t spill through once the sealed surface is dry.
Also, to benefit from a uniform surface that’s ready to be sealed, make sure to fix any cracks or potholes. For both the latter and the cracks, those that are more than a half-inch wide, use a product designed to repair potholes.
When it comes to smaller cracks (those that are less than half an inch wide), a crack filler made for asphalt driveways will work just fine. Keep in mind that if you had to carry out such repairs, you should wait two weeks before applying a sealer.
Although we’ve briefly covered this earlier, it’s worthwhile to go over it in a more detailed manner. Applying a sealer to an asphalt driveway ensures durability because it provides further resistance against:
Calcium chloride and salt;
Rainfall and water;
Want to get an idea as to how much your paving project will cost you? Check out our article Cost of Asphalt, Paver Stones, and Concrete Paving.
While you’re at it, check out our article All About Heated Asphalt.
RenoQuotes.com can help you get quotes for your driveway sealing project. By submitting your project, we’ll put you in contact with top-rated contractors. Fill in the form on the homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will get estimates from trusted professionals.
Last modified 2023-11-07
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