Your asphalt driveway should be designed to last, but regular maintenance is necessary to ensure you get the longest lifespan as possible out of the driveway. Sealcoating is one of the best maintenance tasks that you can perform. The sealcoat provides a protective barrier, as well as a few additional benefits as detailed below.
Weathering is the result of UV radiation, rain, and abrasion. Over time, weathering breaks down the top layer of the asphalt and causes small cracks to form, which will only become larger as time passes. Once extensive weathering damage has occurred, the only fix is to either replace the asphalt or to have it resurfaced with a thick coating of fresh asphalt. Sealcoating minimizes the impact of weathering by creating a UV- and water-resistant layer on top of the drive.
Stains on a driveway may seem like a fact of life. Oil, automotive fluids, and even moss and algae can lead to stains on the driveway. Chemical and petroleum stains can even speed weathering by breaking down the surface of the asphalt. A sealcoating application, when applied after a driveway cleaning, hides the unsightly stains. Even better, the sealcoat also provides a protective layer that prevents future stains from penetrating into the asphalt and causing damage.
Over time the color of your asphalt driveway will fade. In some cases, the fading may be uneven depending upon variable sun and weathering exposure. There are also issues with color that occur from visible crack repairs and stains. A sealcoat lays down a thin layer of asphalt combined with epoxy sealants. The asphalt in the mix creates a rich black color where ever it is applied. So, not only will sealcoating prevent issues, but it will also ensure your driveway looks better by creating an even dark color over the entire surface.
Snow Melt Acceleration
In snowy climates, ice an be a real problem on a driveway. A worn surface allows moisture to seep in, which makes it more difficult to shovel the driveway. Further, a lighter colored driveway as a result of fading can remain icy longer. Sealcoating, as mentioned previously, makes the driveway darker. A side benefit of the darker color is that it can absorb more thermal energy, which will speed ice melt. Further, the protective coating prevents moisture from seeping into the asphalt, which helps enable easier ice removal.
Sealcoating works best when it is reapplied every few years. Contact a local sealcoating service like AAA Asphalt Paving for more help.