Every year homeowners invest their precious time and money to improve their home, but did you know that your driveway has a substantial impact on its total value? For homes that are on the market, driveways are one of the primary exterior features analyzed during an inspection - this is because a well-maintained driveway can significantly enhance a property’s aesthetic appeal and longevity, whereas the opposite can greatly detract from it. 

By investing in proactive maintenance such as sealcoating, you can extend the lifespan of your driving surfaces by protecting them from harsh Colorado elements like snow, hail, rain, intense sunlight, and frequent periods of freezing and thawing. At the Asphalt Doctors, we have experience working with all types of commercial and residential driveways - what follows is our comprehensive guide detailing the importance of regularly sealing an asphalt driveway. 

What is Sealcoating? 

Sealcoating is one of the most effective ways to maintain an asphalt driveway, making it look brand new aesthetically and impervious to damage from weather and wear. It involves applying a viscous liquid very similar to asphalt on top of the original asphalt surface, which can be applied in a targeted manner over cracks and chips or across the entire surface. Sealcoating is essentially a protective barrier that shields the original asphalt surface against anything that might wear it down or cause it damage. 

Composed of either coal tar pitch or asphalt cement mixed with inert fillers, water, emulsifying agents, and additives, the result is a smooth, black finish that resembles what asphalt looks like when it is new and freshly laid. At Asphalt Doctors, we utilize a specially designed coal tar emulsion sealer that meets all federal government specifications.  

Why Does Asphalt Deteriorate? 

There are many reasons why asphalt can fail including poor initial installation, low-quality materials, water ingress (mixed with periods of freezing and thawing), extensive use, overloaded weight, intense UV rays, and more. The most common factor that damages asphalt, however, is surface water that seeps into the asphalt and causes it to expand and contract when it freezes and thaws. Mixed with poor drainage and compounding damage from potholes, asphalt can deteriorate quickly once the damage has begun. 

The Importance of Sealing an Asphalt Driveway 

As mentioned above, once asphalt has received some damage such as the development of a crack or a small pothole, further damage can spread quickly in exponential fashion. What starts as a simple, almost invisible crack leads to a larger crack, which then leads to a pothole that eventually grows into an entirely broken section of the driveway. 

When your driveway is not properly maintained, therefore, you can expect to see more damage and more costly repairs quickly add up over the course of its life until it needs a premature replacement. The only way to prevent these expensive repairs and replacements is to invest in regular sealcoating of the asphalt driveway. 

The benefits of regularly sealing an asphalt driveway include: 

How Often Should You Seal Your Driveway? 

You should consider sealing your driveway as needed as well as on a routine basis. If you notice that your driveway is becoming gray and dried out or is forming small cracks and chips, this is definitely a sign that your driveway needs to be sealed before it starts developing even more significant damage. 

On the other hand, you should also consider sealing your driveway routinely. Depending on how much the driveway is used and whether it tends to hold a lot of weight or get access to a lot of moisture and sunlight, the frequency your driveway needs to be sealed will vary. As a rule of thumb, we recommend resealing your driveway at least once every two years, and more frequently if you have the means to do so. Despite the added cost, the benefits of routinely sealing your asphalt driveway are worth it, because, in the long run, significant repairs and replacements will end up costing you far more than a routine sealing. 

How to Seal Your Driveway 

While it is possible to sealcoat your driveway yourself, it is always recommended to hire the help of professional sealcoating services unless you have all the equipment you need and a lot of experience using it. Renting or purchasing seal coating equipment in itself often makes a DIY job more expensive than simply hiring a professional, and if you don’t have experience sealcoating, it’s likely that the end result will be uneven and ineffective at protecting the asphalt driveway. 

Conditions must be right to have sealcoating done. The temperature must be at least 45 degrees for no less than 24 hours during and after the application and it cannot be applied if rain is expected in the next 24 hours. No vehicles are allowed on the surface during the application process and must remain off of the surface for 24 hours after the application. Be sure to turn off all the sprinklers as well so the surface doesn’t get wet. 

The pavement will be swept and blown clean before being cured and treated with a primer. Two applications of the sealcoat will be applied, and all edging/ small spaces will be hand-applied with a squeegee. The first coat is applied with 30 mesh sand to create a thicker coat, and the second coat is sprayed on by a mechanical applicator to obtain an optimum sealcoat. 

Schedule Regular Sealing with the Asphalt Doctors 

Sealcoating is one of the most important elements of a pavement management plan, and it is highly recommended that asphalt driveways are regularly sealed in order to maintain their structural integrity and prevent significant and costly repairs or replacements over time. With summer around the corner, there’s no better time to start protecting your driveway from the harsh Colorado elements - contact the Asphalt Doctors today to learn more or to get started with your sealcoat project! 

Colorado’s extreme weather (and corresponding temperature fluctuations) unfortunately strongly impacts the structural integrity of our roads. With over four million miles of roadway across the United States, every foot, including your own asphalt driveway, is at risk. 

Investing in seal coating is one of the most effective ways to ensure the longevity of your asphalt driveway. By applying a new layer above the existing asphalt, professional seal coating has preserved the safety of our roads and untold thousands of driveways. It gained popularity across the U.S. for its strength and ease of use, but how does it work, and how often should it be used? Read on to hear what our experts have to say. 

Colorado Asphalt Driveways at Risk

Asphalt is especially susceptible to the elements. 

Colorado, therefore, makes survival for asphalt roads particularly challenging. Depending on where you live across this beautiful state, temperatures can have more than 150°F worth of variance between its officially recorded hottest and coldest temperatures. And you only really need to live in Colorado for a year to experience all four seasons in a single week. 

Our state makes asphalt longevity difficult enough; seal coating is our best choice to maintain them. 

Why Seal an Asphalt Driveway?

The benefits of seal coating asphalt driveways include the following: 

How to Seal an Asphalt Driveway 

It is usually recommended for a professional to undertake the seal coating service. It deals with harsh chemicals and fumes, requiring experience and skill to do it right. If you’re still determined to make it a DIY job, here are a few general guidelines before getting started: 

Step 1

Clean the driveway of dirt, dust, and debris. Clean stains, oil, and grease, and remove all weeds along the driveway's border. The pressure washer works well for initial cleaning. 

Step 2 

Patch cracks and holes well before treating a driveway with seal coating. 

Step 3

Mix sealant buckets one at a time and clean the surface again. 

Step 4

Begin sealing the driveway from top to bottom by pouring sealant and brushing it into place with a squeegee. Use a paintbrush along the edges to ensure precision. The squeegee should be held at a 45-degree angle to push the sealant accordingly so that, with its self-leveling properties, a flat surface is made. 

Step 5

Wait 24 hours, then apply a second coat. After the second coat, allow another 24 hours before walking on it and 72 hours before driving. 

How Often Should I Seal My Asphalt Driveway? 

Sealer should be applied to a brand-new asphalt driveway three to six months after installation. Sealing coat your driveway every three to five years is generally recommended, depending on a few variables. 

Seal coating might be needed more frequently on Colorado driveways due to the harsh Colorado climate, weather, and sunshine. Furthermore, should a driveway appear faded or damaged in isolated areas, it may indicate that another seal coat is required. Pay attention to the signs, but you can expect to seal asphalt driveways at least every few years. Consistent treatment is key to longevity and aesthetic quality. 

If the driveway is over 20 years old, the foundation is unstable, or cracks run deeper than 2 inches, seal coating might not be as effective because it will combat an underlying weakness. 

Are There Downsides to Sealing an Asphalt Driveway?

Seal coating is popular for a reason, but its use has some limitations. Seal coating should be considered a protective layer, not a magical solution to a damaged road. Seal coating will not, in fact, repair or restore asphalt in any way; it will simply protect it from further damage while making it appear renewed in color and texture. If the structural integrity of a road is compromised, it must be repaired before seal coating can be used. 

Asphalt Doctors to Your Asphalt’s Aid

Asphalt seal coating is a widespread solution to preserve the vitality of our roads and driveways. By applying a new layer of protection, your driveway is safe against the harsh Colorado climate and continues to look like the day it was installed. 
Are you seeking protection for your asphalt driveway? Asphalt Doctors is Colorado’s top choice for seal coating and all things asphalt. Contact our team of experts with any questions or to get started with seal coating today!

Preparing an outdoor surface that can stand up to the harsh Colorado elements can be a challenging undertaking, but technology has offered us a number of innovative solutions to overcome this. Asphalt seal coating is one of the most common methods for protecting driveways, walkways, and parking lots, and it’s likely only going to continue growing in popularity. 

But what is asphalt seal coating, and how does it benefit you? Here’s a deep dive into everything you need to know from the experts at Asphalt Doctors. 

What is Asphalt Seal Coating?

Asphalt seal coating is an inexpensive process that helps to extend the lifespan of underlying hard surface material such as concrete or asphalt. This liquid coating is rolled or painted over the area, and once allowed to cure, it effectively seals (hence the name) the material from potential exterior damage. It comes in two forms: Coal Tar Emulsion and Asphalt Emulsion. 

Seal coating is the most common solution to small damage, such as cracks or holes caused by freezing temperatures and frequent traffic. It also helps protect the underlying surface from excessive oxidation, prevents damage from spreading to other areas in the underlying structure, and defends against air, water, oil, gas, salt, chemicals, and ultraviolet rays. 

It is a thoroughly effective and highly efficient method that offers protection and resiliency to surfaces to remain in good condition, even in extreme weather conditions. 

What is Seal Coating Made Of? 

As previously discussed, asphalt seal coating comes in two primary forms: Coal Tar and Asphalt Emulsion.

Coal Tar seal coating comprises a thick black liquid, a byproduct of bituminous coal. It is made of thousands of chemicals and is different molecularly than asphalt. Coal Tar seal coating is then created by mixing the bituminous coal byproduct with inert fillers, water, and emulsifying agents. 

Asphalt Emulsion seal coating is made of asphalt, water, and a small amount of emulsifying agents. 

Coal Tar is the industry's most commonly used asphalt seal coating. 

What is the Process of Asphalt Seal Coating?

Every asphalt company has a different asphalt seal coating process, but at Asphalt Doctors, our process includes the following: 

  1. Protection. We install cones and barricades to protect nearby human and animal life and traffic passing by. 
  2. Clean and Edging. Our team edges the perimeter of the asphalt being treated and trims down any plant life that has grown between cracks. We then conduct deep cleaning of the area with an industrial blower and power sweep. 
  3. Oil Stains. Oil stains and spots are treated with a primer to encourage effective adhesion of the chosen sealer. 
  4. Seal Coat. Apply a first coat, then let dry before applying a thicker coat. 
  5. Repaint Lines. If work is being conducted in a parking lot, parking spot lines will be repainted upon the drying of the second layer. 
  6. Clean and Edges (part 2). Our team cleans the edges of the work site. 
  7. Customer Evaluation. Once all work is complete, we conduct a walk-through with our customers to ensure that our finished product meets all standards of quality and expectations. 
  8. Open Site. Cones and barricades are removed and opened for public access. 

Seal coating is completed during the spring, summer, and autumn - temperatures of at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit are required. 

Asphalt Seal Coating vs. Asphalt Pavement 

Various other methods exist for installing asphalt or conducting an asphalt surface repair. One of the most common, alongside seal coating, is asphalt paving. This is a holistic renewal and new installation of asphalt, and it can be applied directly to materials such as concrete, gravel, or even existing asphalt. 

Other methods for conducting an asphalt repair include: 

Colorado Asphalt Seal Coating 

Asphalt seal coating effectively and efficiently protects outdoor surfaces such as roads, walkways, and parking lots. This extremely quick process creates resistance to all types of liquids, chemicals, and even UV radiation so that your surfaces have longer lifetimes, even after incurring damage. 

If you’re considering asphalt seal coating or any other type of asphalt solution for your project, be sure to contact the experts at Asphalt Doctors - we are committed to quality, ethics, service, and efficiency. Give our team a call today!