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.
- Freezing temperatures cause asphalt to contract, leading to cracks.
- High temperatures cause asphalt to slough, pit, and deteriorate.
- UV Oxidation: UV energy and oxygen causes the oils in asphalt to become heavy, brittle, and more likely to crack
- Precipitation: causes asphalt to expand and contract, leading to cracks and potholes
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:
- Seals off asphalt preventing water from entering cracks
- Prevents cracking from the pressure
- Protects against fuel, oil, and chemical spills
- Slows oxidation process
- It saves time and money.
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:
- Asphalt sealer coats cure in a few hours, but the driveway can’t be used for vehicle traffic for 24 to 48 hours.
- The temperature outside must be at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit for 24 hours before and after making your repair.
- Don’t apply if rain is forecasted a day before or after the seal-coating day.
- If you live in an area prone to morning dew or fog, stop the coating process before 3 pm to prevent wash-off the next morning.
- Two thin coats of driveway sealer dry more evenly and provide more protection than a single thick coat.
- Allow six months before applying other asphalt repair products
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.
Patch cracks and holes well before treating a driveway with seal coating.
Mix sealant buckets one at a time and clean the surface again.
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.
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!