A well-built and well-maintained asphalt driveway can last for many years before it needs to be repaved, it is just a matter of knowing how and when to handle its repairs and upkeep. One of the ways you can protect and prolong the life of your asphalt is to coat it in a protective seal coat. Here are some tips to help you determine when to seal coat your asphalt and how to prepare its surface for this treatment.
When to Apply Seal Coating
There is no solid rule as to how often you should seal coat your asphalt's surface, as it depends on its condition, how much traffic goes across its surface, and the weather in your area. Then, when your asphalt driveway begins to show signs of fading from the sun and small cracks from the freeze-thaw cycles during winter, it is recommended to apply a protective seal coat layer.
If your asphalt surface is a paved drive that receives daily traffic, it will get more wear and need seal coating sooner than a parking area that only sees household use occasionally. If you live in a climate with moderate temperatures that do not go from extreme hot in summer to extreme cold in winter, your pavement's surface will receive relatively less stress and can last longer than one that receives more weather stress.
Because asphalt is made up of asphalt binders connecting gravel, when the asphalt begins to break down, its surface will fail. Inspect your asphalt's surface each season for signs of cracking and fading, which are signs of break-down of the asphalt's materials.
Watch out for any spills on your asphalt's surface from vehicle fluids, such as gasoline, lube oil, grease, and anti-freeze, which can all break down the asphalt's binders. If your climate receives snow and ice in winter, watch out for road salts on your driveway's asphalt surface, as this can also damage the surface. Rinse these materials from the surface as often as possible to keep your asphalt surface stable and strong.
How to Prepare for Seal Coating
Your asphalt driveway needs to be cleaned of any non-asphalt material to prepare it for a seal coat. This includes removing dirt, debris, vegetation, and vehicle fluids and road salts.
Sprinkle kitty litter over the surface of any puddling oils and let it sit overnight, then sweep up the litter. Use a degreaser liquid dish soap and water with a scrub brush to lift the fluids, and a power washer or garden hose and a sprayer attachment to rinse it clean.
Use a garden trowel or shovel to dig out plant growth from any cracks within your asphalt's surface. Also, remove any loose chunks of asphalt with a garden trowel. Rinse any sand, dirt, and other debris that have collected down inside any cracks in your asphalt. Select an asphalt crack sealant at a local home improvement store to fill any cracks that have formed in the asphalt.
Now your asphalt is ready to be sealed. You can do the work yourself if you have experience, or you can hire a professional asphalt company to complete the work for you.
Visit a website like http://www.lakeridgepaving.com to speak to a professional today.