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Is Sealing Your Asphalt Driveway Worth It? Pros and Cons of Sealing Asphalt Driveway


pros and cons of sealing asphalt driveway: phoenix paving

Having a well-maintained driveway not only adds to the overall aesthetics of your property but also ensures that it remains functional and durable for years to come.


One popular method of protecting and enhancing the lifespan of an asphalt driveway is through sealing.


In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of sealing asphalt driveways, the process involved, when to seal your driveway, whether to do it yourself or hire a professional and the alternatives to sealing asphalt driveway.


Purpose of Sealing


The primary purpose of sealing an asphalt driveway is to safeguard it against various environmental and vehicular stressors.


This protective layer acts as a shield, preventing damage caused by factors like water, UV rays, and oil or gas spills.


Additionally, sealing can enhance the aesthetics of the driveway.


Importance of Weighing Pros and Cons


Before deciding whether to seal an asphalt driveway, it's crucial to consider both the advantages and disadvantages of this process.


By weighing the pros and cons, homeowners can make an informed choice that aligns with their specific needs, budget, and environmental concerns.


This discussion will delve into these aspects to help you make a well-informed decision regarding your asphalt driveway.


Pros of Sealing an Asphalt Driveway


pros and cons of sealing asphalt driveway: phoenix paving

Protection


Sealing your driveway offers formidable protection against the elements that can damage asphalt over time.


The sealant works as a protective layer that significantly reduces exposure to oxidizing substances and moisture.


This barrier prevents water from penetrating the asphalt, which can otherwise lead to the formation of cracks and potholes.


Sealing also guards the driveway against harmful UV rays that can cause the asphalt to dry out, fade, and degrade.


Thus, the sealant acts as a shield, protecting your driveway from various elements and prolonging its life.


Durability


Sealcoating significantly enhances the durability of your asphalt driveway.


The protective barrier that sealcoating provides not only prevents damage but can also prolong the life of your asphalt surface, reducing the need for expensive repairs or replacement.

The sealed surface can withstand daily wear and tear, supporting the weight of vehicles without developing cracks or potholes.


Thus, sealcoating can save you money in the long run by making your driveway last longer.


Aesthetics


A seal-coated asphalt driveway adds aesthetic value to your property.


The sealing process revitalizes faded asphalt, giving it a fresh, dark, and well-maintained appearance.


A fresh seal coat restores the rich, black color of new asphalt, improving the overall look of your driveway and enhancing your property's curb appeal.


The shiny surface of a sealed driveway can also increase the value of your home.


Maintenance


Sealcoating helps in reducing long-term repair costs.


A well-sealed driveway is less likely to develop severe damage or degrade, thereby minimizing the need for repairs.


The smooth, sealed surface is also easier to clean and maintain.


If small gaps or cracks do appear, they are more manageable to repair on a sealed surface than on unsealed asphalt.


Safety


A well-maintained, sealed driveway is also safer.


The smooth surface prevents tripping hazards and makes it safer for bicycles and other smaller wheeled vehicles.


Also, sealed driveways are more resistant to damage from motor oil and gasoline spills, which can create unsafe driving or walking conditions.


Cons of Sealing an Asphalt Driveway


pros and cons of sealing asphalt driveway: phoenix paving

Cost


While sealing your driveway can save money in the long-term by reducing repair needs, the initial cost to seal an asphalt driveway can be relatively high.


The total cost depends on the size of the driveway and whether you choose to do it yourself or hire a professional.


Environmental Concerns


Some sealants, especially coal-tar-based sealants, contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which are harmful to the environment.


The runoff from sealed driveways can pollute water sources and harm aquatic life.


Slippery When Wet


Sealed driveways can become quite slippery when wet, posing a safety hazard.


This can be particularly problematic in areas that receive heavy rainfall or in the winter months when the driveway is more likely to be wet.


Repetitive Maintenance


Sealed driveways need to be resealed every two to three years, depending on the climate and usage.


This can be seen as a disadvantage as it requires repetitive maintenance.


The process of resealing also requires the driveway to be clean and dry, which means you may not be able to use your driveway for a day or two while the sealant dries.


How Does Driveway Sealing Work?


pros and cons of sealing asphalt driveway: phoenix paving

The process of sealing an asphalt driveway involves cleaning, repairing any visible damages such as cracks and potholes, and applying a protective seal coat.


The sealant is made up of specialized oils and paving materials that are formulated to soak into the top layer of the asphalt.


This creates a protective barrier that prevents water and UV rays from damaging the surface.


The Sealcoating Process


The process of sealing an asphalt driveway typically involves the application of a seal coat.


Before applying the sealant, the driveway needs to be thoroughly cleaned to remove any dirt, debris, or vegetation.


Once cleaned, any existing cracks or potholes should be repaired.


The seal coat is then applied using a sealcoating machine or by hand using a squeegee or brush.


It is essential to follow the manufacturer's instructions and ensure uniform coverage for optimal results.


Choosing the Right Sealant


Choosing the right sealant for your driveway is crucial to achieve the desired outcomes.


There are different types of sealants available, such as coal tar-based or asphalt-based sealants.


Factors to consider when selecting a sealant include climate, traffic volume, and desired appearance.


It is recommended to consult with a professional or a knowledgeable supplier to determine the most suitable sealant for your specific needs.


Application Techniques


Applying the sealant can be done using various techniques, including spraying, brushing, or squeegeeing.


The choice of application method depends on the size of the area, accessibility, and personal preference.


Spraying is generally more efficient for larger driveways, while brushing or squeegeeing allows for more control and precision.


Regardless of the technique chosen, it is essential to apply an even and consistent layer to ensure maximum protection and a uniform finish.


When Should You Seal Your Asphalt Driveway?


pros and cons of sealing asphalt driveway: phoenix paving

There is no exact timeframe for when an asphalt driveway should be sealed, as it depends on various factors such as climate and usage.


However, a good rule of thumb is to seal your driveway every three to six years.


It is also recommended to have your driveway professionally inspected and resealed every few years to ensure maximum protection and longevity.


Signs It's Time to Seal Your Driveway


There are several signs that indicate it's time to seal your asphalt driveway.


These include noticeable cracks, fading of the asphalt surface, the appearance of potholes, and the presence of oil stains.


Regularly inspecting your driveway for these signs can help you determine when it requires sealing.


Frequency of Sealing


The frequency of sealing an asphalt driveway depends on several factors, such as the climate, usage, and the type of sealant used.


In general, it is recommended to reseal your driveway every 2-5 years to maintain its integrity and protect it from the elements.


However, it is advised to follow the specific instructions provided by the sealant manufacturer for the best results.


Weather Considerations


Weather conditions play a significant role in the success of the sealcoating process.


It is essential to seal your driveway during optimal weather conditions when the temperature is above 50°F (10°C), and there is no rain in the forecast for at least 24-48 hours.


Applying the sealant in unsuitable weather conditions can lead to improper curing and adhesion, reducing its effectiveness.


Can You DIY or Should You Hire a Professional?


pros and cons of sealing asphalt driveway: phoenix paving

Benefits of Hiring Professionals


Hiring a professional to seal your asphalt driveway offers several advantages.


Professionals have the necessary expertise and experience to ensure proper preparation, application, and finishing.


They have access to high-quality materials and equipment, which can result in a more durable and long-lasting seal.


Additionally, professionals can save you time and effort by completing the job efficiently and effectively.


Cost Comparison: DIY vs. Professional Sealcoating


The cost of sealing your driveway can vary depending on whether you choose to do it yourself or hire a professional.


DIY sealcoating typically involves purchasing the sealant and applying it yourself, resulting in lower material costs.


However, it requires time, effort, and the necessary equipment.


On the other hand, hiring a professional may incur higher upfront costs but provides assurance of a high-quality and long-lasting seal.


Potential Issues with DIY Sealcoating


While DIY sealcoating might be a cost-saving option, there are potential drawbacks to consider.


Improper sealing techniques or the use of low-quality materials can result in an inadequate seal and reduce the lifespan of your driveway.


DIY sealcoating also requires proper knowledge, equipment, and physical endurance, as the process can be time-consuming and physically demanding.


What Are the Alternatives to Sealing Asphalt Driveways?


pros and cons of sealing asphalt driveway: phoenix paving

Sealing an asphalt driveway is not the only option for maintaining its integrity and prolonging its lifespan.


Alternatives to sealing include repaving, installing a concrete driveway, or applying an overlay of fresh asphalt.


However, each alternative has its pros and cons to consider.


Patching and Repairing Cracks


If your asphalt driveway has minor cracks or potholes, patching and repairing can be a viable alternative to sealing.


By filling the cracks and repairing the damaged areas, you can restore the structural integrity and prolong the lifespan of your driveway.


Regular maintenance, such as crack sealing and pothole repair, can help minimize future damages.


Resurfacing or Repaving the Driveway


In cases where the damage is extensive or the driveway's lifespan is near its end, resurfacing or repaving may be necessary.


Resurfacing involves applying a new layer of asphalt over the existing one, while repaving involves removing the damaged asphalt and replacing it with a new layer.


These alternatives provide a fresh, smooth, and durable surface, rejuvenating your driveway.


Considerations for Concrete Driveways


For homeowners with concrete driveways, sealing may not be necessary as concrete is inherently more durable and resistant to UV rays compared to asphalt.


However, regular cleaning, maintenance, and addressing any cracks or damages are still essential to ensure the longevity and aesthetic appeal of your concrete driveway.


Conclusion


Sealing your asphalt driveway can provide numerous benefits, such as protection from UV rays, extending its lifespan, and improving curb appeal.


However, there are also cons to consider, including the need for periodic resealing and the initial cost.


Understanding the sealcoating process, when to seal your driveway, and whether to hire a professional or do it yourself are crucial aspects to consider.


In some cases, alternatives such as patching, resurfacing, or repaving may be more suitable.


By weighing the pros and cons and making an informed decision, you can ensure that your driveway remains in optimal condition for years to come.


Frequently Asked Questions on Pros and Cons of Sealing Asphalt Driveway


What is the purpose of a pavement sealer or sealcoat?


A pavement sealer or sealcoat serves to protect and extend the life of your driveway or parking lot by providing a protective barrier against damaging elements such as UV rays, water, and petroleum-based substances.


Why is it necessary to seal a driveway?


Sealing a driveway helps to prevent cracks, potholes, and other types of damage.


It also improves the appearance of your driveway, making it look fresh and well-maintained.


What are the pros and cons of driveway sealcoating?


The main advantage of driveway sealcoating is that it extends the life of your pavement and improves its appearance.


However, it does require regular reapplication and can be expensive.

Is there a need to seal both asphalt and concrete driveways?


While both types can benefit from sealing, it is more commonly done on asphalt driveways.


Concrete is inherently more resistant to UV rays and other damaging elements but still requires regular maintenance.


How much does it cost to seal a driveway per square foot?


The cost can vary depending on the size of your driveway and the type of sealant used.


It's best to get a quote from a professional for the most accurate estimate.


Can driveway sealcoating prevent asphalt repairs?


Yes, sealcoating can prevent the need for asphalt repairs by protecting the pavement from damaging elements that can cause cracks and potholes.


What are the disadvantages of sealing an asphalt driveway?


Some of the disadvantages include the cost, the need for regular reapplication, and potential issues with DIY applications if not done correctly.


How long after installing asphalt can it be sealed?


It is generally recommended to wait at least three to six months before applying the first seal to allow the asphalt to cure fully.


What is the recommended temperature for sealing a driveway?


The ideal temperature for sealing a driveway is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.


What happens if you don't seal your driveway?


If left unsealed, your driveway can become severely damaged over time due to exposure to UV rays, water, and other damaging elements.


This can lead to expensive repairs or the need to have it repaved.


What does a sealant contain?


Sealants typically contain formulated oils, paving material, and aggregate, which provide a protective barrier to the asphalt.


Are there alternatives to investing in a sealcoating?


Yes, alternatives to sealcoating include repairing minor cracks or damages, resurfacing, or repaving the driveway.


However, each alternative comes with its own pros and cons to consider.


Contact Phoenix Paving Company for all your driveway needs!

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