A properly maintained driveway will last for 15 years or more. That’s what any Long Island asphalt paving company will tell you. But what does properly maintained mean? At PALERMO PAVING we get many questions about driveway maintenance. The most common question is, “Do I need to sealcoat my driveway?” and the second most common is, “Why do I need to sealcoat my driveway?”.
Do I Need to Sealcoat My Driveway?
This question is easy to answer. Yes, if you want your driveway to last, you need to sealcoat your driveway. You should sealcoat your driveway at least every two to three years. Your asphalt may not last very long left unprotected. Asphalt is flexible and strong, but it needs protection. Just as you apply sunscreen to protect your skin from ultraviolet rays and wear a coat to protect from rain and snow, your asphalt driveway needs protection too.
Why Do Asphalt Driveways Need a Sealcoat?
Asphalt is basically aggregate held together with a binder. This binder is created by distilling certain crude oils and your asphalt surface is only as good as the binder.
Exposure to ultraviolet light, rain, automotive fluids, salt, and snow degrade or weaken the binder. Once the binder is weakened, the structure of the asphalt weakens.
Small cracks develop. These small cracks let in more moisture, more automotive fluids, and more salt. In the meantime, ultraviolet light continues to beat down on the surface. Small cracks become large cracks. Because asphalt is flexible, each crack creates more flex, and the cracks grow.
Before long, the entire driveway requires major repairs or replacement. Major repairs or even replacements can be avoided with simple regular maintenance that includes applying a sealcoat every two years.
How Does Sealcoat Work?
The sealcoat protects your asphalt driveway on the surface and within the structure of the asphalt itself.
On the surface, the sealcoat at the surface of the asphalt protects against automotive fluids, moisture, and salt. So, no matter the weather, your asphalt driveway is protected. It is guarded against damage from ultraviolet light on sunny days and moisture on rainy or snowy days.
Just as important as surface protection is the protection sealcoating provides to the asphalt structure. As the sealcoating product is applied, it fills in any small cracks that might have developed in the asphalt. These cracks may be so tiny that you can’t easily see them, but they are like a ticking time bomb waiting to destroy the integrity of your asphalt driveway. Most sealcoat products are bituminous-based and act as a binder once they enter any small cracks. This restores the integrity of the asphalt and keeps it from crumbling or becoming brittle.
Other Benefits of Sealcoating
Sealcoating does more than just protect your driveway, the sealcoat product protects you too. Sealcoat products provide a bit of slip resistance by reducing the coefficient of friction. This is the ratio of force resisting motion when two surfaces come in contact. In this case, the two surfaces are the sole of your shoe and the top of the asphalt driveway.
Sealcoating products include more than just a bituminous-based liquid and a bit of water, they also incorporate ingredients such as sand, polymers, proprietary fillers, and solids. These solutions increase the coefficient of friction because the driveway surface is slightly rougher, so more force is required.
Finally, sealcoating creates a beautiful and lustrous black finish to your asphalt driveway. It instantly adds curb appeal.
The PALERMO PAVING Difference
Now that you know why you need to sealcoat your driveway, you should understand that not all Long Island sealcoating companies do the job the same way.
PALERMO PAVING applies sealcoating by hand. This is a superior process compared to spraying the coating onto your driveway. Hand application makes sure that the sealcoating gets into the asphalt, so it can fill any microcracks. You don’t get that assurance when the topping is sprayed on.
Applying by hand eliminates the chances for overspray and under spray. That means all surfaces of your asphalt driveway are carefully and evenly coated.
Once the sealcoating is applied, you can park on your driveway in 24 to 48 hours. And you’ll know your asphalt is protected for another two years.Contact PALERMO PAVING for a free quote today.