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5 Tips for Sealcoating Asphalt

Sealcoating is a popular activity that is done every two years for asphalt driveways and parking lots. It helps to protect small cracking from turning into larger damage. If you’re considering sealcoating your asphalt driveway, then here are five tips that you’ll want to have fresh in your mind.

Assess The Damage

Just because there is a crack in your driveway doesn’t mean that sealcoating it is the right option. You need to inspect the damage and determine what size the crack is. Sealcoating only works for cracks that are one inch or less in diameter. Anything bigger and it’s not going to provide a proper seal for your driveway. This is why it’s so important that you have your driveway sealcoated every two years. Even missing one year can allow a small crack to turn into a big disaster that will be super costly to fix.

Wait For The Summer Months

You don’t want to start sealcoating in the middle of winter. Most sealcoating compounds must be applied when the temperature is 50 degrees Fahrenheit or above. Remember that most compounds will need a full 48 hours to completely dry. This means two days without rain coming down. In addition, you need to consider the temperature for those two days. If it’s not above 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the evening, it can damage the sealcoating job. This is another reason it must be done in the summer months instead of in the fall or early spring.

Always Clean The Crack Before Application

In order for the sealcoat to apply correctly, you need to have the cracked area pristinely cleaned. This means sweeping away loose debris like gravel, dead leaves, and other foliage. If the crack goes through an existing oil spot, then you’ll need to scrub that oil away. This can be easily done with detergent and water. If you don’t clean the oil from the surface of the asphalt, the sealcoating compound won’t properly adhere to it.

Stick To One Coat Per Job

If you opt to do the sealcoating on your own, it can be very tempting to do multiple coats. The more you apply, the better protection. Or, so you thought. In reality, doing more than one coat can end up creating surface crazing. This is where the sealcoating compound starts to spider-web. This causes the compound to break down and be ineffective at protecting the asphalt from moisture penetration. As long as an asphalt driveway is regularly sealcoated every two years, it should never need more than just one single coat per job. You can also consider using driveway tape for this purpose.

Consider Hiring A Professional

In the world of DIY, you may think that you can save yourself a buck by performing the sealcoating yourself. The truth of the matter is that sealcoating companies have expertise that you don’t. They know the right compounds to use, how to mix them up, and how to apply them appropriately. Professional sealcoating companies have the right tools and equipment to get the job done.

When you attempt to DIY, it’s a new learning experience. You may find yourself overfilling the crack or trying to fill in a crack that is too big for sealcoating to handle. This can result in unpleasant results over the long-term. Trying to remove sealcoating that was improperly applied can be a real challenge and cost you an arm and a leg. When you hire a professional company to do the job, it comes with a warranty. This way, if there ends up being a problem in the future, they can come back and fix it at no cost to you.