If your asphalt driveway is fading and cracking, it's time to consider applying a sealcoat before serious damage is done. Fading is a sign of oxidation of the asphalt. That means your driveway is wearing away due to UV rays and weather exposure. The more deteriorated it gets, the easier it is for cracks to form under the weight of your car or when the temperature shifts. A sealcoat restores the appearance of your driveway and also provides protection from the elements. Here are a few things to know.
Sealcoating Is Similar To Painting
A sealcoat is a top layer of coal tar, asphalt, or oil-based emulsion that is applied to your driveway. It can be applied in a thick layer with a brush or squeegee, or it can be sprayed on in a thin layer. The end result is a dark, smooth surface that covers crack repairs, stains, and fading. Sealcoating doesn't repair damage to your driveway. It is able to fill in tiny spider cracks, but if your driveway has big cracks, holes, or crumbled areas, these have to be repaired before the sealcoating is applied. If you apply a sealcoat on a regular basis, you may be able to prevent further damage to your driveway. You have to consider your climate as well as the amount of traffic on your driveway when determining how often to sealcoat it. Sealcoating your driveway is similar to painting it in that it restores the color, so your driveway looks fresh.
Preparing For The Sealcoat
Applying the sealcoat itself is a quick and easy job since it is a lot like spray painting or brushing your driveway. However, the prep work is more labor intensive. The contractor has to clean your old driveway and then repair the damaged areas. A pressure washer does a good job of getting dirt and weeds out of the cracks, but it may be necessary to use chemical cleaners to get oil and other automotive stains eliminated as much as possible.
Potholes and crumbled areas can be patched with an asphalt mix. Gaps made by cracks are closed with crack filler. If you have a lot of cracks in your driveway, it could take quite a while to finish these repairs. When all the repairs are finished, your driveway may temporarily look worse because of all the mismatched colors, but once the sealcoat is applied, the color will be uniform, and your driveway will look like new.
After The Sealcoat Is Applied
Once your driveway is cleaned, repaired, and dry, it is ready for the sealcoat to be applied. If your contractor sprays the coating on, the works goes very quickly, but you'll probably need to allow a full day for the process to unfold and for the sealcoat to dry. The weather conditions play a role in how quickly the coating dries. If you pick a dry, sunny day to have the work done, your driveway will be ready quicker than if it is a humid day.
You can walk on the sealcoat when it is no longer wet. Your contractor will let you know how soon you can drive on the new coating. It may actually take several days for it to cure completely. During that time, you can drive and park on the surface even though faint tire tracks may develop. These faint impressions will gradually disappear as the sealcoat cures over the coming days and weeks.
To learn more, contact a company like LSC Construction Services, Inc.