Concrete and asphalt account for 90 percent of driveways across the United States. These materials, while low maintenance, crack and discolor over time. In fact, because they take a beating all year round, concrete and asphalt only have a service life of 7 to 12 years before you need to do expensive repairs.
If you want to keep your driveway looking new beyond its service life, you need to understand the importance of sealcoat—a petroleum product that acts as a barrier and protects surfaces from any damage.
Hiring a professional in sealcoating services may cost you time and money, but is it worth it? Sealcoating your concrete or asphalt driveway isn’t absolutely necessary, but it does provide countless benefits, such as an enhanced curb appeal, reduced cracking, and added protection against the harmful outdoor elements.
Over time, almost every asphalt or concrete driveway cracks, as the material starts to break down and separate. Cracks usually occur because asphalt and concrete are porous materials; when water from snow or rain seeps through, it creates pools of water underneath, which then lead to cracking. This happens especially when the water freezes and thaws repeatedly.
Left untreated, those seemingly small cracks can turn into larger ones, allowing the water to seep through to the base material and destroy your driveway even more. With sealing, you can reduce the likelihood of cracks. Most high-grade sealcoating brands effectively close the pores so that water can’t seep through.
Protects from Chemical Penetration
Apart from water, sealcoating also resists the penetration of oil, salt, diesel, fuel, gas, and other harmful chemicals.
Asphalt and concrete, at their core, are just a series of chemicals. This is why when these chemicals make contact with asphalt, your driveway may be damaged. Sealcoating acts as a barrier against oil or metal, and quickly absorbs the chemicals.
Slower Oxidation and Aging
Asphalt is a simple combination of rock, sand, and liquid asphalt (acts as glue). It has poor resistance to sunlight and the harmful UV rays, which makes it easy to deteriorate due to oxidation. Oxidation speeds up the aging of your driveway, so anything you can do to slow the oxidation process will extend your driveway’s service life.
Sealcoating services can protect your driveway and slow down the process of oxidation and aging, in particular.
Enhanced Aesthetic Value of the Property
A freshly sealed driveway can make your paved surface look almost brand new. Sealcoating, especially when using high grade materials, smoothens the asphalt and creates a non-porous surface, which then makes your driveway look cleaner than usual.
A proper seal coat applied correctly and at the right time by professionals will also not only enhance the overall appeal of the driveway, but will also keep it looking new for much longer. Experts advise applying sealcoating every three years to keep your driveway looking new.
Less General Maintenance and Repairs Required
Overall, because it reduces cracks and slows down the oxidation process, sealing your asphalt or concrete means you need to do less general maintenance works and even avoid expensive repairs. So even if you think paying for a coating job is just a waste of time and money, it’s not—in the end, it will save you tons of money on repairs.
You might think sealcoating your asphalt or concrete driveway is just another stupidly expensive project—but with the countless of benefits it provides, it seems sealcoating will actually even give you more than you bargained for in the long run.