Just like with many parts of your home, the best way to keep your freshly paved driveway looking and feeling like new is to take care of it. Between regular use and inclement weather, it’s likely that even a new driveway can show signs of wear and tear in no time at all. And as with many parts of your home, preventative steps are the best way to keep your driveway looking its best.
Periodic maintenance of a newly paved driveway can include a number of treatments, the most common of which is sealcoating.
What is Sealcoating?
Sealcoating a driveway involves treating the surface of the pavement with a special coating that will protect it from damage and cracking. Sealcoating will help preserve the original color of your driveway, protect against cracking, and overall keep it looking like new.
The most important function of sealcoating is that is prevents water from seeping into your driveway. As most asphalt is porous, it is common for water from rain and melting snow to slowly make its way into the asphalt and the substrate layers underneath. This is dangerous because water weakens the integrity of your driveway. This is especially true when temperature fluctuations cause water to freeze and melt continuously, breaking up the asphalt and forming cracks. By coating your driveway with a water-repelling layer, you can prevent this seepage from happening.
How Often Should You Sealcoat Your Driveway?
There’s no one answer to how often you should sealcoat your driveway. How often this preventative treatment should be done depends on how much traffic your driveway gets and what sort of weather your driveway is typically exposed to.
In general, most homeowners find that sealcoating their driveway every 3 to 4 years keeps it looking new and smooth. Oftentimes asphalt driveways will start to look dry after a few years, which is a good indicator that it’s time for another sealcoating treatment. It is imperative that you fix any cracks or damaged areas of your driveway before sealcoating it to ensure that the treatment has maximum effectiveness. It is also useful to plan strategically for when is the best time to sealcoat your driveway. If you undertake the job when the temperature is too low, the coating may not spread properly. In general, any dry day where the temperature is over 65 degrees is a good time to sealcoat.
Finding a Qualified Sealcoating Specialist
If your driveway is ready to be sealcoated, it is best to bring in a specialist to take care of the job. A qualified asphalt specialist will know both what kind of sealant is best for your driveway and climate, and also how to apply it expertly. Ask with friends and neighbors for recommendations on a good pavement specialist. You can also check out reviews online and shop around to get quotes from a number of pavement specialists. Once you find one you like, you’ll be able to come back to him or her every few years to have the job redone.