Is Sealcoating Necessary for My Driveway?

As a homeowner, it’s understandable that you don’t want to spend any more on maintenance and repairs than you have to. There’s always something new coming up, and if you’re not careful, the list of expenditures can really spiral out of control. Knowing what needs attention now and what can wait until later is a key part of your strategy as a homeowner.

Your driveway is one of those things you’d rather not think about, much less spend money on. Once the pavement is poured and in place, it’s nice to think that you can use the driveway for decades without doing anything else — and for the most part, this is true. A well-formed asphalt or concrete installation can last decades with hardly any intervention at all.

There is, however, the tricky question of sealcoating. You may have heard different opinions about this process, and whether it’s actually necessary to preserve the integrity of your driveway. How often is sealcoating necessary, according to the people who recommend it? What happens if you skip the process and simply let nature take its course? Does sealcoating actually save you time and money as a homeowner, or is it just one of those useless services designed to take more money out of your homeowner’s budget?

Getting answers to these questions is important. You definitely don’t want to pay for something you don’t really need — being a homeowner comes with enough expenditures already. On the other hand, you don’t want to neglect something that’s going to end up causing problems with your driveway — and costing you money down the line.

What the experts say

Sealcoating is necessary to prevent water and chemicals from “seeping” into your pavement and pooling beneath it, which leads to structural problems over time. Another reason for sealcoating is to preserve the color and appearance of the pavement. When you live in State like New Jersey with distinct seasons and drastic temperature swings, sealcoating every two years is even more important. Beware, however, of any company who insists that you sealcoat every single year, or multiple times a year. Most reputable experts recommend sealcoating once every two or three years for adequate protection and preservation of your driveway.

What homeowners say

If you read the reviews of reputable driveway specialists, you’ll hear success stories about driveways that look and feel brand new, even after a decade or more has passed. In terms of getting the most out of your asphalt or concrete installation, sealcoating is the most important maintenance task you can undertake.

Where to turn for expert sealcoating

When looking for sealcoating services, the first thing you’ll want to do is find out whether the company who installed your driveway offers free (or reduced-cost) sealcoating as a part of your original contract. This isn’t always the case, but it’s a possibility worth ruling out. Otherwise, look for the most reputable and well-reviewed companies in your area, and compare rates from two or three of them. Also remember that communication, service and punctuality are important factors here. A rock-bottom price might look good on paper, but the reality of dealing with that company might end up being more trouble than it’s worth. Good luck!