This one is actually quite a controversial topic as the opinion regarding the importance of sealing an asphalt driveway is divided. The truth is that sealing is not a necessary step, but it isn’t one that doesn’t have any advantages either. On that note, let us now discuss the advantages which the sealing process does indeed have, along with a few other common questions.
Sealing Protects Against Weathering and Fluid Damage
If you take a look at this comparison between concrete and asphalt on Alpine Asphalt, you will see that a comparatively shorter lifespan is one of the very few disadvantages that asphalt has in comparison to concrete. This is largely due to the fact that asphalt is susceptible to weathering effects and mostly liquid damage. Rainwater, snow, ice, fuel, etc. can get in through the cracks and make your pavement brittle and eventually unusable over the course of a few years. If you seal the asphalt, it acts as protection against this kind of damage from the inside, although you will need to repeat the process every few years to keep it that way.
Can Sealing Itself Cause the Asphalt to Crack?
Sealing can indeed crack the very pavement it’s supposed to protect if you are doing it far too often. What happens is that when someone seals their asphalt driveway every year or so, an excess buildup is inevitable, which leads to the cracks underneath. This is why the general recommendation is that you should only seal your driveway once every four to five years.
Is Sealing the Same as Crack Filling?
No, sealing is an optional step that needs to be done every four or five years to extend the longevity of your asphalt driveway, but crack filling is a necessary step that needs to be taken care of, as soon as possible. Sealcoating prevents the cracks from appearing, but once they do appear, filling those cracks is necessary or the fluids (water, fuel, oil, etc.) will seep in and deteriorate your asphalt driveway pretty fast.
Sealing Reduces Repair Costs
As mentioned earlier, sealcoating works against cracks and therefore, it invariably reduces your expenses for the crack filling work which needs to be done. Of course, it won’t be able to prevent all cracks from ever appearing, but the number will definitely be reduced significantly. In the long run, it all adds up and you will end up saving a good deal of money on the repair work for your driveway. Also, a timely sealed driveway will last longer, therefore, maximizing your investments in the current driveway.
Although everyone in the industry doesn’t agree with the importance of the sealing process, now you know what the actual advantages of sealcoating asphalt are. However, what all experts do agree upon is the fact that the actual laying process of the asphalt is the most important step of paving with asphalt because it determines both the durability and the quality of the driveway once the job is done.