Adding a driveway seal coat will enhance the look of your asphalt by reducing the risk of gas and oil spots, protecting the pavement, and preventing surface raveling. Following are some of the most common questions asked homeowners considering a driveway seal coat.
1. When should I seal my driveway?
You should apply the seal coat to new asphalt within the first two years of its construction. Experts recommend waiting a least 90 days, but preferably six months to a year, in order to give the asphalt time to fully cure. When a seal coat is added too early, the oils in the asphalt rise up to the surface and the sealer does not stick. Wait longer if your driveway surface still seems soft as sealer will only increase the problem.
2. How do I prepare my driveway for the seal coat?
Do not fertilize your lawn or plants for one week before your contractor is due to arrive as fertilizer causes discoloring of the sealer. As the pavement must be dry, do not hose or wash cars on the driveway for 24 hours. Clear the driveway from vehicles, grills, toys, and other items and ensure pets are indoors away from the work area.
3. How does weather affect sealing?
If it has rained the evening before or rain is forecast for the day of the sealing process, your contractor may need to reschedule to another day to ensure the seal coating will be able to cure properly.
4. When will I be able to use the driveway after seal coating?
Drying time for every job is different, but typically you will need to wait six to eight hours before walking on the driveway and 24 hours before using vehicles.
5. What types of sealer are available?
Oil based sealer is able to penetrate harder asphalt and helps the pavement to soften. After using an oil based sealer, you should not switch to one of the other types for a very long time.
Refined coal tar emulsion is a lighter colored sealant that is naturally resistant to oil and gasoline spills.
Asphalt emulsion is less resistant to oil and gasoline spills than coal tar and is not as durable making it less suitable for colder climates and homes near dirt roads.
6. Do cracks mean I need a driveway seal coat?
Cracks can only be fixing by routine maintenance and repair.