Your asphalt driveway can last for decades while remaining in good repair if you keep up with some preventative maintenance. One of the most important of these maintenance tasks is the application of a sealcoat. The following are five reasons why you need to sealcoat your driveway today.
1. UV Damage
Sun exposure can cause the most damage to your asphalt driveway. Heat can lead to cracking, while the UV rays can break down the actual materials inside the asphalt. A sealcoat fills in small cracks that can form due to heat, preventing them from becoming obvious or spreading. Further, the sealcoat helps block many of the harmful UV rays, which will prevent your asphalt from crumbling or breaking down.
Moisture is likely the second biggest issue on an asphalt driveway, especially in cold weather. Water seeps into small cracks and voids in the asphalt surface. When temperatures drop, the water freezes and expands. This process breaks apart the asphalt and is how many large cracks and potholes form. Sealcoating fills in the small voids, even those that are so small that you can't easily see them, so that water never infiltrates the paving.
3. Automotive Fluids
Oil, gasoline, and other automotive fluids can leak onto your driveway. Not only will these fluids cause stains, but some can also actually damage the asphalt or cause the surface to soften -- which can lead to rut formation among other problems. Applying a sealcoat ensures these fluids can't penetrate into the asphalt. Even more, the sealcoat can prevent stains from occurring since the fluids can't permanently soak in.
More than oil can stain an asphalt driveway. Algae and mildew stains are particularly common, especially on lighter colored asphalt. These stains are more likely to occur on a driveway that is in a shaded spot, or if there are piles of leaves or other materials on the drive that trap moisture against the paving. A good power washing will usually remove the stains, and then the application of a sealcoat will prevent the stains from occurring again.
5. Ice Removal
Ice removal can be hard on asphalt. If you use a shovel, skip those with a metal edge because these can etch away at the asphalt surface Instead, use a plastic edged shovel for all snow removal. Further, avoid using salt to melt ice since this can damage paving. Applying fresh sealcoat every two to three years will help protect your drive from the rigors of ice and snow removal by providing a protective barrier to both shovels and ice removal chemicals.
To learn more information about sealcoating your driveway, reach out to a company such as AAA Asphalt Paving.