Asphalt driveway leading to three car garage
It's easy to get excited about your asphalt driveway. The driveway looks so shiny and new. You'd like to keep it looking that way forever. Ensuring your asphalt driveway lasts long and keeps its good looks requires a maintenance schedule. One of the key parts of maintaining your asphalt driveway is to seal coat it. But not all homeowners understand the importance of seal coating and what can happen if you don't use it. 

What is asphalt seal coating?

Asphalt seal coating is a special layer applied overtop of your pavement. It goes on as a liquid and gets absorbed by asphalt like a sponge, helping protect your driveway from damage caused by water, snow, temperatures, and chemicals like road salt. 

Benefits of seal coating your driveway

Seal coating (driveway sealing) can extend the life of your pavement and help prevent damage. Here are some of the benefits of seal coating your driveway. 

1. Reduce water damage

Seal coating your driveway can help it repel water better. And water can be one of the most significant hazards to your asphalt. When water can seep down between the stones and get to the foundation of your driveway, it can cause significant damage. If your asphalt driveway foundation is compromised, you'll need to have your asphalt driveway reinstalled. 

2. Prevent chemical damage

Another major problem you could face with your asphalt driveway is chemical damage. That includes vehicle fluids like oil leaking, road salt, etc. These chemicals can lead to cracking along your driveway. While they may only appear as small cracks, to begin with, when left untreated, they can become bigger and bigger.

Eventually, your asphalt will start to crumble as the adhesive has been compromised. When you apply seal coating, you give your driveway an added layer of protection against these chemicals. 

3. Sunlight protection

We all enjoy warm summer days, but UV rays can cause damage to your asphalt driveway. The hot temperature makes your asphalt softer and more vulnerable to damage. It can lead to fading and cracking of your driveway. Like with chemical damage, applying a layer of seal coating gives your asphalt driveway extra protection against harmful UV rays. 

4. Avoid thaw/freeze cycle damage

Asphalt is excellent in the warmer months as it is a softer material, but when things get cold, asphalt becomes harder. Canadian winters can also cause your asphalt driveway to get brittle and crack easier. Moreover, the freeze and thaw cycles that winter brings can put further stress on your driveway.

That's because the snow will melt during the day when it is warmer, and some water can seep into cracks in your asphalt. Later in the evening and overnight, the water will start to freeze and expand as the temperature drops.

The freezing water puts pressure on the asphalt and makes the crack bigger. The cycle will continue as the weather warms during the day and cools off at night. It can make the cracks in your asphalt larger and larger. 

What happens if you don't use sealant for your asphalt?

When your asphalt driveway is fresh, you may not need to apply seal coating. However, there are some consequences to this decision. As your paving ages, you need to seal coat it to retain your blacktop's attractiveness and risk your driveway's integrity. 

Asphalt that has yet to be seal coated is more prone to water, chemicals, and weather damage. If any of these can seep down to your foundation level, it will compromise the durability and strength of your driveway. You'll see larger cracks that will eventually turn into potholes. 

Once your asphalt driveway and foundation are damaged, you'll need to call a professional to repair the damage before applying seal coating for added protection. Not using seal coating can lead to costly repairs or repaving bills sooner than you'd like. 

How often should you seal your asphalt driveway?

Experts recommend applying a seal coat to your asphalt driveway every one to two years for maximum protection. However, because your driveway may experience more wear and tear depending on where you live, the amount of traffic on the pavement, and the fluctuations in weather, you may need to have it done sooner. We recommend sealing one year after installation and every two years after that. 

When is the best time to seal your asphalt driveway?

Undoubtedly, the best time to seal coat your asphalt driveway in Canada is spring, summer, and fall. Ensuring your seal coat is applied before the winter gives your asphalt driveway extra protection against the damage that snow and cold weather can do. Any repair work your driveway needs to be done should be completed before the snow arrives. 

However, it's essential to remember that paving professionals get booked up during the warmer months. So, if you plan to have your asphalt driveway sealed, it's best to book early.

Why choose Black Tar?

Whether you're looking for asphalt installation or seal coating protection for your driveway, you can rely on the professionals at Black Tar. Our team has been highly rated in Ottawa for all asphalt services. We are committed to providing you with the best customer service and workmanship. 

When it's time to seal coat your asphalt driveway, contact Black Tar. Let us help you keep your pavement looking like new. 

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