If you have recently had an asphalt driveway installed, you may or may not have had it seal coated. The good folk at Parking Lot Pros say that asphalt paving will last much longer if coated with a specially designed seal coat. But why is that?
Why are Asphalt Driveways Seal Coated?
There are many reasons to get your driveway seal coated, and it is definitely something to consider if you have not already had it done. The seal on the surface of the asphalt is designed to stop water penetrating the driveway, thus prolonging its life. In addition, a seal coat on top of an asphalt driveway will make it look better because it prevents fading and stops weeds from appearing through the gaps.
Although seal coating might seem like an added expense, it is worth remembering that the cost of seal coating will be significantly lower than a driveway replacement.
Can You Apply Seal Coat Yourself?
Although many people prefer to get the experts to apply a seal coat, you can do this yourself, provided you prepare first and avoid a few common mistakes.
It is recommended that two coats of asphalt sealer be applied, and it usually takes around eight hours for one coat to dry, so be prepared for this job to take a full day. You will also need to keep an eye on the weather and avoid starting the job if there is a chance of rain.
If you have decided to apply seal coat yourself after the initial installation to save some money, note that the best time for this to be done is within six months of the installation. You should then reapply it every two to three years.
Before you begin applying the seal coat, you will need to prepare the surface by sweeping it and getting rid of any trash, dirt, and debris. If there are any stains on the driveway, these should be thoroughly cleaned; you will not want to seal these stains there forever.
If there are any cracks in the asphalt, make sure to fill these in before applying the seal coat. Most home improvement stores will sell patching compounds designed for asphalt. Be sure to allow the compound to dry completely before you start applying seal coat.
Once you have cleaned the surface of the driveway, wash it down with a pressure washer and allow it to dry. When the surface is ready, you can prepare the seal coat by following the manufacturer’s guidelines on how to apply. Seal coat is typically applied with a brush or squeegee. Make sure to apply it in thin layers that overlap.
Once you have applied the first coat to the driveway, you will need to let it dry for the recommended time. It is important that there is no traffic on the driveway while it is drying. You should therefore block off the entrance to both vehicles and people. Once dry, you can apply the second coat.
Mistakes to Avoid
When it comes to seal coating your driveway, there are a few mistakes that people often make. One such mistake is assuming that the seal coat is going to fill in any cracks in the asphalt. You must fill in these cracks with a patching compound before applying the sealer. Likewise, don’t assume you can apply seal coat over a driveway that has not been cleaned. This is a big mistake because the seal coat will not stick unless you prepare the driveway first.
If you want to apply seal coat yourself, you can – provided you prep the surface in advance and use the right materials.