You've done the hard work and have a path of perfect asphalt laid out for a stunning driveway. A sealer sounds like a good idea, but don't be in a big hurry as it will take months to correctly seal your band of asphalt driveway. Patience and high-quality products will bring you the results you desire if you truly want to seal your driveway the right way. It pays off in peace of mind as your asphalt driveway takes the brunt of activity coming and going from your home.
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An asphalt driveway can last 20 to 30 years when properly installed, even with the constant friction of tires that can wear away the top layer of the asphalt driveway, causing it to look drab, cracked or cruddy. That protective layer keeps the integrity of the asphalt longer. Once erosion sets in, water creeps in. This can make the asphalt crumble and cause unsafe issues as well as affect your curb appeal.
Just-laid asphalt is more flexible than its older counterparts. Asphalt requires at least 90 days to fully cure and harden. If you plan to seal it, wait at least 90 more days, if not a year, to ensure your sealant doesn't crack or damage the asphalt underneath. If it goes on too early, the sealer locks in those lightweight hydrocarbon oils that give the asphalt its flexibility. This makes the asphalt surface easy to mark with tires and pointed objects such as bike kick stands or heavy sports equipment. Give it a minimum of six months to be on the safe side.
What to Know Before You Pour
You can prevent future damage to your investment with the proper seal put on at the proper time. The temperature should be above 50 degrees but not more than 90 degrees for good adhesion. If it's rainy season, make sure you have at least a two-day window with no rain after you put the sealant down. A high-quality coal tar-based sealer will keep water and resist damage from wind and dust as the years roll by. Consider the climate, the amount of traffic the asphalt will need to handle and its location before you plop down any money for a sealer. Now that you've sealed it, make the commitment and reapply the sealant every three to five years.
Arm yourself with good information before laying down your sealer and take your time when applying. Once sealed, you won't have to worry about oil leaks, spills or tire marks making your asphalt swath an unsightly mess.