How to tell if your driveway needs to be sealed?
1. Check for Cracks and Fissures
Checking for cracks and fissures in your driveway is an important part of maintaining and preserving the life of your driveway. Here are the steps you should take:
Using a chisel and hammer, check the surface of your driveway for any broken asphalt pieces that may be obstructing cracks.
Use a wire brush to remove all dirt and debris from any cracks or fissures.
- Use a compressed air gun or dry/wet shop vac to make sure all loose debris and small pieces of asphalt are removed.
- Check for cracks that are half an inch deep or smaller. If the crack is deeper than two inches, pour crushed, small gravel up to the crack until it is 2″ deep.
- With a steel tamper, compact the gravel down into the crack.
- Take the cold asphalt compound and fill the crack.
- Compact the compound with a tamper or a 4×4 wooden post.
- Tamp the compound down and if needed, add more, and repeat the process.
- Allow the blacktop fill to dry for 24 to 48 hours, and then wait a few weeks for it to fully cure before applying any sealer.
2. Check for Signs of Damage, Oxidation, and Wear
Signs that your driveway needs to be sealed include gray spots and patches, weeds, fine cracks on the surface, water seeping into the blacktop, oxidation, and a lack of curb appeal. If you don’t take care of your driveway, you will also start to notice potholes and alligator cracks. Additionally, if you don’t seal your driveway, you can experience an increase in oil damage from cars with oil leaks. To ensure the most value and longest lifespan for your driveway, it is important to take the time to properly prepare the job prior to sealcoating.
3. Consult a Professional Seal Coating Service
How can you tell if your driveway needs to be sealed?
Inspect the surface of your driveway for any signs of cracking, pitting, or wear. If you find any of these, it may be time to consider sealcoating your driveway.
Examine the edges of your driveway for any chipping or lifting of the asphalt. If you notice any, this is a sign that your driveway needs sealcoating.
Look for any areas of standing water on your driveway. If water isn’t draining properly, it is an indication that the asphalt is starting to break down and needs to be sealed.
Check for any signs of oxidation, such as a light gray or white color. This color change is caused by the sun’s UV rays and can be remedied with a sealcoat.
Listen for any cracking noise when you walk on the driveway. If it is present, it is a sign that the asphalt is dried out and needs to be resealed.
Reach out to a professional sealcoating contractor to help you determine if it’s time to sealcoat your driveway. A reputable sealcoating company will provide you with a free estimate for your project.
4. Assess the Texture and Uniformity of Your Driveway
Assessing the texture and uniformity of your driveway is an important part of maintaining it. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do this properly:
- Step 1: Perform a Visual Inspection – Look for any visible cracks, chips, or breaks in the surface of the driveway. If you find any, take note of their size and location.
- Step 2: Measure the Depth of the Imperfections – You can measure the depth of the imperfections using a ruler or measuring tape. This will give you a better idea of how serious the damage is. The general rule of thumb is that if the crack or break is deeper than 1/4 inch, it will need to be repaired.
- Step 3: Run Your Hand Over the Surface – Run your hand over the entire surface of the driveway to get a feel for the texture. If the asphalt surface feels rough or bumpy, it may be a sign of erosion or weathering.
- Step 4: Check for Unevenness – Look for any areas that appear uneven. This could be a sign of improper installation or a settling issue.
- Step 5: Take a Picture of the Driveway – Take a picture of the entire driveway with your smartphone so you can compare the condition of your driveway over time.
By following these steps, you can assess the texture and uniformity of your driveway, helping you identify any potential issues that need to be addressed.
5. Consider Your Budget
When it comes to weighing the cost of sealing your driveway against the need for maintenance, it can be difficult to decide which is the best option. On one hand, sealcoating your driveway can help protect it from the elements and extend its lifespan. However, the cost of sealcoating can be quite expensive, depending on a variety of factors such as the size of the project, distance to the contractor, and the number of coats required. On the other hand, if you don’t sealcoat your driveway, you may need to do more maintenance over time to repair any damage caused by the elements. This could involve filling in cracks, patching potholes, and other repairs that could end up costing more in the long run. When making your decision, it is important to find a contractor who is willing to provide an itemized and detailed quote, so you know exactly where your money is going. Additionally, research different materials and their respective costs, maintenance requirements, and benefits to find the best option for you. With the proper information and preparation, you can make a decision that works for your budget and needs.
6. Know the Benefits of Having Your Driveway Sealed
Having your driveway sealed offers many benefits, such as protecting it from wear and tear, slowing oxidation, enhancing the pavement’s appearance, preventing damage from UV rays and other chemicals, and extending the life of the driveway. Sealcoating adds an extra layer of protection to your asphalt surface, helping to maintain your driveway’s curb appeal and even adding value to your home. It also reduces the cost of repair and replacement over time. Additionally, sealcoating your driveway keeps it looking great by providing an attractive entranceway to your home and slowing fading due to sun exposure. Lastly, sealcoating your driveway helps to melt ice and snow faster, thus saving you from the hassle of shoveling.
7. Check Local Regulations and Requirements
Checking if a driveway needs to be sealed requires following local regulations and requirements. The steps for doing so include:
- Check with your local government to find out what the regulations and requirements are for sealcoating driveways.
- Do your research and make sure that the contractor you choose is fully licensed and insured.
- If your research checks out, contact the contractor and ask them to inspect your driveway.
- Once they have inspected your driveway, they will be able to tell you whether or not it needs to be sealed.
- If they recommend sealcoating, they should be able to provide you with an estimate of the cost and timeline for the project.
Following these steps will ensure that your driveway is properly sealed, which will help protect it from wear and tear and ensure that it lasts longer.
8. Consider the Different Sealant Options Available
When it comes to sealant options for a driveway, there are a few different types available. Sealmaster® sealer products are a popular choice due to their innovative pavement sealer formulations and state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies. Their rigorous quality control program and precise manufacturing process ensures a high-quality, durable, and long-lasting sealer. Sealer products from Sealmaster® also provide protection from weather, traffic, oil spots, and UV damage.
Another sealer option is acrylics or bituminous based products, which are mixed with silica sand, water, various proprietary fillers, and polymer additives to form a thick liquid. This sealer is applied using high-powered machines that spray or brush it on the surface. This type of sealer provides protection from weather, traffic, and UV damage, and can last up to four years.
Finally, there is also the option of using a commercial grade sealer. This type of sealer is designed for more frequent use and is able to withstand more wear and tear, as well as providing protection from weather, traffic, oil spots, and UV damage. It is important to note that when using a commercial grade sealer, it is essential to use the best techniques to ensure an even and professional-looking finish.
9. Invest in Quality Equipment and Paints
Investing in quality sealcoating equipment and sealants can help you tell if your driveway needs to be sealed, as it will enable you to properly assess the condition of the surface and identify any potential problems, such as cracks and other damage. The equipment and paints used by professionals are of a higher quality than those used by DIY consumers, and they are designed to better withstand the elements and last longer. Having access to these higher-quality materials also ensures that any sealant applied is of a higher standard and is more likely to be effective in protecting and preserving your driveway. As a result, investing in quality equipment and paints can help you more quickly and accurately determine if your driveway needs to be sealed, saving you time and money in the long run.
10. Have a Project Planning Conversation with a Seal Coating Specialist
Having a project planning conversation with a seal coating specialist to determine if your driveway needs to be sealed can be a straightforward process. First, you should research and find a dependable, high-quality sealcoating contractor. Ask the contractor questions about their experience, qualifications, and expertise. They should also provide you with a free estimate for the job. Make sure that the contractor is transparent with their bid and willing to provide you with detailed and itemized information about the project.
Next, ask the contractor about other jobs they have done. This is especially important for commercial-grade sealcoating contractors as they can connect you with other businesses that have utilized their services. Additionally, pay close attention to any business that the contractor claims as a repeat customer. Not only did the customer leave the first job satisfied but they returned to the contractor again for additional work.
Finally, ask the contractor what type of sealer they use, how long they have been using it, and why they chose the specific sealer. A contractor should use a sealer that can withstand weather, traffic, oil spots, and UV damage. Once you have discussed the project with the contractor and you have determined that your driveway needs to be sealed, you can then move forward with the sealcoating project.
What is seal coating?
Seal coating is the application of a protective layer to asphalt surfaces to prevent damage from water, chemicals, and other elements. It is a thin mixture of liquid and small particles, such as sand, minerals, and asphalt, and is applied using high-powered machines. Seal coating provides a layer of protection that blocks out harmful elements and prevents the deterioration of asphalt surfaces. It is also cost-effective, as it can save thousands of dollars that would otherwise be spent on new construction. Seal coating also enhances the aesthetic appearance of driveways and parking lots, and provides a slip resistant surface. Ultimately, seal coating is a crucial step in preserving the life of asphalt pavements and keeping them looking new.
What are the benefits of professional installation of a seal coating job?
The benefits of professional installation of a seal coating job are numerous. Professional sealcoating services use high-quality materials, so you can be sure your commercial property is getting the best protection from the elements. Professionals also use the best techniques to ensure that the coating is able to withstand foot traffic, weather, and other elements better. Hiring a professional removes the hassle and guesswork, and you can be sure that you are getting the highest quality work and quickest turnaround time. Professionals also have the correct specialized tools—such as pressurized spray equipment—for a quick and effective seal coat application, and they have the knowledge of product manufacturer’s individual instructions on applying the sealer for a more even, professional finish. Additionally, professional sealcoating services provide valuable customer support and warranties for the sealcoating job.
What type of sealer is used in a seal coating job?
A seal coating job typically uses a coal tar emulsion sealer fortified with an epoxy fortifier. This industrial-grade sealer is designed to protect asphalt surfaces by allowing the pavement to function as intended while providing maximum rejuvenation and protection. Professionals typically use high-quality sealers that exceed all composition and performance requirements of ASTM Specification D5727 (formerly Federal Specification RP-355). This ensures that the sealer used is able to provide long-lasting protection to asphalt surfaces and can stand up to various weather conditions, traffic, oil spots and UV damage.
How long does a seal coating job typically last?
A professionally applied seal coating can typically last for up to 3 years, depending on the original asphalt condition, with regular maintenance such as crack filling and sealcoating every two to three years. It is recommended that asphalt driveways should be seal coated six months to a year after installation and should not be sealed any earlier than six months. Overusing sealer can cause peeling, flaking or cracking, so sealcoating should be replaced every two years.
What are the costs associated with a seal coating job?
The costs associated with a seal coating job depend on a few different factors, including the size of the project, the region, weather conditions, and the type of property that needs to be seal coated. For homeowners and property managers, sealcoating can save them 10X more money than doing asphalt repairs and re-pavement. For sealcoating contractors, their profits are entirely up to them. Asphalt seal coaters can make $125 per hour on average.
To get an accurate estimate of the costs associated with a seal coating job, you can refer to the table above. The estimated costs per square foot differ depending on the type of area you’re sealcoating. For instance, a residential driveway might cost between $96 to $160 per square foot, while a commercial parking lot might cost between $36.9 to $61.5 per square foot.
In terms of the materials and equipment you will need for sealcoating, these include a sprayer, squeegee, asphalt sealer, crack filler, and a broom. The costs of these materials and equipment vary from one seal coater to another but on average, you should expect to spend around $500 for the necessary supplies and equipment.
How do you know if your asphalt driveway needs seal coating?
How do you know if your asphalt driveway needs seal coating?
Step 1: Look out for gray spots and patches on your asphalt, weeds, and fine cracks on the surface. These are the common signs that your asphalt needs a new sealcoat.
Step 2: Check for water seeping into the blacktop. If you notice water pooling in certain areas, it’s a sign that your asphalt is not protected and needs sealing.
Step 3: Inspect the condition of your asphalt. If you see signs of wear and tear, such as cracking or potholes, it may be time to sealcoat your driveway.
Step 4: Consider the amount of traffic and exposure your driveway gets. If your driveway is constantly exposed to elements like UV rays, snow and other chemicals, it may need to be sealed more frequently.
Step 5: Before applying seal coat, repair any cracks or depressions in your asphalt. Use a crack filler to prepare your pavement before applying the sealant.
You recently bought a new property, and you’re wondering if it’s time to reseal your asphalt driveway. After carefully inspecting your asphalt, you notice gray spots, patches, weeds, and fine cracks on the surface. You also notice water seeping into the blacktop. These are all signs that your driveway needs a new sealcoat. Additionally, you’ve noticed that your driveway is constantly exposed to the elements like UV rays, snow, and other chemicals. It may be time to sealcoat your driveway every two to three years. Before applying the sealcoat, it’s important to repair any cracks or depressions with a crack filler. After this, you can go ahead and apply the sealcoat to protect your asphalt and extend the life of your driveway.
What types of asphalt repairs are necessary before applying seal coating?
What types of asphalt repairs are necessary before applying seal coating?
- Blowing or sweeping away debris such as fallen leaves, loose dirt, and trash.
- Power washing to remove dirt and grime.
- Filling cracks and depressions.
- Patching with new asphalt.
- Using specialized crack repair products to create a more uniform surface.
- Removing weeds and other vegetation.
- Scraping and removing old, damaged asphalt.
What do you need to consider when selecting a seal coating contractor?
When selecting a seal coating contractor, there are several important factors to consider. First, look for a contractor with experience. Ask them how long they have been in business and for a portfolio of completed projects and a list of references. Experience and a proven track record of satisfied customers should be a priority.
Second, inquire about the types of sealers and products the contractor uses. Ask them to explain the pros and cons of the different types of sealers and why they choose to use a certain sealer. A reputable contractor should have literature about the sealer they use and should be able to provide evidence of successful projects that have used that particular sealer.
Third, look for a contractor that has a strong relationship with their suppliers. A contractor that stands by the sealer they use and is willing to provide evidence of the sealer’s success is a good indication that they are reliable and knowledgeable.
Finally, take into account the cost of the seal coating project. Hiring a professional can be more expensive, but has the benefits of higher quality and a quicker turnaround time. A DIY project may be more cost effective, but is likely to have more trial and error involved.
At Freedom Asphalt, we have decades of experience and thousands of satisfied repeat customers. We proudly use quality sealer products and have a rigorous quality control program and precise manufacturing process to ensure a high quality, durable and long lasting sealer to protect your parking lot. Contact us today to learn more about our sealcoating services.
What are the steps involved in a professional seal coating project?
The steps involved in a professional sealcoating project include the following:
First and foremost, you need to pick a dependable, high-quality sealcoating contractor and ask them the important questions related to the project.
Next, they will use only high-quality materials and the best sealcoating techniques to ensure that the coating can withstand foot traffic, weather, and other elements better than commercial grade products alone.
After that, the professional will inspect the pavement to determine the condition and any necessary repairs that must be made before the sealcoating can begin.
Then, the professional will clean the pavement to remove all dirt, debris, and oils that can affect the sealcoating’s adhesion.
Once the pavement is cleaned, the sealcoating material will be applied using either a machine like an asphalt sprayer or manually, depending on the needs of the project.
Finally, the sealcoating will be cured, allowing it to dry and adhere properly to the pavement.
By following these steps, Freedom Asphalt will ensure that your commercial space is sealed up tight and gets the most extended possible life out of the sealcoating project. Call them today at 717-502-2222 for a free quote on your parking lot sealcoating project!
What are the risks associated with DIY seal coating jobs?
The risks associated with DIY seal coating jobs include the potential to buy poor-quality tools and supplies, ruining clothes or having skin irritation, and the possibility of making mistakes during the sealing preparation and needing to redo the project. Additionally, there could be health risks involved with seal coating, such as exposure to cancer-causing PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) if coal-tar pitch seal coating is used. DIYers may also have to deal with trial and error, as there is no guarantee that the project will be successful. Lastly, the cost savings of DIY seal coating may not be worth the hassle, as hiring a professional may be the best option for those who need assurance of quality work and quick turnaround time.