Your asphalt driveway has the potential to last up to 30 years! Of course, that’s assuming it has a good foundation, was properly installed, and is regularly maintained. What does driveway maintenance involve? An important aspect of it is sealcoating. But slapping a layer of sealant on an unprepared driveway is almost worse than no sealant at all. So what’s involved in preparing your driveway for sealcoating?
Check the Weather to Prepare for Sealcoating
Checking the weather can save you time and money when preparing your driveway for sealcoating. How? If the sealant on a driveway isn’t completely dry when it rains, it’ll probably wash off and need to be redone. And none of us want to put time and money into the same project twice. So it’s important to make sure that you have a few warm, dry days in a row.
Cleaning Your Driveway
Why does it matter if you clean your driveway or not? Isn’t the sealant going to make it look good regardless? Cleaning your driveway is more about the health of your asphalt than the look of it (though it might affect that too!). Any dirt and grime left on your driveway will be trapped under the sealant. And it’ll continue to damage and break down the asphalt underneath. And that could cost more in repairs down the road. Starting with clean asphalt will make the sealant last much longer.
So how do you get your driveway nice and clean? Start by using a broom or leaf blower to remove any leaves, dirt, and dust from its surface. If there are any weeds growing in the cracks of your driveway, it’s a good idea to uproot them. Then a pressure washer can be used to remove any moss, algae, grease, stains, or other substances clinging to the asphalt.
Before moving on to the next step, you’ll want to make sure that your driveway is completely dry.
Minor Asphalt Repair
So you’ve checked the weather and you’ve gotten your asphalt nice and clean. Is your driveway ready for sealcoating now? Not quite. If you have a few cracks in your driveway, you might be thinking that those will be filled by the sealant. But that’s not what sealcoating is designed to do.
Sealcoating acts as a shield for your driveway. It’s designed to protect the asphalt from harsh outside elements like car oils, UV rays, and salt. And it can even smooth out small imperfections. But asphalt crack filler is more flexible and has adhesive qualities that sealcoating doesn’t. That flexibility means it can fill the crack without re-cracking again later.
So how do you use asphalt crack filler to fill the cracks in your driveway? It’s wise to remember not to overfill the cracks since you don’t want to be able to see them through your final sealcoating. After patching up any cracks and holes, let the filler dry for 4-8 hours.
Is YOUR Driveway Ready?
Sealcoating your driveway will help it stay healthy and last longer. And the first step to a good sealcoating is to prepare your driveway. That means scheduling the work during a period of warm weather, cleaning your asphalt, and patching any cracks or holes. After the prep work is done, you can be sure that your driveway is ready for sealcoating!