A lot of my customers get confused between paving a driveway and seal coating it.
Paving is obviously the part that all asphalt paving companies in New Jersey can perform and is the first part of the job; the actual paving of your driveway.
With the right treatment and aftercare, it is estimated that your newly lain asphalt driveway may have twenty to thirty years of life ahead of it.
One of the best ways to ensure that your driveway does live a long and fulsome life is to seal coat it.
This is where you may turn to the services of a specialized asphalt sealer or at least a driveway paving contractor in New Jersey who does a lot of seal coating.
WHAT MIGHT DAMAGE MY NEW DRIVEWAY?
There are a number of things which might damage your freshly lain asphalt driveway and cause it to crack. These include;
MOVEMENT OF EARTH
HEAVY VEHICLE USAGE
It is inevitable that, over time, any asphalt driveway – especially one that has not been seal coated will deteriorate.
WHAT IS ASPHALT?
Asphalt is a mixture of sand, gravel, rocks and a binder, keeping all the elements together. The binder is made from the by-products of crude oil.
Eventually, the asphalt will deteriorate and moisture will get into it, making the binder not as effective.
When that happens, it damages the surface of the driveway.
In order to protect your asphalt from water and ice, you need to act swiftly.
WHAT ELSE CAN DAMAGE THE ASPHALT?
Principally, it is weather conditions which can cause the asphalt surface to break down. These are mainly;
RAIN, ICE AND SNOW – Water will drip into the pores of the asphalt and cause it damage. It is worse when it freezes, because it will also expand into the layer and cause it to crack. Before you know it, you have a pothole that is expanding in size.
SUN – It seems you cannot win with the weather and your asphalt driveway! Unfortunately, it is not only the rain, snow and ice which are hazardous for asphalt, it is also the sun.
This is because of the sun’s UV rays. The sun’s UV rays create oxidization and this is also bad for asphalt.
When asphalt oxidizes, the binder will harden more. When the binder in the asphalt hardens, it is prone to cracking.
Even a small crack can quite quickly become a larger one and rain and ice will make things even worse.
OIL AND GAS SPILLS – It is not just the weather which creates problems for asphalt driveways. It is also spillages of oil and gas.
All things considered, this can be quite likely to happen if you have a car parked there permanently. It is all the more likely on a gas station forecourt or maybe even a parking lot.
Oil spills are detrimental to asphalt and should be prevented where possible and swiftly cleaned up, when they do occur.
SEAL COATING CAN HELP PREVENT THE DAMAGE
For all the above hazards, be it sun, rain, hail, snow, ice, oil spills or a heavy parked vehicle, seal coating can help.
This is a protective layer between your driveway and the elements.
It will weatherproof your driveway, meaning it can withstand the effects of snow, ice and rain for longer. It helps to prevent the damage caused by the sun’s rays and holds off the oxidization process.
All this, and it actually restores the look of your asphalt driveway, from slightly graying in color, to a nice, shiny black coating.
Seal coating is the best way to keep your driveway in tip top condition for longer and should be done every two to four years, for best results.