Expert adviceWhen should an asphalt driveway surface be sealed?
WHEN SHOULD AN ASPHALT DRIVEWAY SURFACE BE SEALED?
Although your asphalt driveway had a fresh, black appearance and a beautiful exterior appeal, its annual maintenance should not be neglected.
Many homeowners may notice that their driveway doesn’t look as new as it used to, turning from a charcoal black color to gray in a few years.
There are many solutions, from expensive repaving to simple sealing, but which one to choose?
Consumers ask: “When should I seal my asphalt driveway?”
Explore this new article from our “Pave-Tex” blog to find out
- How often you should seal an asphalt driveway.
- What it costs to replace an asphalt driveway.
- When to use driveway resurfacing, and
- the latest solutions available on the market.
Sealing your asphalt driveway
Sealing consists of applying a liquid sealant to your existing asphalt pavement to seal the pores on the surface and to seal existing cracks.
The process protects the underlayment and foundation of the elements and delays the replacement of the driveway. The latest solutions incorporate sealing properties as well as the color and texture of bitumen.
To understand the advantage of sealing a paved driveway, asphalt has oils in it; these oils evaporate when exposed to the sun, and as the oils disappear, the asphalt crumbles, cracks appear, water in the form of ice expands and the cracks become potholes.
How often should I seal my driveway?
Ideally, a sealant should be applied every three to five years.
If you have recently installed a new layer of asphalt, wait six months to a year to ensure that the sealant will adhere to the asphalt.
Sealing a new lane too early can trap too much oil in the asphalt, making the lane too soft or flexible without the ability to cure properly.
The key to success is to find the balance in the natural drying time of the asphalt; not too early and not too late. Seal your asphalt driveway when the temperature is at least 10°C.
Apply the sealant only when you have two consecutive days without rain. Dry conditions ensure good adhesion to existing asphalt.
Cost to seal asphalt driveways
In 2022, the average cost of hiring a contractor to seal your asphalt driveway was about $6 per square foot.
Average driveways measuring 500 square feet cost about $3,000 to repair and seal for jobs done by professionals. Cost ranges may vary depending on contractor availability and region.
Resurfacing your asphalt driveway
Sometimes sealing is not the answer. Deep cracks and constant repairs may indicate that it is time to repave your driveway surface.
Driveway repaving involves replacing the top layer of asphalt with a new layer of asphalt.
Driveway resurfacing can extend the life of your driveway by 15 years.
How often to invest in driveway resurfacing
Knowing when to resurface your asphalt driveway depends on a few factors.
Resurface your driveway with asphalt if:
- The base layer is always solid.
- The asphalt is less than 20 years old.
- The cracks are smaller than three quarters of an inch wide.
- The cracks are less than two inches deep.
- Less than 30% of the asphalt is in need of repair.
Keep in mind that repairs are always temporary, the purpose of sealing is to extend the life of your asphalt driveway and delay the need to redo your driveway with the discomfort, noise and expense of heavy machinery and asphalt fumes. Over time and with poorly performing products, water will seep between the old and new material.
When this happens, cracks will form again.
If you correct and repair often and the foundation is still structurally sound, it’s time to resurface your driveway.
Cost of resurfacing asphalt driveways
The cost of resurfacing an asphalt driveway is a fraction of the cost of repaving.
Having the driveway resurfaced costs about $6 per square foot depending on the contractor and the area.
Patterns and colors cost more, about $8 to $12 per square foot.
Have your asphalt driveway repaved
Even if you have conscientiously maintained your driveway and made all the necessary repairs, it is inevitable that the materials will break down over time. It becomes impossible to patch the crumbling asphalt.
You may start to think that your constant repairs are not worth it. Installing a new driveway with a smooth, safe surface that you’ll enjoy every day, right out of the gate.
How often should a driveway be repaved?
Asphalt driveways that are 25 years old or older usually need repaving, so is it time to replace your driveway? Examine the surface. If more than 30% of your driveway appears to be in need of repair and there are large cracks (more than a quarter inch wide and two inches deep) splitting the asphalt, consider repaving.
If this is your case, prepare the wallet, because the cost is high and the discomfort of such a construction site does not go unnoticed, neither for you nor for your neighbors.
An unstable base layer is also a sign that you should start planning a new driveway.
Cost to replace asphalt driveways
Typically, asphalt driveways cost between $10 and $15 per square foot to install. An average size driveway can cost about $8,000. This may vary depending on your region or the availability of the contractor.
There are many options available in the marketplace; just visit Canadian Tire or a home improvement center to find a wide selection of products, and a wide range of prices.
Criteria for buying the right product
The first question to ask is, was this product or that product designed for the most extreme conditions?
In Canada and in the upper states in general, summers are getting hotter.
But without a doubt, the season that does the most damage to your asphalt is the winter season; heavy snow removal equipment, certain melting salts, shoveling, spiked tires, spiked shoes…all are enemies of a home’s exterior surfaces.
Pave-Tex is a textured acrylic coating with a unique elasticity that can last up to ten years without the need for touch-ups.
It should be noted that Pave-Tex is applied with a roller (the same kind of roller as for paint). In addition, the Pave-Tex line also offers a crack filler, a very elastic product, capable of sealing any small to medium size crack with a simple putty knife (3/4 inch).