While asphalt is a durable material, it’s not totally immune to the elements. Over time, especially if your asphalt driveway is exposed to particularly cold winters, asphalt can deteriorate, crack and start to cause problems.
Sealing the asphalt refers to applying a bonding sealant to the surface that helps repel water and prevent cracks. Most driveways do best when they are sealed every few years to keep the asphalt intact and healthy, which is important both for safety and the first impression that your house makes! If it’s been a while since your asphalt was sealed, you can prevent future damage by arranging for an improvement project. Here’s what you need to know about scheduling your sealing!
Watch the Color of Your Asphalt
If you aren’t sure if your asphalt needs to be sealed or not, take a close look at the surface. Look at the individual stone flecks held together by the asphalt substrate. Can you distinguish them easily? Can you see their colors? That means that your asphalt is getting a little worn. It’s important to be proactive at this stage and start planning to seal your driveway. Otherwise, the asphalt could start splitting apart and causing other problems.
Warm Days are Key
The sealant cannot properly bond and set if the temperature is too cold. If temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, then it’s probably too cold to seal your driveway properly. This means that it’s best to wait until winter is over and warmer days are more or less guaranteed. Plus, warmer weather gives you a chance to clean and prep your asphalt before the project.
Dry Weather is Important
Rain also affects the sealing process and can cause many problems. The sealant typically needs around 48 hours of dry weather to properly set. If the weather has been fickle lately or if you are in a season that sees a lot of rain, then it’s a good idea to wait for a while before scheduling the project. If you aren’t sure if it’s a good time to seal or not, give us a call and we can offer some advice!
If Your Asphalt is New, Wait Before Sealing
New asphalt driveways need time to “cure” and we’re not just talking about the time you have to wait before driving on them. Over a longer period, the asphalt will continue to exude oils and harden. It’s important that it fully hardens before it is sealed; otherwise, the seal won’t work and could cause additional issues. If your asphalt driveway was recently installed, we recommend waiting around six months before you start planning a sealing project.
Is it time for a new driveway project for your home? Start scheduling your 2018 projects now so you are prepared! Call us at Indiana Roof & Exterior Cleaning today!