What Is The Importance Of Using Asphalt Sealer?
Applying sealer is an important task in maintaining an asphalt driveway. Driveways made of asphalt are essentially easy to keep up and last longer than those made of other materials. Once you have it set up and sealed within a year, you would only need to do some minimal maintenance work every two to three years, which ultimately spells a lot of savings in money, time and effort.
That being said, sealing an asphalt driveway must be done within a year after it was set up. After that, there’s no need to repeat the process every year. You’d only need to re-apply asphalt sealer once the old sealant has already worn off, which would take a few years. In between these years, you may do some repairs in patching up holes and filling cracks. That is how convenient maintaining an asphalt driveway is.
But why is sealer application that significant in keeping your asphalt driveway useable? Sealants primarily reduce and even prevent damage which can be caused by elements of weather such as snow, sunlight and rain. If an asphalt driveway is left unsealed after it was successfully installed, it will be useable for days. However, moisture will be absorbed by the asphalt without an asphalt sealer. Changes in temperature will affect the absorbed water in the asphalt and will cause it to heat up or freeze, which in turn will result in cracks and eventually bigger holes. You may need to reinstall the asphalt in these cases.
When the earth below the asphalt pavement shifts for a number of reasons including, as mentioned earlier, increased amounts of moisture. Asphalt is supposed to oppose the penetration of moisture because of its glue component which binds the aggregate material, but because of its absorbent surface, water damage resulting in cracks and holes becomes possible.
Applying asphalt sealer in driveways located in temperate weather is also important because cold moisture trapped below the asphalt will eventually freeze with drops in temperature. As the frozen water expands, the asphalt will strain, causing it to have disfigurements such as dents and cracks. In these cases, sealants serve as an additional waterproof layer.
In areas with clay soil, like in the West Coast, applying sealant in asphalt is also necessary. Soil with large amounts of clay is inefficient in draining water, and instead keeps levels of moisture in the layer between the asphalt and soil, damaging the asphalt’s integrity.
Asphalt sealer also prevents the driveway from being affected by oil spills and too much sunlight. Your cars can sputter oil and other fluids all over the driveway, resulting in stains, while too much sunlight can dull the dark color of the asphalt; not to mention that extreme heat may cause the asphalt to go soft and in the long run, brittle. With a film of sealer, your driveway is protected from these oil spills and heat. Lastly, if your driveway accommodates a lot of cars, sealers shield it from the wear and tear of too much tire friction. Applying asphalt sealer offers a degree of protection to the asphalt’s uppermost coating.