By now, you should already know that applying sealing to your asphalt driveway is not only a recommended step to maintaining it, but a requirement altogether. Sealing your driveway will help you avoid the trouble of having to re-lay asphalt to your entire pavement because of too many cracks, holes and other damage. While it seems like a good idea to protect your driveway as soon as possible, you should give a new asphalt driveway 6 months before applying blacktop sealer to it for the first time. If you seal your driveway correctly, the sealant should last for two to three years before you’d need to repeat the process.
When applying seal coat to your pavement, even for the first time, you should make sure that the surface of your driveway is clean, meaning free of dirt and oils, and also free of cracks and holes. To clean the surface of the driveway, you may use water and even a pressurized cleaner for all loose dirt to be taken away even from the smallest holes and cracks, as long as the pressure does not wear off the asphalt surface. Once the driveway surface is clean and dry, you may then start to repair the holes and cracks before applying the seal coat.
Filling the cracks in the surface of your asphalt pavement is a very important step in prolonging its life. Crack fillers usually come in two kinds: the liquid pour and the hot pour filler. A hot pour filler will require you to use a melting kettle which will, as its name implies, melt the filler. Once the filler is melted, you can use an applicator to pour the hot rubberized filler into the crack. Meanwhile, a liquid or cold pour filler is something you can use right from its container.
The proper time to apply the seal coat to your driveway is when you are already sure that the filler has dried and hardened in the cracks. Whether you use a cold pour or hot pour filler, drying and hardening time usually takes from three to four hours. You may check on the hardness of the filler by inserting a toothpick in the crack. If the toothpick inserts itself in the crack, it obviously means that the filler inside the crack has yet to harden. Be meticulous in checking this as fillers may look already hardened outside, but may still be soft inside.
Seal coat application will still be ruined if the cracks and holes in the driveway’s surface have not been evened out with fillers. Empty space between these cracks may encourage weeds and grass to grow in them, and will eventually dent the asphalt once their roots get bigger. As a result, the cracks get bigger. Moreover, if water seeps into the cracks under the surface of the asphalt, a soft spot is produced, leading to pot holes. If located in a cold climate, the seeped-in moisture will freeze and eventually expand, pushing the pavement up.
Thus, it is always a requirement that before the seal coat is applied to any asphalt surface, all cracks and little holes need to be filled. Both hot pour and cold pour crack fillers are available in Asphalt Kingdom. With all cracks and holes filled, moisture will not have any space to seep into the asphalt and create more damage.