Driveway sealing is an everlasting debate that has split sides where each side has its own pros and cons why you should (not) seal it. Generally speaking, this process is not that hard and it is highly cost-effective, meaning you definitely protect it from tearing and cracking. Weather, traffic and poor installation can damage the surface permanently, but is it really necessary to protect your pavement? To answer this question, we will explain the reasons behind the sealing, so you could decide on your own whether you need this or not. Every driveway construction professional would tell you that you should, so keep reading this to understand why they are saying this.
One of the main reasons for the sealing is the water repellency ability that you provide your pavement with. Concrete has a natural tendency to crack if any water penetrates inside the structure. If you add the additional weight of cars that are on top of it every day, you get the point. Now, add the freezing temperatures that cause further material expanding that leads to the cracking and you can understand that the sealing process prevents further material erosion and breaking. Also, not only it stops water, but it also prevents oxygen from trapping inside, as it is also another killer of the concrete. When we consider all these and consider that the additional layer protects the concrete from water, sunlight, and possible dirt that could go inside, it is more than evident that you should do it.
How often do we need to apply it?
When applying it, consider that your pavement (regardless of material) must be at least 1 year old, or 6 months at least if you have an asphalt driveway. Asphalt material releases toxic oils that need at least 6 months to evaporate completely. If you apply the sealing agent early, you could trap the oils inside and that could lead to breaking and cracking of the material. If applied properly, you can repeat the process every one year for the best results, or in the worst case every third year. The professionals recommend replacing every year. However, keep in mind one thing – you must let it dry for at least 48 hours! If the rain starts, the chances that your work would in vain are great. Also, remember that you do this when the temperature is not below the 10 Celsius degrees (some 50 Fahrenheit degrees) as the process of sealing would not be good and efficient.
When you do not need the sealing process?
Generally, the sealing is necessary if you want to have high-quality pavement without any cracks. Still, road/traffic asphalt has a bit different structure so it could endure the additional weight of cars and the absence of the regular maintenance before it cracks and breaks. This type of asphalt is a bit more expensive and it is rarely used for residential driveways. Therefore, try to use a sealing agent to ensure your driveway long-lasting and high-quality structure since it the whole process is not that complicated, neither the price for the required tools/agents is too high.