Summer is over and fall is finally here. Temperatures are down, and football is on. But football isn’t the only thing you have to think about. As a responsible homeowner, there are a variety of routine home maintenance procedures to keep on top of. Clearing gutters, inspecting the AC, and cleaning out packed attics and closets all immediately come to mind, but other less obvious tasks should be taken into consideration as well. For example, should you apply driveway sealcoating before winter? A proper seal is important for avoiding cracks and potholes, and maintaining the longest possible life of your blacktop.
How Often Should I Sealcoat?
Sealing isn’t a process that needs to be repeated every year. So how do you know if this is the year?
A driveway sealcoat usually lasts 2-4 years, but its actual lifetime can vary based on weather and use. Look carefully for the following signs:
- Cracks 1/8” or larger
- Patchy, dry look
- Gravelly surface
Pits and cracks allow water to get in and do more damage. A dry, unprotected look may indicate UV damage that eventually breaks down the binder material in the asphalt.
DIY driveway sealcoating or Hire a Contractor?
It can be a messy process, but some homeowners choose to do the driveway sealcoating themselves. The overall process is:
- Ensure the area is ready – rope off the driveway, cut back the grass and remove any decorative items nearby.
- Remove all debris from cracks and pits. Apply crack filler and let dry.
- Remove any remaining surface debris (use a leaf blower and brooms).
- Wearing safety glasses, cut in the edges of the driveway, applying a coal tar-based sealer with a handheld brush.
- Still wearing safety glasses, apply the remaining sealer by pouring it out on the driveway and spreading it thinly from side to side to the cut-in areas. Be careful not to allow excess sealant to drain into grass or drainage systems. Allow drying at least 36 hours.
If you choose to hire a contractor, ensure they have experience and a good reputation, and that they use commercial quality materials. Ask about their process, too. Contact multiple companies to compare. Ask about their square footage rate, and ensure you know your driveway dimensions so you can check their estimate.
Ready to have it done right? Contact Hill Country Sealcoat for a sealcoating estimate today!
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