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Is asphalt pavement sealer necessary?

You have heard about incorporating asphalt sealing into your driveway but not sure about the benefits of it? In this article, let's explore reasons why you should include asphalt sealing into your home maintenance plan.

First of all, everything with time loses its initial quality and needs maintenance. Asphalt sealing is no exception. Let's dig into the science of asphalt sealing and what benefits it offers. Below is the outline of the article so you can skip into sections that you want to learn more about.

  • Asphalt and UV rays

  • Asphalt and Salts and Spills

  • How does asphalt sealing help?

  • Final tips for asphalt pavement sealing

Asphalt and UV rays

When you have new driveway or seal-coated driveway, it looks shinny and black. However, over time UV rays evaporate the sealer and your driveway starts to look grey. The reason why asphalt turns grey is due to oxidation from exposure to damaging UV rays. This oxidation process weakens the pavement making it brittle, and leading to cracks. Asphalt has poor resistance to UV rays as asphalt is a combination of aggregate and liquid emulsion, the UV rays break the emulsion down, which loosens the aggregate.

Asphalt sealer helps prevent or slower the oxidation rate.

Unsealed Driveway in Toronto
Dry Grey Asphalt

Asphalt and Salts and Spills

We all know about the harsh winters of Toronto, Ontario. The harshness of winter (snow plowing, ice melt agents) contribute into cracks, potholes, and other pavement breakages. Additionally, oil leaks from cars can be harmful to your asphalt. The reason why these other petroleum products deteriorate asphalt is because gas and oil naturally dissolve into the asphalt, softening and compromising the structure.

Oil spill on residential driveway in Markham
Oil Spill on Asphalt

How does asphalt sealing help?

Asphalt sealer helps protect not only from YV rays, but can be helpful with protecting against harsh spills. By applying a protective layer, you are creating a barrier so that harmful gas, and oils have a harder time seeping into the asphalt. The most effective way to protect your driveway is to seal once every 1-2 years and fill in the cracks with crack filler. The crack filler will protect your driveway from water penetrating it's base.

Final tips for asphalt pavement sealing

If you are not planning to completely pave a new asphalt in the near future then asphalt seal coating is your best bet. Not only the average cost of sealing your driveway is at least 20x cheaper, it is also less hassle to deal with.

Overview of benefits of Asphalt Sealing:

  • Aesthetic Upgrade

While aesthetics of driveway is not as important as protection, you get out of the box the benefit of having new shiny driveway. Please note that the shiny look of your asphalt will go away in 3 - 4 weeks and it will obtain plain classic black view.

  • Protectant Layer

Applying asphalt sealer in conjunction with hot melted crack filler will protect your driveway from snow plowing, spider cracks and more. By regularly sealcoating, you are adding a protective layer to help fight damages caused by UV rays, oil and gas spills, winter damage, and water damage.

  • Smooth Surface

While having smooth surface might not sound very important, based on ours years of experience we came to realization that smooth surface contributes to the aesthetic appeal of your driveway and also a smooth surface is important for safety, and for cleanup (especially in winter).

Ark Services Group specializes in residential and parking lot driveway sealing. We serve across Greater Toronto Area. If you need help with sealing your parking lot or driveway, we are ready to offer our services and expertise!

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