Sealing a driveway is a wonderful means of preserving it. It increases the lifespan of your asphalt and the overall value of your property. However, cutting corners can doom your driveway and lead to more costly repairs. Below are five life lessons that can help save you time and money when it comes time to seal your driveway.
Many of us have had the door-to-door solicitor show up from time to time. We have all heard the sales pitches for various products. Not all door –to-door sales may be dubious, but be wary when it comes to your driveway. If the deal sounds too good to be true, trust your gut. If the person ringing claims they have “extra” or “leftover” material from another job say no. Often, these scams offer to do the work for an extremely low, cash-up-front cost. These jobs end in one of two ways. They may or may not finish your driveway; if they finish, it is typically done with cheap and inferior products. After a few months of use, the shoddy materials will be apparent and my even cause more damages to your driveway. In addition to this, if the alleged contractor actually finishes the job, they will bill you for hundreds or thousands more than originally quoted. A contractor should be licensed and insured. Protect yourself. If you are considering asking a professional to perform any work on your driveway, from paving to sealing, ask for their license number and verify it.
- Sealing Too Early
A driveway should be sealed every one to three years depending on its use and environment. In general, a new or recently repaired driveway should not be sealed for at least six months. Asphalt contains oils. Part of the curing process for your driveway is the evaporation of these oils. This allows your driveway to harden and needs to occur before you seal the asphalt. A driveway that does not cure will remain more flexible than desired and lead to damages down to road. Parked vehicles, dropped packages and other such incidents will cause visible bumps, dents, and craters should your driveway be sealed before it has cured.
- Ignoring the Forecast
Asphalt sealant should be applied when the weather is 50 degrees or higher. Rain should not be predicted for at least 48 hours after applying the sealant. Heavy down pours can wash away the sealant if it has not adequately dried. If this occurs, you will need to re-apply the seal coating once the rain has stopped. Save yourself the time and trouble and seal when clear weather is predicted.
- Not Allowing Adequate Drying Time
Your driveway needs to dry after being sealed. You should not walk on the surface for a minimum of 24 hours. Vehicles should not use the newly sealed driveway for 48 to 72 hours. When the sealant has dried to a matte black, it is ready for use. Walking on or driving on the sealant too early can leave track marks. It can also stick to your shoes, clothes and tires.
- Cheap Products, Poor Results
That bargain bucket of driveway sealer may not be the answer. Cheap products tend to cost more in the end. Whether they need to be applied multiple times for an even coating or they fail to prevent water from seeping through – make sure you buy a quality product from a reputable source. If you are putting in the effort to seal your driveway, do not cheat yourself.