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Old 07-03-2008, 03:08 PM   #1
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How often should you seal an asphalt driveway?


Ours was laid new in Nov. 2006. Northern New Jersey. Haven't had it sealed since; wondering if that's something I need to get moving on. Thanks.

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Old 07-03-2008, 08:37 PM   #2
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How often should you seal an asphalt driveway?


Like changing the oil in a vehicle, or painting a house, it's best to do it before you actually need to
Once you finally need to, then there is more work/prep/repair/etc involved

Although it may not be showing obvious signs of wear or be in obvious need of repair at that time, every two years would keep your driveway in excellent shape and significantly reduce prep and repair over the life of your driveway

Your actual usage and environment may vary that, but it's a good guideline for the NE USA

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Old 07-04-2008, 07:33 AM   #3
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How often should you seal an asphalt driveway?


I'll plan to get that done before the winter then.
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Old 07-04-2008, 07:35 AM   #4
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How often should you seal an asphalt driveway?


You can often get a good deal from the pros as winter approaches
They need to empty those tanks before they freeze
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Old 07-04-2008, 01:16 PM   #5
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How often should you seal an asphalt driveway?


I see you posted this question in Aug. but in case you haven't sealed it yet, here goes... Do not buy the driveway sealers that you can get at your local hard wear store. They are basically just black paint. I work for a City and we do a lot of seal coating. You want to get a product (if your doing it your self) from an asphalt co. The best emulsions actually have sand in them so it will give you a wear base that will prevent your original asphalt from wearing and protect it from stains. It's easy to do yourself but if you have someone do it just shop around. There is a lot of fly-by-night installers that will water down there product to make twice the profit. Your driveway will look great when there finished but wont last a season. Good luck.

KB
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Old 07-04-2008, 08:33 PM   #6
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How often should you seal an asphalt driveway?


Interesting... It is my understanding that driveway sealers are simply dressings to keep your driveway looking good. They may offer some minimal topical protection for a short period with regard to leaking oil and the like.

Most driveway damage begins underneath the driveway from moisture and frost etc.

Blacktop is water soluble, and water will degrade it over time. Usually witnessed first at the edges where they begin to break away.

If you dress down your driveway you are doing it mainly for aesthetics not because it will make your driveway last longer.

Kbrena is correct, and for my money the point is not stressed enough... They are all in a sense paint, even the rubberized sanded ones. Also so called airport grades.
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Old 07-04-2008, 08:45 PM   #7
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How often should you seal an asphalt driveway?


...and just as paint keeps your house from rotting, so does driveway sealer keep your driveway from breaking up into chunks

It is a bit more than something to make it look nice
Though it's true the DIY stuff is not the same animal as the qualty pro stuff
But the regular professional sealcoating absolutely does make your driveway last longer
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Old 07-04-2008, 11:36 PM   #8
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How often should you seal an asphalt driveway?


slickshift and docfletcher you both make good points. It is not actually paint or enamel, even the home Depot sealers are made from asphalt emulsion, it is just the percentage of the emulsion that makes it last. You are correct about most damage starting underneath the drive way, but if you never seal the surface it ends up looking like exposed aggregate because of the surface asphalt wearing out. when it is sealed with a good sealer it will fill all the divots, voids and make it smooth, like it looked when it was new. The diluted sealers just make it look black, the divots and all. I will check the product that we use when I go back to work on Monday. The thick emulsion with rubber and sand really cover good and last.
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Old 07-05-2008, 09:09 AM   #9
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How often should you seal an asphalt driveway?


Quite right, the use of a good quality sealer will help to keep your drive looking good. The exposed aggregate look which you speak of is a combination of wear and the fact that asphalt is water soluble.

A sealer should be applied every year as it wears away with the weather.

Shoe polish for your driveway.
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:50 AM   #10
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How often should you seal an asphalt driveway?


That's helpful information. I will get it done before the winter and make sure I find a pro who uses the good stuff, not the watery stuff. I would consider DIYing it, but I understand that any excess I have is considered hazardous waste (at least, driveway sealer on my town's list of hazardous wastes) and I'd just as soon someone else deal with that.

I park in the garage so oil staining is minimal. But I imagine it still suffers from rain, abrasion from snow shoveling and all the usual factors. Plus it cracks from the ever-growing roots of my neighbor's giant oak tree. I'm thinking that filling up those cracks will help slow the deterioration of the thing.

Thanks.
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Old 07-05-2008, 11:36 AM   #11
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How often should you seal an asphalt driveway?


Your on the right track RDS. Hey, Docfletcher I love your reference to shoe polish, it's true. Good luck RDS.

KB
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Old 07-07-2008, 02:23 PM   #12
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How often should you seal an asphalt driveway?


I am also in need of blacktop repair and resealing. What should I ask to determine if the pro uses the good stuff or not? I would assume noone will admit watering down the sealer. If they are dishonest to water it down they would be just as dishonest to lie about it when asked. Thank you.
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:38 PM   #13
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How often should you seal an asphalt driveway?


kypper, that is a good question. First of all, how large is the asphalt repair you need done? The problem you may find with a small patch is that asphalt is sold by the ton. A ton will do approximately 80 sq.ft. at a depth of 2". in my area it's sold @ a 1 ton minimum. So if you have a small patch I would suggest calling some asphalt companies to see if there doing work in your area, since they always order a little extra. Or best yet would be if you saw some guys doing a driveway close by and ask if they want to make some side money. Or you could ask if they would sell you a 5 gallon bucket full. Make sure you have a metal bucket because it will melt a plastic one. It is easy to do your self if it is small enough.

As for as the sealer. If you go with a company that has been in business for a while, you should be fine. Most people are good, you just need to go by your gut feeling. Ask how long they warranty after it's done. You just need to stay away from low bid fast talking contractors with fly-by-night names. Lol. If you see a driveway that looks like it has been sealed and looks good, go up to the house and ask about it. I do things like that all the time. Most people are happy that something they had done looks nice and are helpful. There is nothing better then a good word of mouth referal.
Good luck,

KB

Last edited by kbrena; 07-07-2008 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 07-08-2008, 04:13 PM   #14
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How often should you seal an asphalt driveway?


I don't need that much of a repair. The blacktop has setteled where it meets the concrete of the garage, other than that it is in good shape. Do the people that seal driveways normally fix something like that? Otherwise, would the buckets of asphalt repair sold at home depot be a good way to fix this before having it sealed?

Thanks.
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Old 07-08-2008, 05:58 PM   #15
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How often should you seal an asphalt driveway?


What you are referring to from Home Depot is cold mix. The difference between cold mix and hot mix is that diesel is added to the mix to prevent it from getting completely hard. We use it a lot for temporary road repairs. I think it would work just fine for what you are talking about. We have overlay-ed roads that had cold patches with no problems. I asked at the asphalt plant where we get our asphalt if there would be a problem overlaying over cold mix patches. He said that when the diesel evaporates out of the cold mix it becomes as hard as hot mix. if it's hot in your area it should evaporate pretty quick since it is such a small repair.

Here is a tip on compacting... use a flat shovel or a rake and spread it out level over the area. leave it up about an inch or so, less if it's real shallow. wheal rolling it with you car is the best way. Lay a piece of plywood over the repair and slowly drive back and forth over it. If your not able to get your car in the area you can tamp it with anything flat. You can even use your foot if the area if really small.
Good luck

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