Asphalt driveways are great because they’re low maintenance and last for a long time. If you look after them well, your asphalt driveway should last for 15 or even 20 years before needing to be resealed again. However, resealing your asphalt driveway every few years is essential for several reasons. If your driveway starts to crack or buckle, water can start to get underneath it and cause further damage.
When the sun gets hotter in the summer months, there’s a chance that the UV rays will start to break down your current sealant. Also, if the sealant gets old and begins to crack and peel, water can leak into the gravel beneath it and start causing more problems later on. Thankfully, as with any type of surface, an asphalt driveway is fairly easy to reseal once you know how often you need to do it!
How to Know When to Reseal Your Asphalt Driveway
There are a few key signs that it might be time to reseal your driveway. First, look for cracks or holes in the sealant around the driveway. If there are holes, water can get underneath your sealant and start to damage your driveway even more. If your driveway is high-traffic, you may also see it start to peel, bubble, or crack.
- Before you reseal your driveway, make sure that the gravel underneath is in good shape.
- If there are any holes in the gravel or if it’s too compacted, it’s best to replace some of it before resealing.
- Make sure that the underlying gravel bed is smooth and even.
- You can also add sand or an additional layer of gravel to raise it up slightly, which will help keep water away from the asphalt.
- Finally, when you’re resealing an asphalt driveway, make sure that you are using asphalt sealant. A few different types of sealants have popped up over the years, with some advertised as being better for driveways than others.
The 411 on Sealant
Sealants are usually made from asphalt or liquid rubber compounds, which makes it easy to know why you would use them to seal your driveway. They’re designed to fill in cracks and provide a smooth, water-resistant finish. They’re also UV-resistant, which means that they won’t break down in sunlight as some other sealants can.
Although it’s possible to reseal your driveway without repairing the underlying gravel, it’s not always recommended. When you reseal your driveway, you’re not actually repairing any damage that’s already there. You’re just applying a new layer of sealant to the top of your driveway. This can be helpful if there are small cracks or holes, but it’s not ideal if there’s gravel damage or other issues.
Why Resealing Is So Important
When your driveway is brand new, the gravel underneath it is compacted as tightly as possible. This helps it last longer and keeps water out. However, as cars and trucks drive over it, again and again, the gravel becomes less compact. This is the main reason why you need to reseal your driveway over time. You should reseal your driveway every 5 to 10 years, depending on where you live. If you live in a region with lots of sunshine, for example, the sun will break down your sealant more quickly. If you live in a rainy climate, you may be able to get away with a longer resealing schedule.
How to Reseal an Asphalt Driveway?
If you decide to resurface your driveway using liquid rubber compounds, you’ll want to seal the entire thing, not just the spots where the sealant has started to break down. However, you’ll also want to make sure that you’re sealing the driveway properly.
- First, make sure that the underlying gravel is smooth and even.
- If there are any holes or other issues with the gravel, you should try to repair it first.
- Next, use a hydro-powered sprayer to apply the sealant. This will help you to spread it evenly across the entire driveway.
- Finally, use a squeegee to remove any excess sealant from the driveway. After you’ve resealed your driveway, be sure to keep it clean.
Driveway sealants are designed to repel water, but they can’t do their job if they’re covered in mud or fertilizer. Make it a habit to sweep your driveway every time it rains. You can also hose it down once or twice a week in hot weather.
Should You Repair or Reseal?
Whether you should repair or reseal your asphalt driveway depends on a few factors. If there are a few small cracks in the sealant around your driveway, it’s better to just reseal them. If there are larger holes or problems with the gravel, you’ll want to repair the driveway rather than reseal it. If you decide to reseal your driveway, keep in mind that it’s not a permanent fix.
The next time your driveway gets to the point where it needs resealing, it’s even more important to fix any underlying issues with the gravel. Otherwise, you could end up doing this over and over again without ever actually solving the problem.
How Often Should You Repair Instead of Resealing?
If there are large holes or issues with the gravel that go beyond a few small cracks in the sealant, you may want to repair your driveway rather than reseal it. To decide whether to repair or reseal an asphalt driveway, you’ll need to assess the damage.
You can repair an asphalt driveway rather than resealing it if: If you’ve determined that you need to repair your driveway, you’ll want to replace the gravel rather than just adding more asphalt to the existing gravel. This will make the gravel more even and compact, helping it to stay in good shape for years to come. You can also add sand to the gravel to raise it up slightly. This will help water flow away from your asphalt driveway, protecting it from future damage.
Asphalt driveways are great for many reasons, but they do require occasional maintenance. Resealing your asphalt driveway every few years is one way to protect your investment and keep it looking great for as long as possible. However, it’s important to make sure that you know when to reseal your asphalt driveway and how to do it, as well as how often you should reseal it.