Is your asphalt driveway faded, cracked, and unappealing? Here are a few things you need to know about driveway cracks and seal coating. Apart from bringing down the value of your home, cracks can be unsafe as they become larger over time. With tools and materials available in the local stores, you can fix your driveway. Or, you can hire a professional company or contractor to do the job, which is more costly.
In most cases, asphalt has a lifespan of 15 years to about 20. Many home owners may not be aware of this fact. Yet, the durability of the seal coating does not mean that there is no need for maintenance. Filling the cracks and seal coating can be helpful in extending the life of your driveway. But it still requires annual maintenance.
Contractors usually design the maintenance plans for residential driveways with the client. The main purpose for this is to allow an extension in the lifetime of the driveway. It also allows the contractor to provide the client with a yearly service plan at a fixed price. As a client, you get to save money, time, and too much hassle, as everything is pre-set.
Crack filling and seal coating protects the cracks from becoming more severe. But the repairs do not disappear and neither do the cracks. They will always remain visible. Ensure you do more crack repairs than you do the application of the surface seal coat. This will guarantee you optimal results on your driveway. Therefore, most contractors will offer annual maintenance plans. They ensure that the client gets the most out of the services they render.
The sealcoating contractors at ABC Paving say that there are various types of cracks on the driveway and for each, you fix in different ways. The contractor you select should be well experienced, with properly-trained technicians. They should be aware of the right materials to use to ensure each crack gets the best seal. Your estimator should be able to respond to queries on all types of driveway cracks and what to expect. Below are the various types of cracks in a driveway that you should look out for;
Structural cracks are usually larger than 0.25 inches wide. When repairing such cracks, you should fill them along with seal coating. The same applies for larger cracks which you can fill until they are about 1 inch wide. If the cracks are wider than 1 inch, it is advisable to first cut and replace the large crack.
Hairline cracks are usually less than 0.25 inches wide. Due to the limited space within the crack, you cannot fill hairline cracks cannot. You can seal coat a driveway with such cracks. The seal coat will not hide the crack, but it will protect it. This means that the cracks will remain visible even after the seal coating.
Surface cracks are cosmetic cracks on the surface of the driveway. They are superficial and, in most cases, are as a result of applying thick sealer. Surface cracks remain visible all the time, even after applying the sealer.
Alligator cracks are a bunch of cracks in a clustered area. They bear the name alligator as they resemble the skin of an alligator. For such cracks, it means that the section of the driveway that accumulated them is inept. As a result, filling the cracks cannot be as effective as it should be. Seal coating helps in maintaining such areas, but on a temporary basis. Even after seal coating, alligator cracks still remain visible. Thus, at some point, you will have to remove the area and replace it with fresh asphalt.
One thing to remember about crack repairs is that they are not done to conceal the crack. The main purpose is to prevent the penetration of water. The sealant settles below the crack surface, depending on the size of the driveway crack.
Here are some amazing sealcoating facts that will fascinate you!
- Sealcoating helps to protect and extend the lifespan of asphalt pavements by filling the cracks on the surface, in addition to providing a protective layer that keeps out harmful UV rays, water, and vehicle fluids.
- Sealcoating is a low-cost maintenance practice, which can save you a lot of money in the future. A well-sealed and maintained asphalt surface has a longer lifespan, as well as lower maintenance costs.
- The constant exposure to external elements can make an asphalt pavement lose its attractive color. Thus, applying a fresh layer or sealcoat helps to improve its appearance, giving it a fresh, new look.
- Did you know that sealcoating accelerates the thawing process of snow and ice on your pavement? This, in turn, helps to protect your surface against snow and frost damage, in averting water penetration.