Author: predwine

How Often Should I Sealcoat My Driveway?

The short answer is every two years. I’ve read some articles in the local newspaper by the “know it all” jack of all trades, columnist who gets paid to write about various home improvement projects. He may or may not be qualified to expound on every article he opines but his editor demands pen to paper for his keep.

As soon as new asphalt is installed, the UV rays begin to work its (not so black) magic. Initially, oxidation is a good thing. The light oils need to dissipate in order for the asphalt to properly harden. As oxidation process continues the liquid asphalt, the glue that holds the aggregate together begins to turn the driveway gray and brittle. This leads to raveling, the breaking apart of the sand and tiny stones that comprise your driveway. This process allows water to penetrate and via the freeze / thaw cycle causes cracking. So, you could say that sealcoating is like putting sunscreen on your driveway.

Sealed asphalt will outlast unsealed asphalt by 300% and will save thousands of dollars along the way. The cost of not maintaining your driveway versus replacement costs can be as much as 700%. This doesn’t factor in the curb appeal that a freshly sealed driveway provides. After all, your driveway is the welcome mat to your home.

But, how often should this process be done? Here at Jet-Seal we offer a premium product, Poly Cote manufactured by The Brewer Company and strictly adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended mix design. This means not diluting the product with too much water. The result is a “high solids” film left on the asphalt. “Solids” is the residue left after the product has fully cured and all the water has dissipated. No other manufacturer makes a sealcoat with a higher solids content.

Our recommended maintenance schedule is as follows; wait at least six months before applying a sealcoat. The very first time apply two coats, allowing the first coat time to totally dry before applying the second coat. Then, going forward apply a single coat every two years. This will allow the film to wear and not build up. If the film builds up and becomes too thick it will crack, causing surface or “mud” cracking. Most homeowner’s have been advised to sealcoat every year. That is only good for the contractor’s bottom line. Over sealing is the single most mistake made by homeowner’s when it comes to their driveway and a lot of contractor’s lead them down that road. I have had this discussion with reputable firms who have told me, “if we don’t do it, someone else will.”

Our philosophy hasn’t changed since my dad founded Jet-Seal in 1958. Offer the best quality product at affordable prices and never forget who writes your paycheck. Repay them with the best application methods, offer good honest advice followed by unparalleled customer service and you will retain that customer for life. The cost of marketing for a new customer is three times that of retaining an existing one. So, by doing business the way my dad taught me and passing that wisdom down to my son who is about to take the reins is beneficial to both Jet-Seal and our customers.

We really do mean it when we say, “Jet-Seal – We’ve Got You Covered”.

-Ted Lovell
President
Jet-Seal, LLC

Why Sealcoating Makes “Cents.”

Sealcoating is a true “barrier coat” between asphalt surfaces and the destructive elements. The term “sealcoating” means keeping the redeeming properties of asphalt sealed in to prolong the pavement life and preserve its functional properties. The primary reason to sealcoat an asphalt pavement is to protect the pavement from the deteriorating effects of sun and water. When an asphalt pavement is exposed to sun, wind and water, the asphalt hardens, or oxidizes. This causes the pavement to become more brittle. As a result, the pavement will crack because it is unable to bend and flex when exposed to traffic and temperature changes. A sealcoat combats this situation by providing a waterproof membrane which not only slows down the oxidation process but also helps the pavement to shed water, preventing it from entering the base material.

A secondary benefit of seal coating is an increase in the surface friction it provides. This is accomplished by the additional texture the cover aggregate adds to the pavement. With time, traffic begins to wear the fine material from an asphalt pavement surface. This result in a condition referred to as raveling. When enough of the fine material is worn off the pavement surface, traffic is driving mostly on the course aggregate. As these aggregate particles begin to become smooth and polished, the roadway may become slippery, making it difficult to stop quickly. A sealcoat increases the pavement texture and increases the surface friction properties.

An additional benefit to sealcoating is curb appeal. Your parking lot or driveway is the welcome mat to your business or home. A well-maintained asphalt parking lot or driveway shows that you care about your property and the safety of guests or patrons. Finally, sealcoating saves money by extending the life span of asphalt by as much as three times that of unsealed asphalt. When you compare sealcoating costs, pennies per square foot vs. dollars per square foot for asphalt replacement, you can easily see how sealcoating makes “cents.”