Asphalt is probably the most common material for driveway use anywhere in the world. It is a bitumen product, which means it’s made from solid byproducts of fossil fuel extraction. As a petroleum product, it is waterproof and very durable. However, it’s not indestructible. Since it is a petroleum product, it is susceptible to other petroleum products. For example, dripping motor oil will interact with the asphalt, which will slowly begin to degrade the quality of the material. While it might not be noticeable at first, it will grow over time and lead to cracks and chips in the surface. To avoid this, you need to sealcoat your driveway. How often should you do this task, though?
Sealcoating a driveway means that a layer of petroleum-based protectant is poured over the surface of your driveway. The surface is protected by this coat. This is actually the part of the asphalt that gives it its look. Asphalt is usually a grey colour that is somewhat speckled with darker colours. Sealcoating is smooth and black. So when you see a driveway that is smooth and black, you’re actually seeing the sealcoat, which will also give you an idea as to how often we should replace the coat. Experts in paving and driveways in Suffolk have different recommendations for how often you should apply the seal.
You will need to reapply the seal anywhere from every three years to every ten years. This process all depends on what kind of coat you are using as well as how often your driveway is used. The most reliable way to know is to actually look at your driveway; if it is still black or mostly black, you don’t need a new coat. However, if the driveway is looking almost uniformly grey, it’s time to apply the coat. That is a rough but reliable way to estimate when to apply another coat.