For many homeowners, the look of a driveway is a point of pride. A smooth, pristine driveway adds to the curb appeal of a home — it can even affect its overall value in the housing market.
However, the benefits of an appealing driveway go beyond what meets the eye. When you properly maintain your driveway with a driveway sealant, you’re preserving your investment. Sealing a driveway with driveway paint helps you avoid costly maintenance and replacement as the asphalt wears over time.
If you’re considering sealing a driveway, you might have questions. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about driveway sealant, including all the reasons why sealing is an essential part of driveway maintenance.
What Is Driveway Sealant?
Driveway sealant is a thin layer of liquid that is applied over a paved surface to protect a driveway from wear and tear.
When driveway cracks are left exposed to the elements, they can expand, -creating larger cracks -and potholes over time. Exposure to damaging UV rays, grease, snow, and chemicals can also make a driveway weak and brittle.
That’s where driveway sealant can help. It can be applied after the driveway has been freshly re-paved to prevent damage from occurring in the first place, but it can also be added after cracks have already formed. The sealant fills cracks and crevices in the driveway’s surface, creating an even surface and preventing any further damage. Whether pavement is new or old, sealant can extend its lifespan.
Sealing a driveway can also improve the appearance of pavement. Over time, surfaces like concrete and asphalt can grow dull. Sealants can make the surface look smoother and darker. Depending on the type of sealant you choose, it can also create more of a “wet look” with a semi-gloss or high-gloss finish. Certain types of driveway paint can even provide a fresh wash of color.
Before you start searching “how to paint my driveway,” bear in mind that driveway sealing should always be carried out by experienced contractors. It takes the right experience and equipment to create the desired results — a sleek, high-performing, and visually appealing driveway.
10 Reasons to Seal a Driveway
When someone arrives at a business or residence, the driveway is the first thing to greet them. It provides one of the earliest impressions a person will have before setting foot inside.
Appearances aside, a great driveway also needs to be functional and resilient. It’s where people will park their cars in all kinds of weather. When the quality of the driveway suffers, it isn’t just the look of a place that’s affected. This damage also makes the surface hazardous to cars and pedestrians alike.
These are just a few reasons why driveway maintenance is so important. However, instead of spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars fixing costly damage to a driveway, why not invest in a preventative measure? Sealing the driveway is a great long-term investment.
Here are 10 of the top reasons why you should consider sealing a driveway.
1. It Extends the Life of Your Driveway
Seal coating adds a protective layer that protects your driveway from damage, whether that damage is caused by cold temperatures or typical wear and tear. While a sealant needs to be reapplied every few years, it can still be a worthwhile investment considering the high cost of pavement and asphalt replacement.
Depending on what the driveway is made of, the kind of traffic you can expect to see over the years, and the weather in your area, it’s hard to say how long each driveway will last. However, sealant can extend the natural life of most driveways.
2. It Prevents Expensive Repairs
If it’s not coated, the driveway is directly exposed to all kinds of things that can cause damage over time. Unsealed pavement can be weak and porous, leaving it vulnerable to damage like cracks and potholes over time. It can even develop deeper issues beneath the foundation, like fatigue cracking — also known as “alligator cracking.” This kind of damage requires extensive work to salvage the remaining pavement, if not a complete re-paving job.
These repairs can be expensive. If the damage is allowed to build up, an owner could be facing the prospect of driveway replacement a lot sooner than expected. Seal coating is a way to prevent these issues from surfacing.
3. It Protects Against Water Damage
Driveway sealant also acts as a waterproofing agent. If it is left uncoated, water can seep into the porous surface and deteriorate your driveway.
Sealant is even more essential if the driveway is in an area where the temperature drops below freezing. When water seeps into small cracks, it can expand and contract due to freezing temperatures. This can make cracks bigger and eventually lead to more serious forms of damage. Over time, water draining to the bottom of your driveway can affect the foundation.
4. It Protects Against UV Damage
UV rays can corrode your driveway over time. In the case of concrete, the sun can even dry out the surface. This weakens the structure of the concrete. Following enough sun exposure, concrete driveways can start to shrink and crack.
In the case of asphalt, sun rays can break down the particles that bind asphalt together. This can eventually make the asphalt weaker and more susceptible to cracking. The effects may not be visible right away, but the surface will gradually become less flexible and more prone to breaking.
5. It Protects Against Vehicle Traffic
When you regularly have cars driving up and down the driveway, that can start to wear away the surface of the driveway. This kind of damage can also go both ways — cracked and broken asphalt can also add extra wear to a vehicle’s tires. Sealing a driveway helps ensure that it can withstand as much traffic as necessary.
Even if you’re not moving cars regularly on and off a driveway, a sealing coat can prevent long-term damage caused by your vehicles. Otherwise, when oil, gas, and grease fall onto the surface of your driveway, this can soften and corrode the surface. We recommend Cobble Clean to remove tire marks.
6. It Keeps the Driveway Looking New
Any seal coating can improve the look of a driveway, making it look refreshed. The results will depend on the kind of seal coating you choose. In the case of asphalt, a dark and sleek color can make the driveway look freshly paved. In the case of concrete, both light and dark colors can refresh the surface of your driveway to make it look brand-new.
7. It Makes the Driveway Look Cleaner
With a smooth, uniform color and a non-porous surface, a sealed driveway has a cleaner look. Any imperfections in the surface — cracks, patches, or rough areas — are smoothed over, giving your home’s entrance a fresh and clean look. A coating can also make any traffic lines on your driveway more visible.
8. It Can Save You Money Over Time
Typically, driveway sealing can cost between 10 and 35 cents per square foot. When you compare that to the cost of installing a new driveway (which is commonly estimated to be between $2 and $15 per square foot), sealing is far cheaper.
Even though sealants aren’t permanent and need to be refreshed every few years, they can still cost less over the long term. By adding seal coating to your preventative maintenance, you could save yourself money while preserving the look and function of your driveway.
9. It Makes for Easier Maintenance
Due to the smooth finish of a sealed driveway, it’s far easier to clean. You can sweep away dirt and debris with a broom or rinse it with a hose without the risk of water damage.
A sealed driveway can provide some of the same benefits as a heated driveway. When snow and ice accumulate on your driveway, a seal coating can help the buildup melt faster. This isn’t just convenient when it comes to winter maintenance like shoveling and salting. It can also prevent the wear and tear caused by the elements that can damage your coating, and, eventually, your driveway.
10. It Improves Home Value
It isn’t just a satisfying feeling to see a neat, appealing driveway in front of a building or house. It can also improve your curb value, which can raise a home’s value by up to 14%.
Having a beautiful driveway can affect the value of your property. Even if you’re not planning on selling any time soon, sealing your driveway can protect an investment for however long you need it. When it’s finally time to sell, your driveway will be in top condition.
Protecting Your Driveway for Years To Come
The right driveway maintenance can keep an entry surface just as strong and visually appealing as it was when it was brand-new. Driveway sealing is one of the most cost-effective ways to keep up with your driveway over the years. Whether you want to refresh the look of your driveway or prevent costly wear and tear, there are many reasons why driveway sealant can make a great investment.
If you want to see the best results, you need to turn to the top experts in driveway sealing. Need to find a pro in your area? Contact Surfacelogix online to find an expert near you, or give us a call at (954) 971-9111.