Should I seal my driveway?

real_cheepOctober 10, 2006

Everybody in my neighborhood is always slathering that black sealing compound onto their asphalt driveways. I'm trying to figure out what the point of this is. I have a fairly long asphalt driveway, and it's kind of cracked up, with roots underneath and so forth, but I kind of like how it looks. I think the cracks and imperfections add character. Now, I understand that water could get through those cracks and maybe wash away some of the underlying soil, potentially causing a collapse of the asphalt paving, but if that happened, I suppose I could just get someone to come and fix it.

My question is, is there another reason for sealing my driveway of which I am unaware? If I'm willing to accept the natty appearance and risk of needing future repairs, is there any reason for me to follow in the footsteps of my neighbors, and seal my driveway?

Thanks for any advice, your help will either allow me to be more comfortable with my laissez-faire approach to driveway maintenance, or convince me to buy a few buckets of sealer.

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steve_o

IMHO, the only reason to do it is that you have lots of time on your hands and a jones for a truly-black driveway. From the standpoint of protection, you're far better off patching deteriorated areas or using an asphalt "caulk" for cracks. Once you start putting sealer on, you're on the hook for doing it repeatedly for the life of the driveway. I won't be doing it on mine.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 11:55AM
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flash9

Sealing your driveway is no different then painting the wood on your house or sealing your deck. It all depends on how long you want it to last.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 8:48PM
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jamesbodell

Don't bother, I did it once, was a waste of time.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 12:54PM
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real_cheep

Thanks for the replies!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 11:49AM
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fixitchick

I asked my paving guy the same question. He said he knew of a customer who never sealed and one that sealed every year. Both driveways lasted 12 years.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 11:11PM
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DNT1

Not as important in southern winter climates but above the Mason/Dixon line the water that penetrates will freeze and bust out some rather large sections. If you are diligent with the visible crack repairs annually the sealer over the entire area is probably not needed, however I have found it easy and quick to slop the whole thing down with a 55 gallon drum of sealer every couple of years.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2006 at 11:28AM
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ci_lantro

I sealed our blacktop once. The following winter, all the sealer (latex) got scraped off with the snow shovels. Sealing it was a waste of time, money & resources.

Save your effort for mending the cracks.

I rather like the grey look anyways--looks more natural than those jet black driveways.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 9:12PM
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