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Should I seal my driveway?

Posted by real_cheep (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 10, 06 at 21:58

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.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Should I seal my driveway?

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.


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RE: Should I seal my driveway?

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.


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RE: Should I seal my driveway?

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


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RE: Should I seal my driveway?

Thanks for the replies!


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RE: Should I seal my driveway?

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.


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RE: Should I seal my driveway?

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.


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RE: Should I seal my driveway?

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.


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