After you have allowed your home's new asphalt driveway time to fully cure, you may be faced with the decision of whether or not to have a paving contractor apply sealcoating to the surface. Since winter is coming up, you may be thinking about just waiting until spring to have the job done.
However, you should reconsider and have the coating applied before winter arrives. There are a couple of ways that sealcoating can help protect your home's asphalt driveway from the adverse conditions that come with wintry weather.
1. Creates a Barrier to Protect the Asphalt Against Deterioration from Rock Salt
One way that sealcoating keeps your new asphalt driveway from being damaged in winter is that it creates a barrier on the surface to protect the pavement from rock salt. While rock salt is essential for melting snow and ice, its corrosive properties will wreak havoc on your driveway.
If the driveway is left unprotected, the salt will seep into the tiny spaces of the asphalt and break down the material. This damage can lead to cracks, crumbling of the asphalt, and eventually even potholes.
However, when sealcoating is applied, the barrier it creates can keep the salt from reaching the raw material of the pavement.
And while the salt will eventually break down the coating, it is less expensive and time-consuming to have it reapplied than having to completely repave your driveway every few years.
2. Helps Keep Ice from Forming in Cracks That Could Break the Pavement Apart
Another way the coating protects your home's driveway is that it keeps water from seeping into small spaces and cracks. If water infiltrates the bare asphalt and freezes, it will expand as it turns into ice.
As the forming ice expands, it puts pressure on the asphalt surrounding it, creating cracks and even breaking the pavement apart. However, if sealcoating is applied, the waterproof barrier keeps the water and ice out of these spaces.
When you have your home's driveway seal coated, the barrier it creates on the pavement's surface protects the asphalt from rock salt which can quickly deteriorate the material. The coating also helps keep water from infiltrating tiny cracks in the asphalt where it expands while freezing, causing large cracks to form and break off the driveway. For more information about the benefits as well as the process involved, speak with a paving contractor in your area who offers asphalt sealcoating services.