Asphalt sealcoating is one of the best services you can have performed to ensure the longevity, durability, and good looks of your asphalt driveway. How often it is performed depends on your climate and how heavily you use the driveway, but generally, it needs to be done on a residential driveway every two to five years for best effect. The following guide can help you prepare for sealcoating so it interrupts your life as little as possible.
Surface dirt, like dust, pollen, and gravel, needs to be removed from the driveway, along with any moss or algae growth. You can take the quick route and use a pressure washer to achieve this, or you can simply scrub the driveway down with water and a deck brush. If there is moss or other growths on the drive, make sure to add a small amount of bleach to the water. This not only removes the existing growth, but it also kills the spores so it won't grow back before you can have the driveway sealed.
Mark and repair damage
Sealcoating can camouflage asphalt repairs, but it doesn't actually repair any deep cracks or potholes. If you have such damage, you need to have it repaired before sealcoating. This requires removing any loose debris from the crack and then filling it with a hot asphalt patching material. Often, your sealcoat service will handle the repair, but you may need to mark the cracks with fluorescent marking paint so they can find the damage easily. Don't attempt to fix it yourself with a cold asphalt patch (the type most commonly available at hardware stores). These patches don't adhere well and will eventually work loose, whereas professional hot patches can last for decades.
Make alternative arrangements
You won't be able to drive on your driveway for two to four days after sealcoating, as the new coating will have to cure first. Make sure any vehicles, including small items like lawnmowers, that you may need to access are removed from the garage and drive area before the crew arrives. After sealcoating, use barricades or construction tape to close off the entrance to the drive. Even if you know not to drive on it, neighborhood workers or even your neighbors may not be aware, and they may use your driveway to turn around or otherwise drive on it. A barricade prevents this issue.
Your sealcoating contractor may include some preparation services, such as cleaning and damage repair, as part of their sealcoating package. Consult with a local company before beginning so you know exactly what they expect from homeowners when it comes to preparing for sealcoat application.