If you have an asphalt driveway or parking lot, you should consider protecting it with a sealant. Asphalt, or blacktop, is a popular material because it is affordable and durable. However, blacktop can be damaged by many things over the years, and applying a protective coating is the best way to extend the lifespan of your driveway or parking lot.
Even though blacktop is a very durable material, it can be damaged by several things. Rain can cause erosion, especially in urban areas where water is often more acid. Ice can get into small cracks in the driveway or parking lot and expand them. Sun exposure can cause damage on the long-term and so can leaking fluids from vehicles. Over the years, the surface of your blacktop driveway or parking lot will become loose and small pieces will go missing. You will eventually have to resurface your driveway or parking lot, which can be expensive.
Applying a protective coating over your driveway or parking lot will prevent damage caused by exposure to the elements. This process is fairly easy and will not take more than a day. It could add years to the lifespan of your driveway or parking lot, and it is the best way to prevent damages to the surface of the asphalt which could make the driveway or parking lot difficult to use and result in more wear and tear on your tires.
If there is visible damage to the blacktop such as cracks and holes, you should keep in mind that seal coating will not fix these issues. You might need to have your driveway or parking lot repaired or resurfaced before applying the sealant.
There are two different types of seal coating for blacktop. A coal tar emulsion can be used to form a protective barrier over your driveway or parking lot. This is the most expensive option but this is the best way to protect the asphalt from the elements and from car fluids. An asphalt emulsion is a more affordable way to seal coat blacktop but this material will not protect your driveway or parking lot from oils and gasoline. This is still a good option if damage from car fluids is not a major concern.
You can apply a sealant to your driveway or parking lot yourself. There are different products you can find and applying them should not be difficult as long as you follow the instructions carefully. However, it is best to have a professional seal coat your driveway or parking lot if you are not sure how to do it or want an industrial grade product. You should also call a professional if you need to have your driveway or parking lot repaired or resurfaced before having a sealant applied.