Asphalt driveway, is sealing good or bad for it?


Old 06-01-10, 01:27 PM
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Asphalt driveway, is sealing good or bad for it?

I've done some research and can't really find answer. I've been told by some people that sealing your driveway will make it worse (crack more easily as it can't breathe), etc.

We live in Maine where we get cold winters and hot summers. The driveway is about 6 years old, it looks to be in excellent condition with the exception of these two points:
  1. One crack at the edge of the driveway, maybe an less then a half inch
  2. Four inch wide oil spot that is very gooey and the pavement is starting to break off on the surface
I want to fix that oil spot and it was suggested to dig the oil spot out and patch it- Lowes has a 10lb bag of asphalt that I could use.

Is it true that sealing your driveway will harm the life of asphalt?
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Old 06-01-10, 01:51 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

I can't speak for your neck of the woods but around here, the driveways and parking lots that are sealed on a halfway regular basis seem to outlast the ones that are never sealed.
Old 06-03-10, 12:06 PM
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I am in New York and I have wrestled with the same question. The greatest amount of damage here is caused by freeze-thaw cycles. Water seeps into cracks, freezes and expands. Repeat this over and over, and the driveway is eventually destroyed. I believe that sealing does help stop this from happening. But you also have to consider the cost effectiveness. My driveway is 250 ft long, so I'm not going to get 5 gal pails at Home Depot and do it myself. Having it done by someone reputable is not cheap. You have to do some math and see if it is worth it.
Old 06-03-10, 07:29 PM
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My father-in-law regularly maintains his driveway with sealer. They have been in that house for at least 25 years. I don't know the condition of the driveway before they moved in. I can tell you that it is about 2 1/2 car lengths long and 2 wide on a steep hill. I would not say it needs to be replaced, but there are many cracks in the driveway.

My mother's house has a smaller driveway on flat land. She has been there for 20 years and has done nothing with it. You can tell it was sealed at some point prior to her moving in. I would say her driveway is in no worse condition than my in-laws. The only differnce I can cite is hers has slight rutting.

A lot of how well an asphalt driveway performs depends on how well it is built. If it doesn't have a proper base, no amount of sealer will save it.

I also want to add that sealers will not seal existing cracks.
Old 06-08-10, 08:43 AM
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I am planning on filling the one crack we have with CrackStopper however am still trying to decide whether or or not to seal the driveway. It's 6 years old and appears to have a good base as it is mostly flat (the water does taper off to one side but I assume it was designed that way? The driveway is not on a slant either. It's only 30-35' long so I think it would be a job I could handle on my own if I were to do it.
Old 06-14-10, 02:01 PM
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Asphalt sealed within the first three years and sealed regularly after will last a long time if the base was built properly. Two things cause cracks. One is a thin or wet base. The other is it gets dry over time as the oils evaporate and it loses its ability to flex. Keep in mind that some sealers are only cosmetic like painting the surface and others are made to sort of rejuvinate the asphalt. Try calling someone at your local county roads department for an independent opinion.
Old 06-19-10, 05:39 AM
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either oil or gas will soften the asphalt cement which holds the d/w ingredients together [ sand, dirt, rock ] digging out the ' gooey ' part & replacing w/cold patch from your apron store is the right method for most small patches,,, just be sure to sawcut the perimeter of the patch for best results.

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