Asphalt is a very popular masonry material, especially in driveways and walkways. However, it is vulnerable to wear as time passes, which will usually come in the form of expansion and cracking. Below are some reasons why sealing is the best way to repair cracks.
What Causes Asphalt Damage?
Although asphalt is a hard, durable material its flashy tone will eventually fade due to rain, moisture and snow. Over time cracks will gradually appear and once liquid gets inside and freezes the water will expand, which pushes the asphalt cracks farther away to enlarge and produce more damage. To keep this from happening, asphalt surfaces must be periodically sealed.
Asphalt Sealing Is Not Recommended as a DIY Project
While asphalt sealing might seem like a straightforward process, it isn’t. Unless you’re experienced and qualified, it is best to hire a professional, as attempting to repair the cracks, gouges or dings on your own can cause even more damage if done improperly. The reason for this is because asphalt cracking typically has a root cause that must be identified and addressed, otherwise the damage will become more severe. Causes can range from vehicle overloading to inadequate drainage, and few nonprofessionals have the expertise and tools to manage these issues.
How Much Does It Cost To Seal And Repair Cracks?
It depends on the extent of the damage. If the problem is identified and addressed early, it can be usually be resolved for less than four figures. Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t pay much attention to asphalt cracking and if they do they usually put off repairing it for various reasons.
As a consequence, many repair jobs require a fresh asphalt layer to be put on top of the current layer. However, should the aging asphalt layer be too damaged to repair, it will have to be replaced completely and getting rid of the old asphalt and then installing a brand new layer is far more expensive, over four figures. Sealing can only be done after the major repairs are completed.
Once the layer of sealant has been placed above the asphalt, this will protect it against drying and cracking because of temperature fluctuations. It must be noted that the actual sealing is a separate procedure and will be charged separately from the asphalt repair, but it will only cost about three figures. Homeowners will also have to consider the cost of materials, which will be dependent on the size of the asphalt surface. Larger surfaces require greater sealing and will cost more, but it is possible to purchase sealant in 5 gallon buckets. It is highly recommended to buy high quality sealant, and it should also be noted that most professional contractors will only do sealing work during warm weather since this will give the sealant adequate time to set and dry, similar to when asphalt was applied to the driveway for the first time.