It seems everyone has a different opinion about when to seal asphalt. The truth is, how often you seal asphalt depends on more important factors than a regularly set time. The two most important things to consider are climate and level of use.
The environment where you live plays a big role in how often your asphalt will need sealing. In mild areas that don't get very hot in summer nor freezing in winter, chances are your asphalt won't need a new application of sealant for at least 3 years. In climates with dramatic temperature changes over the seasons, such as 100+ degree summers or below freezing winters, you'll probably be sealing every year or two.
Every driveway receives a different level of traffic. Asphalt can take a lot of abuse over the years, particularly if you're fond of using it as a foundation for mechanic work. Even kids riding bikes, skateboarding, or doing other recreational activities can contribute to the wear and tear of your asphalt.
This is why it's important to inspect the surface regularly. If you notice cracking, chances are it could do with a good sealing. It's important to catch these signs of wear early, when resealing can be relatively quick and easy. The longer you go without inspecting or repairing damage, the more you risk developing large cracks and potholes that are more difficult to repair!
- Less is More – Using a lot of sealer to make a thick layer may seem like a good idea, but it actually does more harm than good. Follow the instructions for your asphalt sealer and use only what is recommended.
- Mind the Weather – Sealant needs time to set and dry, so be sure to seal when the weather will be cooperative. A ground temperature around 45F is ideal, with dry weather expected for at least three days.