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  #1  
Old 05-05-2009, 11:42 AM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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How often do you sealcoat your driveway?

That pretty much sums it up. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 05-05-2009, 11:45 AM
Gus Gusterson Gus Gusterson is offline
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Never. If it actually worked, why wouldn't they seal the roads and highways?
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  #3  
Old 05-05-2009, 12:35 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Does it actually work to seal the asphalt? I always thought it was a cosmetic thing designed only to look good to people who value image over substance.

For example, they "sealcoated" the parking lot of the plaza across the road from me. Stunk up the neighbourhood for a week. But they did nothing to actually repair the asphalt, and it still has the same patches and (in places) centimetre-wide cracks that it had before. Idiots.
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  #4  
Old 05-05-2009, 12:37 PM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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I thought the idea was to slow the seepage of moisture into the asphalt. So you're saying it doesn't work? Does anyone have a cite? I really don't want to pay for something I don't need, nor do I want to take a pass on something that will make my driveway last longer. Our driveway is two years old and so far is holding up. No patches and no cracks. Also, we live in Dog Patch. No one to impress here, and no village code to meet (unlike my dad, who is forced to sealcoat every two years).

Last edited by Kalhoun; 05-05-2009 at 12:41 PM..
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  #5  
Old 05-05-2009, 12:46 PM
Gus Gusterson Gus Gusterson is offline
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A properly sloped driveway doesn't collect pools of water. It runs off, either to the street or to a drain in the driveway, depending on which way the driveway is sloped (toward the house or away from the house). Water takes the path of least resistance, which is generally not seeping through asphalt.

Water won't damage your driveway if it just runs off. What damages your driveway is frost heaves, dropping heavy stuff on it, damaging it with snow shovels, and things like that. Sealcoating doesn't protect the driveway from any of those things. If your driveway does collect water in pools, the water will destroy the sealcoating soon enough and then will have its way with the asphalt.

If your driveway is in good shape, sealcoating accomplishes nothing. If your driveway is already damaged, sealcoating just covers up the damage. It's pointless.

Last edited by Gus Gusterson; 05-05-2009 at 12:48 PM..
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  #6  
Old 05-05-2009, 12:48 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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I'm saying that I don't know whether it actually works to slow moisture seepage or whatever, because the applications I've seen seem to be looks-oriented rather than otherwise functional. You imply as such when you mention your father. It might as well be black paint.

Last edited by Sunspace; 05-05-2009 at 12:50 PM..
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  #7  
Old 05-05-2009, 12:52 PM
DMark DMark is offline
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Well, water damage is obviously not a big issue here in the Las Vegas desert, but we were told when we got our house that it would be a wise idea to at least use a sealing paint on the cement steps leading up to the front porch. The contractor told us that it would prevent damage from heat and dryness - where the cement actually breaks off in spots.

We did it on the first week and, compared to neighbors who didn't use a sealing paint, 10 years later ours looks practically new and theirs certainly does look weather-worn.
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  #8  
Old 05-05-2009, 12:53 PM
Khadaji Khadaji is offline
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I had mine repaved last year. The man told me to never bother with sealcoat. He said it would only make it more slick (I have a steep driveway) and the current paving would last 20 years.
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  #9  
Old 05-05-2009, 12:58 PM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus Gusterson View Post
A properly sloped driveway doesn't collect pools of water. It runs off, either to the street or to a drain in the driveway, depending on which way the driveway is sloped (toward the house or away from the house). Water takes the path of least resistance, which is generally not seeping through asphalt.

Water won't damage your driveway if it just runs off. What damages your driveway is frost heaves, dropping heavy stuff on it, damaging it with snow shovels, and things like that. Sealcoating doesn't protect the driveway from any of those things. If your driveway does collect water in pools, the water will destroy the sealcoating soon enough and then will have its way with the asphalt.

If your driveway is in good shape, sealcoating accomplishes nothing. If your driveway is already damaged, sealcoating just covers up the damage. It's pointless.
Why wouldn't the sealcoating fill in the very tiny hairline cracks that come from normal wear and tear? That would keep the cycle of freezing and thawing (and widening of the cracks) to a minimum, wouldn't it? It seems logical that if your driveway isn't damaged already, this would slow it. Do you have a cite that backs up your claim that it does no good on a driveway regardless of condition?
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  #10  
Old 05-05-2009, 01:09 PM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunspace View Post
I'm saying that I don't know whether it actually works to slow moisture seepage or whatever, because the applications I've seen seem to be looks-oriented rather than otherwise functional. You imply as such when you mention your father. It might as well be black paint.
I think it can work both cosmetically and as a preventive measure (unless I can find some info that states it does no good).
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  #11  
Old 05-05-2009, 02:21 PM
JThunder JThunder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalhoun View Post
Why wouldn't the sealcoating fill in the very tiny hairline cracks that come from normal wear and tear? That would keep the cycle of freezing and thawing (and widening of the cracks) to a minimum, wouldn't it? It seems logical that if your driveway isn't damaged already, this would slow it.
Heck, even if the driveway is already damaged, it should reduce the amount of further damage that would ensue.
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  #12  
Old 05-05-2009, 02:22 PM
Pseudocode Pseudocode is offline
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I found a technical report, "Cost-Effectiveness of Crack Sealing Materials and Techniques for Asphalt Pavements" that might be helpful. (pdf link)

Quote:
Structural evaluations using a Falling Weight Deflectometer did not prove an advantage for any particular sealing technique or sealing material nor did
they prove the benefit of sealing cracks in asphalt pavements. Therefore, conducting a life-cycle cost analysis was impractical because no
structural or ride benefit was proven at this site...
Also, the National Pavement Contractor Association has a discussion board that may have some useful information about the sealcoating process from a contractor's perspective.
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  #13  
Old 05-05-2009, 02:24 PM
Lanzy Lanzy is offline
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Hmm, only had the house 4 years and so far it doesn't appear to need anything. so, never?
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  #14  
Old 05-05-2009, 02:50 PM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pseudocode View Post
I found a technical report, "Cost-Effectiveness of Crack Sealing Materials and Techniques for Asphalt Pavements" that might be helpful. (pdf link)



Also, the National Pavement Contractor Association has a discussion board that may have some useful information about the sealcoating process from a contractor's perspective.
The terminology in the link seems to be referring to "crack" sealing, which I assume to mean when they pour that tar-lookin' stuff in wider cracks. The situation I'm looking at is no cracks...just 2 winters and normal wear, good drainage, no pooling.
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  #15  
Old 05-05-2009, 03:07 PM
Dangerosa Dangerosa is offline
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We don't. My two uncles who are contractors have both said "it doesn't do anything for the life of the driveway." But sorry, no cite other than two uncles who are contractors saying its a scam (I've also had driveway guys who provide it say its a scam - but they may just be hoping my driveway gives out faster - a new driveway would probably be more profitable than a sealcoat job). Its also bad on the environment and money I'd rather said.
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Last edited by Dangerosa; 05-05-2009 at 03:10 PM..
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  #16  
Old 05-05-2009, 04:37 PM
Hampshire Hampshire is offline
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My brother-in-law has owned an asphalt company for the past 25 years, I worked for him when I was a teen as a laborer, and my brother worked for him in his 20s as a salesman. It makes the company good money because it's cheap and easy to do but it's totally cosmetic.
If your asphalt gets worn down to the point where you can see the white of the stones in the gravel and you don't like how it looks go ahead and seal it. Just don't do it thinking you're extending the life of the driveway.
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  #17  
Old 05-05-2009, 10:06 PM
NinetyWt NinetyWt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalhoun View Post
Why wouldn't the sealcoating fill in the very tiny hairline cracks that come from normal wear and tear? That would keep the cycle of freezing and thawing (and widening of the cracks) to a minimum, wouldn't it?
I'm not sure that asphaltic concrete develops tiny hairline cracks - seems to me that it unravels rather than cracking like cementitious concrete.

According to the Asphalt Institute:

Q. Should a newly paved driveway or parking lot be sealed (or seal-coated)?

A. No. A well designed and constructed low traffic volume pavement, such as a driveway or parking lot, should not require sealing for approximately 2 to 5 years depending on severity of climate and quality of original work.

If a new pavement is porous, meaning it allows water into the pavement rather than shedding, or draining off, the rain, this pavement might benefit from a light application of a low viscosity asphalt emulsion.

Q. When should a driveway or parking lot be sealed?

A. Sealing is effective to renew old asphalt surfaces that have become dry and brittle with age, to seal small surface cracks and surface voids, and to inhibit raveling (loss of surface aggregate). So, sealing should be done as soon as any of these distresses are noted.


Is your driveway distressed, Kalhoun?
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  #18  
Old 05-05-2009, 11:31 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Well whadda ya know. It does have a non-cosmetic function.
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  #19  
Old 05-06-2009, 08:01 AM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NinetyWt View Post
I'm not sure that asphaltic concrete develops tiny hairline cracks - seems to me that it unravels rather than cracking like cementitious concrete.

According to the Asphalt Institute:

Q. Should a newly paved driveway or parking lot be sealed (or seal-coated)?

A. No. A well designed and constructed low traffic volume pavement, such as a driveway or parking lot, should not require sealing for approximately 2 to 5 years depending on severity of climate and quality of original work.

If a new pavement is porous, meaning it allows water into the pavement rather than shedding, or draining off, the rain, this pavement might benefit from a light application of a low viscosity asphalt emulsion.

Q. When should a driveway or parking lot be sealed?

A. Sealing is effective to renew old asphalt surfaces that have become dry and brittle with age, to seal small surface cracks and surface voids, and to inhibit raveling (loss of surface aggregate). So, sealing should be done as soon as any of these distresses are noted.


Is your driveway distressed, Kalhoun?
Thanks for that information!
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  #20  
Old 05-06-2009, 10:43 AM
NinetyWt NinetyWt is offline
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You're most welcome.
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  #21  
Old 05-06-2009, 11:18 AM
Man With a Cat Man With a Cat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NinetyWt View Post
Is your driveway distressed, Kalhoun?
I don't know about Kalhoun's, but if I don't go sit with a cold drink and talk to mine every so often, it seems a bit morose.
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  #22  
Old 05-06-2009, 12:28 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Bus Guy View Post
I don't know about Kalhoun's, but if I don't go sit with a cold drink and talk to mine every so often, it seems a bit morose.
It could be worse. It could be the road to the gravel pit. There's such a road near my friend's place, and it often seems quite down in the dumps.
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  #23  
Old 05-06-2009, 06:01 PM
AskNott AskNott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus Gusterson View Post
Never. If it actually worked, why wouldn't they seal the roads and highways?
I see what you mean, but governments don't work that way. There are ways of paving that would make more durable roads (such as fabric mesh laminates and aggregates made from recycled tires,) but they're more expensive. When you're a governmental body, it's awfully hard to sell the idea of doing something the expensive way.

If you do get into crack-patching, you're likely to make grammar fanatics grumpy. You'll lay down hot tar on the crack, and one member of your crew will even it out with a hoe. Yes, he'll have a hard road to hoe.
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  #24  
Old 05-07-2009, 03:30 PM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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Well, after mulling over all the input, we got an awesome price and decided to do it. I feel short-changed though. It wasn't quite hot enough for Sealcoat Dude and his sidekick to take off their shirts. I should probably demand a percentage of my money back. Hubba-hubba, you big, tall, sweaty hunk o' man, you...
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  #25  
Old 05-07-2009, 06:29 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
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And if a man would have posted a similarly-worded jest regarding female workers all hell would have broken loose. I'm not offended! But we live in a very lopsided society when it comes to certain connotations. Personally, I love the Hooters' chicks.

Last edited by Leaffan; 05-07-2009 at 06:31 PM..
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  #26  
Old 05-08-2009, 05:07 AM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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Originally Posted by Leaffan View Post
And if a man would have posted a similarly-worded jest regarding female workers all hell would have broken loose. I'm not offended! But we live in a very lopsided society when it comes to certain connotations. Personally, I love the Hooters' chicks.
I don't begrudge anyone who sees someone from afar and sexualizes them. It's the in-your-face personal encounters that piss me off. The only problem I have with the Hooters thing is that they're forced to dress like that (whether it looks good or not) in order to work there. I wouldn't dream of asking my sealcoat dudes to take their shirts off. I just dream of what it would look like if they did!
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  #27  
Old 05-08-2009, 02:10 PM
control-z control-z is online now
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FWIW, my driveway is developing some cracks, but I think it's because of Maple tree roots.
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  #28  
Old 07-14-2012, 01:33 AM
bobot bobot is offline
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Never

I never have, (7 year old driveway) and I'm kind of glad, because I've read that that stuff is full of nasty coal leftovers. Mine is blacktop, I guess, and it dosen't bother me
that it isn't shiny, or waterproof, or whatever.
I answered this question before reading the thread, so I'll do that now. God, I hope I haven't duplicated a previous response!
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  #29  
Old 02-23-2013, 03:42 PM
running coach running coach is offline
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Sealcoat spam reported.
You guys spam every two years also?
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  #30  
Old 02-23-2013, 04:54 PM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is offline
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Concur, sealcoating is about 95% scam and 5% for appearance.

Pressure wash an asphalt driveway about once a year, and be sure to seal any cracks with one of the soft/rubbery sealants before the damage goes deeper. Nothing else required as long as the natural charcoal color of aged asphalt doesn't offend you.
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  #31  
Old 02-23-2013, 05:16 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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I never seal coat my driveway because it's gravel. I used to have a driveway that I seal coated twice in about 10 years. Both times mainly for appearance. From what I've seen and heard, the high quality rubbery sealants are pretty good for slowing down the deterioration caused by water infiltration. Since the good stuff is more expensive than the heavy oil often used I wonder if it's really worth the cost other than for appearance sake. Personally I prefer gravel. A $250 load every 2-3 years maintains a good surface that I only have to shovel when there's deep snow.
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  #32  
Old 02-23-2013, 07:00 PM
Askance Askance is offline
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Seals need coats? Who knew?
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