If you have an asphalt driveway and are concerned about potential damage, you might want to consider sealing it. This is done on a semi-regular basis, where you will apply a sealant in order to protect its surface. Here are some pros and cons of sealing an asphalt driveway to help you decide if this is a good option for you.
Pro: Your driveway will have a smooth, sleek appearance
While many of the benefits of sealing a driveway have to do with protecting it from damage, don't forget about the improved appearance. Sealing asphalt gives it a dark, sleek look. It will have a beautiful smooth finish that helps it look cleaner and brand new for a long time. Every time you pull into your driveway, you will be impressed that it still has this sleek appearance.
Con: More maintenance is involved
If you think that by getting your asphalt driveway sealed you will have less maintenance, you might want to reconsider. While you won't have as much damage to repair on the driveway, there is still quite a bit of maintenance involved. You don't just seal the driveway once, but need to keep buying more sealer and repeating the application process on a regular basis. Talk to a driveway professional about how often you need to apply the sealant.
Pro: There is protection from water damage
Believe it or not, water can be a primary source of damage for your asphalt driveway. Water itself doesn't damage it, but if you have cracks, water can get inside the driveway surface, freeze due to cold temperatures, then lead to large cracks. The base material can also get ruined from excessive water exposure. Alligator cracks also form when water gets deep into the asphalt material, but sealing the driveway prevents this from happening.
Con: The initial costs are high
Also consider the fact that asphalt driveway sealer isn't cheap. You will be paying for the initial costs of purchasing the sealer, not to mention other supplies needed to apply it. However, you may save money in the long run by not having excessive damage to your driveway and having a driveway that lasts longer overall.
Pro: The driveway is resistant to the elements
Water isn't the only thing that your driveway is protected from; there are many other things that you will be protecting it from. For example, extreme heat won't cause cracks or erosion of the asphalt quite as easily when you seal it on a regular basis. It will also be resistant to penetration from salt, oil, diesel fuel, gas, and various chemicals.
Companies like Star Paving can help you decide what kind of sealing is best for your asphalt driveway.