Asphalt top coat is what you need to protect your pavement from the elements and learning how to do it is easy. Now, you may ask why this driveway maintenance is necessary, after all the blacktop is intended for the outdoors, right? True, but just like paint, the great outdoors wears away the surface and it needs to be touched up to protect it. Let’s learn how to do the job yourself in 4 easy steps.
Step One: How To Tell If It’s Time
Fresh and new it should look black and glossy. If what you’re seeing is grey, dry, and brittle, it is definitely time! And just so you know, water should bead and roll off, not soak into the surface.
Step Two: Driveway Maintenance Prep Work
For the asphalt top coat to work, you need a clean, dry, warm surface. So get out that broom, or even better a pressure washer, and thoroughly clean the surface. Seal any cracks with crack filler after it dries. Clean any stains from fuel with a degreaser specifically formulated for asphalt (other cleaners can eat away at your pavement as badly as fuel spills). Check your weather forecast and make sure you’ll be getting 24 hours of dry weather, too.
Step Three: How To Apply The Sealer
Like any ground work, you want to be careful not to walk on your work, so plot your course and work down the slope. Pour a little of the asphalt top coat on the surface and spread it with a roller or squeegee as thinly as possible (remember, 2 thin coats dry and last better than one thick one). Work your way down, until the entire surface is covered.
Step Four: Protect Your Pavement From Traffic
Use caution tape, cones, sawhorses, whatever works, to keep cars and people off all your hard work. Driveway maintenance is enough work without having to try and fix messy footprints and tire tracks! Depending on what type of driveway sealer you use, it can take up to 48-hours to dry (not our sealer, it dries in 3 to 4 hours).
4 Tips For Success:
- If you need anything out of the garage in the drying time, get it out before you start sealcoating!
- Mask off any nearby areas you don’t want painted black. Think sidewalks, garage doors and curbs.
- Be sure to have enough driveway sealer to get the job done. With our free asphalt top coat calculator.
- Keep on top of things and reapply every 2 years. Too often can result in peeling, not often enough will cause damage, so go back to Step One to see if it needs doing.
Protecting your driveway is easy once you know how! Check the asphalt for signs it needs sealing, get your prep work done, apply the sealer, and don’t forget to protect your pavement from traffic while it dries. You’ll get years more life out of your driveway by maintaining it with asphalt top coat to protect it from the elements.
Want to learn more? Take our free homeowner’s driveway maintenance course here.