When to Tar Asphalt? Five Ways You Can Tell!

Using tar asphalt to maintain and protect your blacktop is vital to the long life of your driveway. Knowing when to tar asphalt is the key.

Judson Burdon
Posted by Judson Burdon on April 13

Using tar asphalt to maintain and protect your blacktop is vital to the long-life of your driveway. Knowing when you need to sealcoat asphalt is the key. You want to save money by doing the proper upkeep, but you do not want to waste your hard-earned dollars if the driveway is in good shape.

There are five ways you can easily tell if you need to do the maintenance work.

  1. Faded To Grey: Is it time to tar asphalt surfaces around your property? That grey color is the sign of oxidization, which means the surface is drying out and becoming brittle. If your blacktop isn’t black anymore it is time to tar asphalt.

  2. Spidering: No, we’re not talking about 8-legged creatures, this is that network of fine cracks you see that are a sign it is time to sealcoat asphalt. With spidering, your driveway is more open to damage from sun, rain, snow, ice, salt, gas and oil spills. It is most certainly time to do maintenance!

  3. Water Does Not Bead: If water is not beading and rolling away, it is seeping into the surface, or even further down. Water will erode the very foundation, and in freeze-thaw cycles will cause cracks. Pour some water on the surface and see what happens. This is the simplest way to tell that it’s time to tar asphalt.

  4. Weeds Breaking Through: The edges of your blacktop are where it is most vulnerable to damage. Especially where it borders on your lawn or flowerbeds. When you see weeds or grass breaking through close to the edge, it is your cue to sealcoat asphalt. Just be sure to remove all the weeds first, and repair any cracks that have shown up as a result.

  5. It’s Time: Just like any regularly scheduled maintenance, there’s a solid reason for it. When you sealcoat asphalt you can expect to repeat that job every two years. This is the known time-frame for when the elements will start to affect your blacktop. The idea here is not to wait for damage to be visible by the other 4 ways, but to prevent it from happening in the first place. If you didn’t tar asphalt last year, it needs to be done this year.

We all want to save money, and part of that is protecting our major investments. Replacing your driveway is a huge expense that is easy to avoid for a long time if you practice good maintenance. Watch for the five ways you can tell it’s time to do an asphalt driveway repair or replace. Make sure your blacktop is black, not grey. Spidering, water stops beading, or weeds breaking through are all clear signs it’s time to get to work. And finally, time itself is crucial. Every 2 years is the proper upkeep time-table.

Now you know when it is time to tar asphalt and keep your driveway looking great for years to come.

Topics: Asphalt Maintenance

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