Potholes can form in an asphalt driveway in a few different ways. One huge concern, however, is chemical spills. If you have a motorcycle that leaks oil, or you sometimes spill gas on your driveway when refilling your lawnmower, the chemicals thus spilled represent the beginning of the end for your driveway. To ensure that your driveway endures for years to come, you need to consider covering your driveway with a sealcoat.
How Chemicals Destroy Your Driveway
The asphalt tar in your driveway acts as a glue to hold together the pebbles that give your driveway its rigidity. This tar is surprisingly fragile considering how long a driveway can endure. Nothing more than the UV rays of the sun can dry out the asphalt, leaving it brittle and prone to cracking. Similarly, the solvents found in petroleum products such as oil and gasoline can dissolve the tar. Once these chemicals have dissolved the tar, the pebbles that make up your driveway begin to separate.
How a Pothole Forms
Once your driveway starts to break apart, water can get down into the divots thus created, and when this water freezes, it creates a wedge that makes the hole bigger. In one winter, you can go from a few loose pebbles on your driveway to a pothole.
How a Sealcoat Can Help
A sealcoat will protect your driveway in a few ways. If chemical spills are a concern for you, you should use a sealcoat because the chemicals in the sealcoat will repel petroleum products before they have a chance to dissolve the underlying asphalt. Furthermore, a sealcoat acts as a waterproofer. It will help to create a more uniform surface for your driveway by filling low spots, and it will also help to shed water before it has a chance to accumulate. Finally, a sealcoat will absorb the sun's UV rays before they have a chance to bake any remaining liquids out of your driveway.
A homeowner might ask when the best time is to install a sealcoat. Should you weight until you find damage in your driveway? Or should you install your sealcoat right after you lay your driveway? The answer is that you should cover your driveway with a sealcoat right after installation. On the other hand, as long as your driveway still has some life in it, you can cover it with a sealcoat. You will just have to repair damage to an older driveway before you install the sealcoat.
For more information, contact a local sealcoating company like Norwest.