Asphalt is the most common type of paving material, and for good reason: it is extremely affordable, easy to install, and can be used within hours of being properly laid down under the right conditions. However, no paving material is completely immune to damage due to weather exposure, and asphalt is no exception. In order to keep your asphalt in good structural condition, you need to make sure that you have it regularly sealed to protect the top layer from degrading. Understanding what can happen if you don't have an annual sealing schedule in place can make it clear to you why you should talk to a asphalt repair contractor about sealing your paved surfaces.
Sealing your asphalt will prevent moisture and liquids from setting into your paved surface. Without proper and regular sealing, your asphalt can quickly become stained due to exposure to chemicals leaking from your car, salt and other deicing materials put out in the winter, and anything else that mother nature may decide to throw at it. This can leave your paved surface looking unattractive and lower the overall curb appeal of your entire property. It's also important to note that these chemicals can make your asphalt more brittle and prone to cracking, beyond simply having a negative aesthetic effect on the pavement.
Eliminate Moisture-Related Cracking
In a similar vein to the above point, sealing your driveway will prevent rainwater and puddles from seeping into your asphalt. Once water has been absorbed into your asphalt, it can freeze and expand – forcing cracks to appear and severely undermining the structural integrity of your driveway. Specific areas of your driveway that experience heavy amounts of water flowing over them, because of the slope of your driveway or their distance away from a downspout, are likely to develop potholes due to excessive cracking in a concentrated area, which requires expensive filling and repaving to fix. Sealing is a simpler and much less expensive process that can prevent this from happening.
Stand Up to Heat Damage
Finally, the last reason why you should regularly have your asphalt surface sealed is to protect the pavement from temperature damage. While asphalt is durable, it softens easily in hot temperatures, which makes structural damage much more likely to occur. A layer of sealant over your asphalt pavement acts as a protective barrier, preventing your asphalt from softening to the same degree and limiting the amount of potential physical deformation that can occur during the summer months.