When you sealcoat your asphalt driveway, you help extend its lifespan by providing it with a protective barrier against damage from water and sunlight. Sealcoating your driveway is a simple process. You need to clean your driveway thoroughly to remove dirt and debris that can prevent the sealcoat from adhering to the driveway, then spread the sealcoat over your driveway using a squeegee.
In some cases, however, you'll need to take the additional step of applying asphalt primer to the driveway before you can sealcoat it. Asphalt primer helps the sealcoat bond securely to the asphalt surface. To learn when you need to use asphalt primer when you're sealcoating your driveway, read on.
Your Asphalt Driveway Is Old and Oxidized
The most common reason why you need to prime your driveway before sealcoating it is because the asphalt is badly oxidized. Asphalt oxidizes slowly when it's exposed to air and sunlight. This turns it a white or gray color and makes it less able to hold the aggregate in the asphalt together, causing the surface to appear rough and uneven.
When an asphalt driveway starts to oxidize and change color, that's when most homeowners feel the need to restore its appearance by sealcoating it. However, sealcoat doesn't bond very well to oxidized asphalt. The uneven surface can cause the sealcoat to puddle instead of bonding to the surface.
If your asphalt driveway is oxidized, you'll need to apply asphalt primer to it first. The primer flows more freely than asphalt sealcoat, so it's less prone to puddling. Applying primer to the asphalt surface builds it up to create an even layer that's ready for sealcoat.
Your Asphalt Driveway Has Extensive Oil Stains
When you sealcoat an asphalt driveway, it's important to clean off all the oil and grease stains beforehand. Sealcoat won't adhere to petroleum-based chemicals. If your driveway has extensive oil staining that can't be easily cleaned with a pressure washer, you'll need to prime the surface first. The primer will provide a surface that the sealcoat can bond to when you spread it over your driveway.
If you're unsure if your asphalt driveway will need a layer of primer before you sealcoat it, call a professional sealcoating contractor to do the job. Based on the age of your asphalt and the presence of oil stains on your driveway, they'll determine if your driveway needs a layer of primer to help the sealcoat successfully adhere to the surface. Having a professional sealcoat your driveway will ensure that all of the sealcoat will bond securely to the asphalt instead of being picked up by your car's tires or your shoes.
For more information, contact a seal coating contractor near you.