Asphalt Pavement begins to deteriorate as soon as it is laid down. Fuel and lubricants dissolve it, water softens it and sunlight accelerates oxidation to break down the binder. Unsealed blacktop can lose half its thickness in twenty years.
Asphalt that is not maintained breaks down. Within a year, the original black color turns pale. Hairline cracks form. The asphalt begins to lose elasticity. A few years after the entire thickness has oxidized and become brittle. The color turns light gray.
If you decide to do the job yourself, you can buy asphalt sealer in five-gallon containers at any of your local lumber companies or home improvement stores. You also need to purchase a special sealer broom to apply the sealer and a paintbrush to cut in along walls and tight areas. Applying the sealer to your driveway can be tricky. You need to apply it in even brush strokes. When it dries it will look just the way you brushed it on. The sealer will dry very fast so you need to work very quickly.
There is also a big difference between the sealers that you can buy and the sealers that are used by asphalt contractors who seal driveways for a living. The sealer we use contains silica sand which helps fill in small imperfections and adds slip resistance. Not to mention the sealer lasts about three times as long as the kind purchased at your local lumber companies or home improvement stores. Your pavement needs to be sealed every 1-3 years. If you have it plowed, use salt in the winter, experience harsh winters, harsh summers, notice worn/damaged sealer or cracks you may need it sealed every year.
We use Tarconite, it is a concentrated refined tar emulsion specifically formulated as a weather protective, gas and oil resistant coating over the asphalt pavements of airports, parking lots and driveways. Tarconite extends the service life and reduces maintenance costs of off-street asphalt pavements. Tarconite protects such pavements from the destructive effects of water, sunlight, oxidation, gasoline, motor oil, and many other chemicals and solvents. In addition, Tarconite, when mixed and applied according to manufacturer's recommendations, provides a distinctive new-looking surface that is skid resistant, long-lasting and easy to clean. Tarconite is a concentrated, high solids, mineral colloid stabilized, refined coal tar emulsion. The performance and bonding of Tarconite to the pavement is greatly enhanced by surfactant ingredients. Restores the black original attractive look. Prevents oxidation by blocking out the damaging effects of sun and ultraviolet rays. Keeps gasoline, Oil, jet fuels leaks and spills from, penetrating the surface. Protects against the number one pavement destroying force - water. Makes your property safer, cleaner, more attractive and longer lasting. Tarconite provides up to 50% greater wear than non-fortified sealers.