How UV Rays And Heat From The Sun Damage Your Driveway Over Time And How Sealcoating Helps

Sun exposure is damaging to your asphalt driveway. There's not much you can do to about the sun, and your driveway may be exposed all year long unless it's under shade trees. You can't control the sun, but you can slow down the damage it does to your driveway by having a sealcoat applied and reapplying it every few years before it wears away. Here's how the sun slowly destroys an asphalt driveway and how asphalt sealcoating helps.

The Sun Softens Asphalt And Makes It Vulnerable

You probably know that dark colors absorb heat, so when it's hot outside, the asphalt is even hotter. In extreme summer weather, it's possible for the asphalt to get so hot that it softens. While it may not soften much, it can be enough to put the driveway at risk of damage from a heavy vehicle. Plus, the changes in the asphalt that occur due to shifts in temperatures can lead to wear and tear over the years.

The Sun Fades Asphalt

While faded asphalt isn't necessarily harmful, it's a sign the sun is affecting your driveway. A faded driveway looks old and unsightly. Plus, stains from car oil and fluids show more readily on light asphalt.

The Sun Causes Degradation Of The Asphalt Binder

The sun can eventually wear out an asphalt driveway. The process takes years, but the sun can cause your driveway to start falling apart because the UV rays affect the binder that holds the aggregate together. The asphalt can dry out or the binder can get weak, and that allows cracks and potholes to form more easily. As the asphalt begins to deteriorate, it can be damaged more easily by rain and freezing temperatures. As time goes on, alligator cracking could develop along the edges of your driveway and that might require cutting out part of the asphalt to replace it.

Asphalt Sealcoating Protects Your Driveway

A sealcoat is painted on the surface of your driveway, and it's meant to sacrifice itself to the sun and weather. That's why the sealcoat has to be applied every few years. Instead of the asphalt wearing down, the sealcoat wears off. Sealcoating creates a barrier on the surface of the asphalt that blocks UV rays so they can't weaken the asphalt or make it brittle. This reduces the risk of cracking and other damage. A sealcoat also maintains the dark color of the asphalt and is a solution for ugly fading. Keeping sealcoating on your driveway protects against asphalt damage and it also keeps the asphalt dark and attractive.