Should You Chip Seal Or Seal Coat Your Home's Asphalt Driveway

Construction & Contractors Blog

If your home's asphalt driveway has seen better days, then you can revive it by having it professionally chip sealed or seal coated. Both processes overlay your existing asphalt driveway to renew its surface look and to protect the asphalt from damage due to weather and vehicles.

Asphalt Oxidization 

The main binder in asphalt is a compound known as bitumen. Air, sunlight, and water oxidize the bitumen and this causes the asphalt to:

  • crumble
  • crack
  • lighten in color

In addition, oxidized asphalt has a natural tendency to shrink in very hot weather. The shrinkage forms cracks and potholes in the driveway's surface.

To avoid oxidization of your home's asphalt driveway, you need to apply a seal coating or chip seal the surface on a regular basis.

Asphalt Seal Coatings

Seal coating asphalt refers to the process of overlaying your home's asphalt driveway with a sealant product. The three methods currently available include:

  • acrylic polymer sealant
  • asphalt emulsion sealant
  • coal tar sealant

Acrylic polymer sealants are a man-made product that simply coats the top surface of the asphalt. They are good quality protectants and require a yearly reapplication. Both asphalt emulsion and coal tar sealants absorb into the surface of the asphalt and can prevent damage for a couple of years before requiring reapplication.

Asphalt sealants should be applied by a professional and in warm weather. Asphalt sealants are not designed to be applied in cold temperatures or in wet weather.

Asphalt Chip Sealing

If your home's existing asphalt driveway is very old or showing lots of signs of past damage repair, then you may want to choose to have the entire driveway chip sealed. Chip sealing is a process where a thick layer of hot liquid asphalt is laid down onto the asphalt driveway. On top of the liquid asphalt is placed a thick layer of rocks. The rocks are referred to as "chips". 

After the chip layer is installed, a large commercial rolling machine is used to compact down the gravel chips into the liquid asphalt. Once this is completed, then any loose gravel is removed and the surface is allowed to cure for a couple of days before you drive on it again.


Now that you have a better understanding about the processes of seal coating and chip sealing your home's old asphalt driveway, you should contact a local asphalt paving and maintenance company, such as Curtis Clean Sweep, to schedule an appointment to protect your home's driveway.


15 July 2015

Constructing My Dream Home

After saving money for years, I was finally ready to build my dream home with a team of professional contractors. I started by talking with the team about what I wanted, and then we moved forward with our plans. It was really incredible to see the things that I wanted come to life, and within a few months, my home was underway. I can honestly say that I was incredibly pleased with our construction team, and I couldn't have done it without them. Check out this blog to learn more about construction and working with a team of qualified professionals.