Whether your driveway is concrete or asphalt, if you want to keep it looking like new, you need to understand the importance of sealing.
Sealant sits on top of your driveway and acts as a barrier against the elements –protecting it from damage caused by oil and gas spills, rain, snow and sun.
"With the oxidation process the summer starts to break down the sealer with the sun beating on it. Just imagine if it's a 90 degree July day, that asphalt and also the concrete surfaces gets up to 100 degrees with the sun just beating on it all day so it starts the deterioration process also," says Tyler Stephens, a driveway contractor.
Angie's List says sealcoating can cost between $200 and $300. Most companies base their estimates on the square footage of your driveway, so beware of a price that sound too good to be true.
"Driveway repair is no different than any other service. Be cautious of someone is coming door–to–door and offering you a great deal because they have leftover materials from someone else. Do your research and pick your company. A deal today should be a deal tomorrow," says Angie's List Founder Angie Hicks.
Experts say you should also ask how the contractor plans to spread the sealer.
"There are two ways to seal the asphalt, have the brush and apply it or to spray it. All residential driveways should be brushed and not sprayed so if someone is saying they want to spray your driveway they could really water down the sealers," says Stephens.
Temperature is also key when sealing driveways. Usually, anything over 65 degrees is good.
So how often should you seal your driveway? Angie's List says that depends on your location. if you live in a cold climate with harsh winters and numerous freeze–thaw cycles you'll have to seal every one to two years. Those in much milder climates can often go as little as every four years.