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Questions & Answers


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Benham Falls SealCoat LLC

What is Seal Coating?

Seal coating is a process not unlike painting your house. The asphalt in your driveway can deteriorate due to exposure from the sun, heavy traffic or oil and gas spills. The seal coating process involves brushing or spray applying a coal tar emulsion to help protect the asphalt from the elements. Seal coating enhances the look of your Driveway/Parking Lot and prolongs the life of the asphalt.

Why Seal Coat?

Numerous studies by the Asphalt Institute demonstrate the measurable benefits of preventive maintenance. Seal coating and crack filling periodically will greatly extend the life of your pavement. With the skyrocketing costs of new asphalt, the case for maintenance has never been greater.

How much will it cost to seal coat my driveway?

The cost of driveways varies due to the degree of work involved. Some driveways require more prep work than others. Factors that determine the cost of your driveway include cleanliness, number of cracks, pothole repairs, square footage, and any additional work. Just give us a call or fill out the form on Request an Estimate on our website and we will come out and give you a quote on your driveway.

How Do You Apply Seal Coat?

We do a majority of our residential jobs by hand. This gives you a heavier coat of sealer and neater job overall. All commercial jobs and very large driveways are done using a spray unit or a squeegee machine.

Do I need to do anything to prepare for my driveway to be seal coated?

Be sure that the work area is clear from all vehicles, toys, bikes, grills, etc. Also, make sure that your pets are either inside or secured away from the work area and your lawn sprinkler are turned off. If you fertilize your lawn or plantings, please don’t fertilize for a week prior to or after the sealcoat. Fertilizer products will discolor the sealer products. Please don’t wet the driveway in any way prior to seal coating

How long should I stay off my driveway after it has been seal coated?

Please do not walk or park on your driveway for 24 to 48 hours depending on the weather conditions and the amount of shade that covers your driveway. Make sure sprinkler system is off and keep pets away from the driveway until sealer has dried.

Will you block of my driveway when you are finished?

Yes, absolutely. We place “Caution Tape” across the entrance of your driveway.

Why might the edges of the driveway look different than the rest of my driveway?

We pay special attention to the edges of your driveway, especially around your garage and stone walls, occasionally seal coating them by hand. These areas of focus often require a thicker coat of sealer, causing them to appear darker in color and take longer to dry. The edges may cure more slowly and the appearance will become uniform

What air temperature is required for seal coat to be applied?

It must be at least 50 degrees and rising for the entire 24 hours that it is curing. Lower temperatures could cause delayed or poor curing.

Does rain effect the seal coat application?

Yes, seal coat should not be applied if rain is anticipated within a 24 hour period. Weather makes all the difference. Sealer cannot be applied if there is high chance of rain or if there is a change in the forecast for the day or the day after the job is scheduled. If this is the case, we may call to reschedule your appointment. We generally call the night before to schedule work, that way we have a good understanding of the weather for the next few days.

How is my driveway prepared prior to the application of the seal coat?

The surface is cleaned from all loose dirt and material. All asphalt patching and crack filling should be done before the sealer is applied.

When and how often should a driveway be seal coated?

The first application of sealer on a new driveway should occur around one year after installation. This will allow some of the new oils to evaporate and promote good sealer adhesion. The very first application of sealer may only last one to two years as the new asphalt will soak in the first coat of sealer. Thereafter, we recommend sealing every two to three years. In most cases, it is unwise to seal a driveway every year as you can build up too much sealer which can lead to surface cracking of the sealer. Some poorly laid or older asphalt driveways need sealing every 1-2 years to prevent additional cracking and pot holes. Cracks and pot holes should be filled and repaired every year.

What do you do about the cracks?

Crack sealing is the most important step you can take to protect your pavement. Cracks are a natural occurrence for most asphalt surfaces after a few years. Proper preparation is key to successful crack sealing. Cracks must be dry and clean for the hot rubberized tar to adhere properly to the sidewalls of the cracks and form a tight bond to prevent water penetration. Once the crack is cleaned, we will apply a band of specially formulated hot tar at 350-400 degrees across the crack. This band of rubber is approximately three inches wide and will be visible after the sealcoat process.

Will the sealer eliminate all those tiny surface cracks?

The short answer is No. Sealcoat is not a “leveling agent”. The sealer will help fill in small voids and coat any imperfections, but some imperfections may still be visible. Spider cracks and shallow surface flaws are very common and eliminating them completely would require removal of the asphalt and patching with new asphalt.

Will you get rid of grass growing up through my driveway?

The grass will be cut using a weed Wacker. However, without a regular spray of some type of weed killer, the grass will come back. Grass has the power to grow through the asphalt. Therefore, it easily has the power to grow through sealer too. Consistently using a weed killer will prevent further asphalt damage.

How often should I fill the cracks in my driveway?

Cracks should be maintained yearly. Asphalt continues to expand and contract with the warm and cold weather. While we use commercial grade crack filler; there is no such product that can stop the asphalt from expanding and contracting. The bottom line is crack filler will substantially prolong the life of the asphalt by preventing water from getting into the asphalt foundation.

What can be done about oil stains?

We have several methods and techniques to address oil, gas or chemical stains on your asphalt. Typically, we will wire brush to remove as much of the stain as possible. An oil spot primer will be brushed onto the stain, preventing it from eating through the new layer of sealcoat. Heavy stains that have damaged the asphalt require removal of the area and installation of an asphalt patch.

Will you get sealer on my bricks, concrete or garage doors?

Never! We guarantee that we will not get sealer anywhere is does not belong. We will immediately remove any sealer if it does splash up. Please keep in mind that we are not responsible for sealer that was previously on concrete, brick or garage doors.

There are a lot of cracks in my driveway. Will seal coating fix it?

Seal coating is a preventive measure, but is not a cure-all. Sealcoating does not fix cracks, but will help keep a driveway in bad shape glued together and will prolong the time before you need to replace your driveway. If a driveway is determined to be too far gone, we will recommend not spending any more repairing it and instead give an estimate for a new driveway.

My driveway is in really bad shape. Can it be fixed?

Whether you want to repair your existing driveway or install a new driveway, we will honestly recommend the best course of action. A majority of driveways can be fixed by crack filling, asphalt patch, and sealcoating. If this is not the case, we will recommend and provide a quote for a re-surface or new driveway.

What happens if leaves fall on my newly seal coated driveway?

If leaves fall onto the driveway when it is wet, they may stick slightly. The leaves eventually dry, crumble up and blow away. Do not attempt to remove the leaves by walking on uncured sealer or scraping them off as this might damage your newly sealed driveway.

The sealer dried gray or brown. Why did this happen?

Like any sprayed or liquid-based coating, the sun helps the sealer dry. In areas of shade, such as under a tree, the sealer may dry at a different rate than the rest of the driveway. Also, sealer will take longer to dry during the spring and fall due to cooler temperatures. Over time, the sealer will dry to a uniform appearance and color.

I just had my driveway sealed and I’m noticing tire marks and streaks in the sealer. Why?

Complete cure time for sealer takes up to 30 days. During this time, the surface is sensitive to staining (lawn fertilizer, rain runoff), tire marks and streaking from irrigation systems/hose use. While somewhat unsightly, these imperfections should fade away over the next few weeks as the sealer fully cures

Will I see the crack(s) in my driveway after you repair it?

We strive to make your driveway look its best; however, the crack repair service is not intended to make these cracks disappear. The service is intended to provide a watertight seal between the foundation of your driveway and the weather. After we apply the crack repair, the repair itself may settle: this in no way affects the watertight seal. The repair may also be visible under the seal coat. Many different factors, such as driveway texture, previous seal coats, time of day, and the angle at which the repair is viewed at, have an impact on the crack repair's final appearance. “Alligator” and “Spider” cracked areas will eventually need repair because it is difficult to fill all cracks. The aesthetic value along with the structural integrity of the pavement will still be much improved.