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When Should You Sealcoat or Repave Your Asphalt Driveway?

As a homeowner, you understand the importance of maintaining your property, including your driveway. Taking care of your driveway isn’t always the easiest thing. You have to know when to seal coat it or when to have it repaved. But when is the right time? And how do you go about maintaining and repairing a driveway?

Thankfully, Celeste Sealcoating & Asphalt Services Inc is here to help you. Project Manager Jerry Ross took the time to answer some important questions homeowners often ask. Here’s what Jerry had to say about maintaining asphalt driveways.


How does a homeowner know if they can just sealcoat a driveway or when it is time for a new asphalt driveway?

  • If the driveway has areas where the pavement is rutted or severely broken, where the pavement sort of looks like the hide of an alligator – we call this “alligatoring” or alligator cracks – this is when you need to start thinking about new asphalt. When a pavement gets to that point you really can’t crack fill it any more.

  • To crack fill over a patch of alligator cracks would basically turn the area into a continuous sheet of crack filling rubber. If you would do that, in warmer weather, vehicle tires can adhere to this large area of crack filler and literally pull the pavement out of the driveway.

  • Also, a driveway that has been sealed/oversealed over the years can cause this alligatoring effect. The key is to look very closely at the pavement. Alligatoring from oversealing has more of a look of cracked glazing on pottery and doesn’t actually crack the pavement underneath, while alligatoring of the pavement will show actual cracks down into the pavement where an object like a butter knife could be inserted. Merely sealing really can’t cure either condition.

What do you look for to base your recommendation on?

  • I take a good look at the cracking on the driveway and whether or not the driveway drainage mechanics are working properly. Significant cracking of the pavement underneath allows water into the base, which in turn accelerates cracking during freeze-thaw times of the year. On the drainage mechanics, I look to see if the driveway is draining properly and not allowing drainage towards foundations, doors, or other undesirable places. If I see either of these things, I recommend a new driveway to cure the issues.

  • If the driveway has the alligatoring effect where just the sealcoat has that cracked glazed pottery look, a sealcoat will merely make everything nice and black again, but the effect will still be there once the sealcoat has been completed. This type of cracked-pottery alligatoring effect has no effect on the structural integrity of the driveway and is merely cosmetic in nature. If cosmetics of the drive are of significant importance to the homeowner, I recommend a new driveway.

If a homeowner tried to "do-it-yourself" sealcoat and it went horrible wrong, how can Wolf Paving help fix it?

  • Many off-the-shelf sealcoating products have been formulated to withstand sitting on a store shelf for an extended period of time. As a result, these products cannot match the quality and durability of the products and types of sealer that Celeste Sealcoating & Asphalt Services Inc uses. We custom mix our sealers with the appropriate additives, and our material is kept in a suspended state of frequent mixing; something store brands are not able to offer. I have seen driveways where an attempt by a homeowner went badly and we were asked to see what we can do - with mixed results. As we have no control over the chemical makeup of the material the homeowner used, we can’t guarantee against a reaction between their sealer and ours, and any adhesion issues that may result.

  • I have also seen homeowner attempts where their sealer never fully cures and remains a little tacky, which can be an major issue. To these homeowners, I often recommend having the Celeste Sealcoating & Asphalt Services Inc team come in and sealing over the top in hopes that there are no issues (most of the time there is not an issue), but there needs to be an understanding that we can’t guarantee against a reaction, but will do our best.

Why would someone just sealcoat the end of their driveway?

  • There are quite a few municipalities that will not allow a concrete driveway to extend all the way to the road edge - thus requiring a short asphalt approach. All driveways weather and given enough time, concrete driveways can become grey, while asphalt driveways can fade to grey as well- giving the appearance of a similar type of driveway. There is no sealcoat that will bring a concrete driveway back to white, so once the homeowner sealcoats the asphalt portion, the difference in driveway types becomes very noticeable.

Any advice or quick tips for a homeowner with a weathered asphalt driveway?

  • Definitely. Call for an estimate to a reputable established trusted contractor stating that you have a weathered driveway and would appreciate suggestions on what the best, cost-effective course of action would be. So much depends on the visualinspection of the driveway by the estimator. A weathered asphalt driveway (depending on the needs and wants of the customer) could basically be left alone until budget allows for a new driveway. It could only require crack filling to protect it from the harmful effects of freeze/thaw (if cosmetics are not a high priority but function is), or the driveway could be crack filled and sealcoated to bring it as close to the appearance of a new driveway as possible- again. So much is up to the inspection by the estimator and conversation with the homeowner.

  • The single biggest tip is to never ever have a person/company travelling through the neighborhood offering to service your driveway work on your driveway because they “have extra material and will give you a great price”- whether it be sealcoating or actual paving or patching. Do your homework and check out the contractor ahead of time. Diluted sealcoat or substandard paving materials are the norm with these types of offers, and if and when you have a problem the chance of receiving any support or solutions is a long shot.

  • Check your prospective contractor out and see how receptive they are to customer concerns down the line. Concerns and problems happen with any contractor in any line of work, the key is how they are treated once they arise. It’s time well spent.


How to Properly Sealcoat Your Asphalt Driveway Or Parking Lot

You would never brave a cold winter day, a powerful rainstorm or a bright sunny day without protection, would you? Probably not. Don’t let your asphalt driveway or parking lot, either.

Sealcoating is a barrier that protects your asphalt driveway from the elements and improves asphalt durability and longevity. Understanding the benefits and best practices when it comes to sealcoating and the proper steps a reputable contractor will take to protect your investment, is important.


What Are The Benefits of Sealcoating?

The primary purpose of sealcoating an asphalt surface is to protect it from the deterioration that is caused by sun, water and car pollutants, like oil and gasoline. When asphalt is exposed to the sun, water and other compounds, the asphalt can oxidize and harden, becoming brittle and more likely to crack or break apart. A sealcoat application helps protect the asphalt surface, reducing water penetration and the harmful effects associated with UV rays and harmful car pollutants.

Sealcoating also gives a fresh, new look to your asphalt driveway or parking lot. An application of sealcoat will leave your surface looking like new, reducing facing and filling small cracks and minor surface damage. Moreover, a sealcoating application can save you money in the long run because you will protect the surface, extending the lifespan of the asphalt.

Asphalt Preparation

Your experienced asphalt contractor will talk with you about your specific timeline for a sealcoating project, but it should follow this general course of action items:

  1. Evaluate the surface. The first task for any contractor is to evaluate the current state of your asphalt surface. If it is a new surface, you will not require sealcoating for 12-24 months. If it is an existing surface, a contractor will look for cracks, potholes, oil stains or other damage that might need repair before a sealcoat application.

  2. Clean the surface. Using brooms, brushes or power washers, the asphalt surface will need to be cleaned thoroughly to ensure the sealcoat can bond effectively. This is also important because all cracks, potholes and damaged areas will need to be cleaned as well, before repairs can begin.

  3. Identify cracks and repair, as needed. Whether they are cracks, divots or depressions, they should be filled with an appropriate aggregate mix to ensure extended asphalt integrity and durability.

  4. Pothole repair. Potholes should be repaired or patched prior to sealcoating to ensure the surface is looking and operating at its best.

  5. Clean oil spots and surface priming. It is important to remove oil stains from asphalt before sealcoating because the sealcoat will not stick to vehicle pollutants of any kind. If you are unable to remove the stain, consider using a primer agent, which much like wall primer, will allow the sealcoat to stick to the asphalt surface.

Weather Conditions

A sealcoat application should not be completed unless the pavement temperature is at least 50 degrees with an air temperature above 50 degrees and rising. Sealcoating applied in other weather conditions could result in poor application and a shorter protective time period.

Sealcoat Application

Typically, an asphalt surface will require two sealcoat applications initially, to penetrate the surface and result in a deep, protective coating. Every 2-3 years thereafter, an additional sealcoating application will help improve surface appearance and maintain the lifespan and durability of the asphalt surface.

Do you have any additional questions about sealcoating? Let us know in the comments, we’d be happy to answer them!

With 60+ years of asphalt paving experience, from highways to driveways, we are your local source for all of your asphalt paving & sealcoating needs.

7 Sealcoating Facts That Show Cost Savings And Benefits For Your Asphalt Pavement

Did you know that in only a few hours, a faded, dreary asphalt pavement surface could be restored, almost like new? The magic of sealcoating is real and we’d love to share the fascinating facts about sealcoating with you.


What is Sealcoating?

Sealcoating a thin liquid layer added over a paved surface to protect it from damage caused by UV rays, rain and snow, and fluids from vehicles. Sealcoating won’t cure existing issues, like cracks, but is will help prevent such damage from forming in the first place. Aside from keeping out damaging elements, properly applying a sealcoat is important to extend the life of asphalt paving.

Here is a list of seven facts you likely did not know about sealcoating!

  1. Sealcoating protects and prolongs the life expectancy of asphalt pavement by filling surface damage and providing a protective layer to keep out damaging UV rays, vehicle fluids and water.

  2. The low cost of regular sealcoating can save you money in the long run. A properly maintained and sealed asphalt surface has an extended lifetime and reduces long-term repair costs.

  3. With exposure to the elements, asphalt pavement over time becomes faded in appearance. A fresh sealcoat application enhances the appearance of asphalt, making it look and wear like new.

  4. Sealcoating is typically done using one of two application methods: spray or squeegee.

  5. Sealcoating accelerates the melting process of snow and ice on pavement surfaces. This helps to protect against water penetration, rain, frost and snow damage.

  6. To properly complete the sealcoating process, the air and pavement temperature is recommended to be at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit for the duration of application and for eight hours following the application.

  7. Prior to pavement sealing, the asphalt surface should be cleared of all dirt and debris. In addition, minor repairs, like potholes and cracks, should be filled and vehicle fluids, like oil, should be properly removed.

Did you know all of these fascinating facts about sealcoating?

6 Things Property Managers May Not Know About Parking Lot Sealcoating

Establishing a long-term approach (2-5 years) to a property’s pavement maintenance plan will not only build strong visual appeal, it will ultimately help extend the life of the parking lot. A proactive approach to maintenance helps property and facility managers reduce potential costs and liabilities. The timing of repair is of the utmost importance to avoid business interference, and pavement concerns should be addressed at the first show of wear and tear, cracks and drainage issues. Sealcoating is one of the most important elements of a property’s maintenance plan with benefits that attract patrons and reduce costs.


1. Attracts Prospective Customers

Freshly sealcoated pavement boasts the deep black appearance of a brand new asphalt surface, and passersbys and visitors take notice. A well-maintained parking lot makes a good first impression and can enhance the image of your property. Parking lot sealcoating is a simple and affordable way to attract new business and keep your asphalt pavement in good condition. These treatments can be applied in separate mobilizations to avoid inconveniencing patrons.

2. Reduces Exposure to Oxygen & UV Rays

Asphalt pavement consists of rock and asphalt binder, which becomes brittle under oxidized conditions and can cause cracks and deterioration prematurely. However, sealcoating offers protection from oxygen and ultraviolet radiation, as it fills any surface voids to prevent penetration.

3. Increases Oil & Gas Resistance

Just as sealcoating helps prevent UV ray and oxygen exposure, it further serves as a barrier for the penetration of oil and gas. The coal tars utilized in the sealcoating process are impervious to oil and gas spills, which can soften pavement that is not sealed. Oil and gas on parking lot surfaces are hazardous – even in small amounts – and can result in a costly injury to a patron or staff member.

4. Sealcoated Parking Lots are Easier to Clean

An added benefit of keeping up with parking lot sealcoating within a regular maintenance plan is that this smooth barrier makes the lot much easier to clean. Shoveling snow, pressure washing and sweeping duties are far more effective on a sealcoated lot, simplifying upkeep and maintenance year-round.

5. Increases Pavement Flexibility and Reduces Cracks

The weight of constant traffic and inclement conditions such as the freeze/ thaw cycle cause asphalt to expand and contract, which can ultimately cause cracks to form. These cracks allow chemicals and water to penetrate the surface, progressing deterioration. Sealcoating your asphalt parking lot increases its flexibility and helps prevent weather damage to extend the life of your pavement under even heavy traffic conditions.

6. Sealcoating Extends the Life of Parking Lot Paving

Depending on the level of traffic your lot receives, you’ll want to consider a pavement maintenance program that includes the re-application of a life-extending sealcoat treatment every 2-5 years. Sealcoating is one of the most cost effective ways that property owners can protect their parking lot pavement. Less cracks, fewer potholes, easier to clean, increased flexibility – a win-win for both patrons and owners!

Sealcoating is an easy way to improve the appeal of your parking lot and business. When completed in conjunction with a crack sealing program, the pavement deterioration rate will drop. Working closely with an asphalt- paving contractor is a critical element to ensure you are developing and implementing a pavement maintenance plan that will protect your property and the life of its parking lot pavement.

Is sealcoating an element of your existing parking lot maintenance plan and what improvements do you plan to make over the next 2-5 years?

3 Tips To Increase The Lifespan Of Asphalt Pavement

Have you recently invested in a new asphalt parking lot or driveway and want to ensure that it lasts? A quality asphalt pavement can last an average of 15-20 years in southeast Wisconsin. The freeze/thaw cycles, along with the type of soil underneath the base stone are main factors in the life of the pavement. In areas where the freeze/thaw cycle is not as much of a concern, the life expectancy is longer.

Celeste Sealcoating & Asphalt Services Inc. recommends regular maintenance and upkeep to help keep your asphalt protected and to get the most out of your investment. Following these tips can increase the lifespan of your asphalt pavement to 25+ years.


Tip #1: Prevent Water Damage

The best thing to do is to prevent water intrusion through or under the pavement as much as possible. Water is susceptible to freezing and thawing, which prematurely damages the pavement. Try to get good drainage away from the driveway as well. Your paving contractor can help with this as they are going through the paving process.

Tip #2: Sealcoat and Fill Cracks

If there are cracks in the pavement, seal them as adamantly and frequently as needed. Sealcoating periodically will help keep the elements from oxidizing the surface. However, do not overseal, as that will shorten the life of the pavement. Celeste Sealcoating & Asphalt Services Inc. recommends sealcoating every few years. Sealcoat only when the previous sealcoat is worn off by traffic to a point where significant portions of the bare pavement below the sealcoat are showing.

Tip #3: Consider Replacing the Asphalt

If you have followed the above two steps and your pavement still looks worn out, it may be time to think about replacing the asphalt. It may be time to replace the asphalt if it stops functioning mechanically, meaning it does not drain properly, is bumpy, or there is too much settling.

Another reason you may want consider replacing the asphalt is if it just looks bad. If it doesn’t look its best anymore, even after crack filling and sealcoating, replacement is the only option.

Safety concern is an additional reason to replace the asphalt as well. Slips, falls, or damage to vehicles may be signs the pavement should to be replaced.

In the end, it is up to the customer and what best fits their needs and budget.

The life expectancy varies based on climate, traffic, and maintenance. It is possible to have asphalt pavement last 25-30 years, but this depends on how strong the base is, the soil types underneath, how well those soils drain, how think the original road, parking lot, or driveway was paved.

Is it time for crack filling or sealcoating your asphalt parking lot or driveway? Or is replacing the asphalt a better route for you? Contact Celeste Sealcoating & Asphalt Services Inc. for more information on choosing the best option for your asphalt pavement or to request a quote.

Prolong The Life Of Your Asphalt With Sealcoating

Pavement doesn’t necessarily fail and tell you that it is time for replacement. It may very well have been paved on an excellent base and paved with excellent materials and workmanship. Now that time has passed, the surface of the pavement has aged due to the effects of normal weather and while it may function well, it may not be in cosmetically great condition.

Asphalt, like any pavement, wears over time. The more wear a pavement experiences, the more of the finer particles that make up the pavement deteriorate. This leaves larger aggregates behind, which wear at a much slower rate. In areas with a significant amount of traffic, like a gas station for instance, the surface of the pavement wears to a condition where it becomes “polished”. The finer particles in the pavement have worn away, and the larger aggregates get so much traffic that the surface of the pavement can get a polished look to it, with cavities between the aggregate pieces. This can happen to asphalt or concrete, and is a normal factor of wear.


Sealcoating an asphalt surface that has a polished, or worn out, look to it can prove tricky as the deteriorated aggregates maynot allow the same amount of adhesion of the sealcoat. Minimized adhesion results in sealcoating that does not last as long as a non-polished surface.

Here are a few factors to be aware of as you consider sealcoating your asphalt pavement:

Asphalt is not a completely smooth and closed surface, like a slab of polished granite, for instance. There are pores in asphalt and sealcoating begins to close those pores. Sealcoating too often may close pores completely, but the completely closed pores are not a requirement for the pavement to be long lasting. If done too frequently and not when the previous sealcoat has worn off sufficiently, it can cause a buildup of sealer that can crack from the top down as opposed to most cracks which form from the bottom up and look like a piece of glazed pottery. There is no way to reverse that condition.

When in doubt, have a sealcoat estimator take a look at the pavement and see if a special heavy-bodied sealcoat, a sealcoat that has a larger amount of suspended fines in it could be applied, perhaps in 2 coats,to remedy the cracked and worn out condition to a very large extent. Similar products are tinted and used to do the colored surface on tennis courts to make them completely smooth.

Sealcoating is meant to protect and prolong the life of asphalt pavement. It is important to follow the guidelines of sealcoating and Celeste Sealcoating & Aspahlt Services Inc. recommendation of sealcoating every few years.

Is your asphalt driveway or parking lot worn and in need of attention? Contact Celeste Sealcoating & Aspahlt Services Inc with questions and to see if sealcoating is the right option for you!

Sealcoating Vs. Asphalt Paving: 4 Solutions You Need Now

Whether you are the owner of an asphalt driveway or an asphalt parking lot in New York, you understand that this past winter’s severe weather in addition to repeat use has wreaked havoc on surfaces that were poorly installed or maintained. If you allow your driveway or parking lot to deteriorate, it results in expensive repairs, such as complete rebuilding -- a process that involves ripping out the asphalt and beginning repair at the rocky substrate. It's far less expensive to protect asphalt with regular sealcoating and occasional asphalt paving overlays.


Sealcoating versus asphalt paving: which is the most long-lasting and cost effective solution? Most professionals agree that both applications are essential to preventing asphalt cracks, fissures, and the premature need for asphalt repairs.

Sealcoating for Newly Laid Asphalt Paving

Nothing spruces up the look of your home or business quicker than newly laid asphalt, and sealing the finished result is one of the most vital aspects of preserving its beauty and longevity. This process leaves behind a remarkable black surface that hardens and forms a protective coating atop the asphalt surface. Initially, sealcoating of asphalt paving should take place anywhere from 12-24 months post installation for best results. This period gives the surface time to cure and prime itself for the asphalt sealing process, so timing your new installation in accordance with New York seasons is advised.

Sealcoating to Prevent Premature Asphalt Repairs

While an unsealed asphalt driveway or asphalt parking lot may only last 10-12 years, the benefits of sealcoating and regular upkeep can allow for up to 15-20 years of solid use of properly installed surfaces. Sealing your residential driveway or commercial asphalt paved parking lot is the best way to prevent cracking, potholes, and depressions. Sealing protects the pavement from oil and chemical spills, oxidation, water penetration, and actually accelerates the rate of melting snow and ice. The biggest risks one takes when choosing to skip this process are UV rays and seasonal cycles. Unprotected asphalt surfaces become brittle and lose their flexibility as UV rays break down the carbon bonds in the material when not sealed.

seasonal cycles allow cracks to form that eventually fill with water, and these worsen with each expanding and contracting cycle – leaving you with big problems that may require asphalt repairs.

Renew the Wearing Course of Asphalt Paving with a Professional Overlay

You’ll find yourself in need of asphalt repairs sooner rather than later if you skipped sealing or bought a property that has been neglected. However, the good news is that a basic asphalt overlay process is often an option for minor to medium range cracks, fissures, and potholes in your asphalt driveway or asphalt parking lot. Essentially, if the sub-grade is in good condition an asphalt overlay can be placed over existing surfaces post making any necessary repairs. Cracks, holes, and depressions are cleaned and filled, and then a fresh layer of asphalt is applied to give the entire area a refreshed look and a longer lifespan. As with any newly lain asphalt paving and repair, sealcoating within 12-24 months is a must.

Asphalt Paving Repair for Premature Wear and Severe Deterioration

Severe deterioration can be due to lack of proper installation, excessive wear and tear, and many other factors; however, water is one of the largest culprits in asphalt breakdown. Between expected ponding and subsurface water draining from other areas – even from underground – the asphalt base deteriorates to the point of no return. This is when a more intensive process beyond a mere patching and overlay is necessary to restore your asphalt driveway or asphalt parking lot. Depending on the severity of the deterioration, your professional asphalt repair contractor may recommend a complete excavation in some or all areas of your pavement prior to undergoing the pavement overlay and sealcoating processes.

As the weather warms and ice melts away, what asphalt repair needs have you noticed on driveways, parking lots and sidewalks at your home or place of business? The experts at Celeste Sealcoating & Asphalt Services Inc. can help provide solutions to help extend the life your asphalt and improve curb appeal.

What's The Difference Between Asphalt Overlay And Asphalt Sealcoat?

From discussions we've had with our customers, it seems that many of them don't understand the difference between an asphalt overlay and asphalt sealcoating. That's understandable – they're similar processes, both used for the repair and maintenance of your asphalt.


So, for our blog today, let's take a quick look at the difference between overlays and sealcoats! Asking for one when you only need the other could lead to needless costs. 

An Asphalt Overlay

An asphalt overlay is, essentially, a patch job done on a stretch of asphalt. This is the usual method when asphalt is showing some cracking or potholing, while still not being damaged enough to need replacement.

In this case, we come through with a paver and lay a thin layer of hot asphalt onto your existing surface, giving you an entirely new asphalt surface. However, overlaying your old asphalt will not fix any issues underneath, and any cracks you have now will reflect through the new surface within a year or two, very similar to putting another layer of shingles on an existing roof, it can be done but it is generally not recommended in most circumstances.

An Asphalt Sealcoating

While sealcoat alone can sometimes fill extremely shallow cracks, crackfilling should be done on the larger cracks to prevent any water from penetrating under your asphalt. The sealcoating process is more like putting a coat of paint on your house. The end result is the same: A slightly shiny surface that discourages wear, prevents water or other spills from reaching the interior, as well as protecting against damaging sunlight.

Unlike the paint on your house, sealcoating wears out relatively quickly. However, an inexpensive and easy sealcoat and crackfill every 2-4 years can usually prevent any other asphalt maintenance for decades to come. It's by far the most cost-effective way of maintaining asphalt over long periods of time.

If you have any other questions, or would like us to come take a look to see what sort of maintenance your asphalt needs, just let us know what you need! With decades in the paving business, we have experience you can count on.