What is the difference between your sealer and the material I can buy at a Do-It-Yourself place?
The biggest difference is the additives we put in our sealer mix. Many additives, some of which cannot be purchased locally are added to our sealer. They are described in another question. Many brands of Do-It-Yourself sealers are latex-based. They market a 'thick' coat as a safe way to protect your asphalt. These sealers promote a buildup, and surface cracks on the driveway. There is no remedy for surface cracks. The only way to hide them is re-apply the thick material over them, much in the same way of re-painting a wooded sided house several times. The surface cracks and layers still show through, and looks very poor. This can also cause hazardous no-traction conditions, and not provide adequate protection for your driveway.
Is the sealer latex based?
No. There are two primary materials used that are effective in seal coating a driveway. One is asphalt emulsion, which is a medium-grade material. We use a more durable material, Coal Tar emulsion. Coal tar can withstand heavier traffic, chemicals, and weather better than asphalt emulsion. On top of this is the additives put into our sealer blend. Latex based sealers do not wear properly on driveways, and tend to promote buildup. This buildup leads to surface cracks on the driveway, and leaves a poor cosmetic condition. We recommend avoiding latex based sealers.
How are cracks filled?
Cracks in a driveway that are between 1/4 - 1 1/2 inch in width may be able to be filled with our specialized crack formula. Only cracks that are 'structural', or affect the integrity of the driveway, should be filled. Some cracks are only cosmetic, and should not be filled. In order for crack filling to be effective, the crack should be deep enough to have walls that the repair material can adhere to.
To learn more about cracks, please go here.
To view the crack filling process, please go here.
Do you add sand to the sealer?
Absolutely! Sand is imperative to provide traction on your driveway. The sealer acts as a barrier between your tires or feet, and the asphalt. Exposed asphalt provides plenty of traction, but is not protected. We add clean, pure silica sand to our exclusive blend to help bring that traction back. We add between 1 and 4 pounds of sand for every gallon of sealer used. The tank is constantly being mixed to provide a consistent blend of sand and sealer.
How long do I have to keep off the driveway?
Driveway Armor adds many additives to their mixture. One such additive is to speed up the drying process. Often, by the time we have finished applying the sealer, it is almost dry enough to walk on where we started the application. This helps to protect against animals, yard debris, and other accidents from affecting the finished driveway. Under sunny conditions, the driveway may be safe enough to drive on in 24 hours. Otherwise, it is ready for traffic in 36 hours after completing the application.
My existing seal coat is flaking off. Will you remove the old sealer?
Flaking is generally the result of buildup. When too much sealer has been applied, it tends to just build up layer upon layer. Over time, these layers weaken, and flake off. We will wire broom the driveway to remove the loose sealer, but will not strip the entire driveway down to asphalt. Any material we remove from the driveway, will be taken off your property to be disposed of.
Other reasons why flaking may occur is due to the previous application. Either the surface was not properly cleaned, or there may have been excessive moisture after the sealer was applied. Environmental factors may also be present. The estimator will help to identify these with you, and discuss ways to extend the life of your driveway.
I have depressions in my driveway. Will these be fixed?
Not through a patching or seal coating method. The only proper way to fix these low spots, (also known as 'bird-baths') is having them cut out with a saw, and new asphalt laid in. At this time, we do not perform this service. Seal coating is preventative maintenance only, and is not intended to repair damage.
I have a new driveway. When should I seal coat it?
A new asphalt driveway needs approximately 3-6 months to cure before being seal coated. This allows the driveway to breathe properly, and settle. After 3-6 months, it is ready to be sealed. During the curing process, oils are released from the asphalt. If the asphalt is sealed to soon, then these oils become trapped, and can initiate some deterioration in the driveway. However, if the driveway is not sealed in a timely manner, then weather and rain can erode the top surface of the driveway. The estimator will discuss these options with you.
What is the difference between 'spray' and 'brush' applications?
Irregardless of the materials used, I wholly recommend a brush application. The spray application uses pressure to spray the sealer onto the driveway. It is up to the person spraying to determine the right amount of sealer to use.
In a brush application, the sealer is pumped out onto the drive, and is 'pushed' back and forth across the driveway. It is up to the driveway to determine how much sealer to use. Some driveways are more porous and require more sealer. With a spray application, the sealer my not get into all the nooks and crevices in the drive, but the brush application does, and is generally a thicker, more durable coat.
Will I see the crack after you repair it?
More than likely, yes. The crack repair service is not intended to make these cracks invisible. The service is intended to provide a watertight seal between the foundation of your driveway and the weather above it. After we apply the crack repair, the repair itself may settle. This in no way affects the watertight seal. Also, the repair may also be visible under the sealcoat. Many different factors have an impact on the crack repair's final appearance. Please follow this link to see an example. We also recommend that you view the entire section under Crack Filling.
What types of payment do you accept?
We accept Cash, Check, Or Money Order. Preferred method is check, made to Driveway Armor. Payment is accepted in advance, or on day of service. You do not need to be home for the service; We ask that if you are not home, leave the payment in an envelope taped to your front door. Please do not place the payment in the mailbox.
I see tire marks on my newly sealed surface!
The most obvious reason for this is dirty tires on a clean surface. As your vehicle travels, dirt and debris get trapped in the small cuts on your tires, and can be transferred to the smooth clean surface of the driveway. The other reason this will generally occur is a condition known as 'scuffing'. Tire scuffing is caused by the use of sand in our sealcoat mixture. As the vehicle drives across the driveway, some of the silica sand is shifted or removed from the sealcoat. These tire marks caused by scuffing are temporary. As the sealcoat continues to cure, these marks may be visible, and generally only last for 1-2 weeks. After which, the existing scuff marks blend in and new ones do not occur.
Note: We have chosen to use sand in our mix for the many benefits it provides; We cannot seal your driveway without the use of sand. Using additional sand in the mix (by request) can increase the visibility of the scuffing.