5 Things to Consider Before Getting a Colored Asphalt Driveway

You might think of asphalt as nothing more than a black paving material, but recent advances in seal coating technique allow you to add almost any color you like to the surface. Decorative asphalt techniques like stamping add even more attractive appeal to your paved driveway project. Before calling to arrange for the installation of a brand new colored asphalt driveway, consider both the benefits and limitations of the material to make sure it matches your needs.

Recoating Requirements

Applying that first layer of color locks you into a long-term maintenance plan that repeats every few years for the life of the driveway. The length of time between coatings depends entirely on your weather conditions and use of the driveway, but you should apply a fresh coat every three to six years to maintain a solid protective coating over the asphalt like you would with any other sealant.

You can always apply the sealant more often to keep the color fresh and bold. Hiring the professionals to recoat the surface regularly saves time, yet it greatly inflates the cost of the driveway over the decades.

Fading Delays

While wear and tear eventually roughs up the toughest colored coating, some products start fading long before your tires affect the surface. Look for surface coatings with generous warranties so you know you won't need to reapply right at the two year mark just to enjoy a solid and consistent color. Since the plain asphalt below is dark gray or black, light colors fade the fastest and darken unless plenty of UV ray reflectors are mixed into the formula. Sunlight is the main cause of fading, so consider a dark or black sealer if you live in an area with intense and direct sun exposure.

Applying Layers

You need to decide if you want a colored sealant applied on the asphalt shortly after it is first installed, or at least before any other water-based sealant products are used on the surface. You can't layer on a thick layer of pigmented sealer over any other type of sealing products. If the driveway is not brand new but still has no other sealer on it, you'll still need to prepare it by

  • Removing oil stains and caked on dirt with a solvent made by the same manufacturer as the sealant
  • Filling holes, cracks, and depressions with an appropriate patch product
  • Slightly dampening the clean surface with a mist spray from your hose so the sealant bonds tightly for greater durability over the years.

Filling Cracks

While you can't spray this kind of sealant over other products designed to seal the asphalt, you can apply a fresh new coating of the material to get a clean new blacktop without breaking up the old material. This application works wonders to fill cracks, potholes, and other forms of damage too. Instead of trying to patch cracks with hot or cold caulking materials, invest in a full roll coat over the driveway, then add the color of your choice with the appropriate sealer. This creates one smooth and even expanse of color, with no interruptions due to color variations or texture differences due to different crack filling products.

Paying Higher Costs

The price for an asphalt driveway installed with a color coating varies from region to region, but expect to pay between $2.00 and $3.50 per square foot. Extra decorative techniques like stamping and brushed textures also inflate the price. Get quotes for either supplies of sealant or professional resealing surfaces to calculate the true price of the driveway once you factor in maintenance costs.

A colored asphalt driveway gives you a dry and safe place to exit the vehicle while brightening up your front yard. Increase your property value by committing to a basic maintenance schedule for a parking place that stands out from the rest of the neighborhood. For more assistance, contact companies like Armour Pavement Inc.