How Sealcoating Can Extend the Life of Your Asphalt Driveway Or Parking Lot

Asphalt surfaces must be protected from harsh weather conditions like rain and UV rays, automotive oils and gasoline, and ice-melting salt. Adding a seal coat is an inexpensive way to extend the life of your asphalt driveway or parking lot.


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Asphalt, like anything else, requires maintenance to protect it from damage. Without it, your asphalt driveway or parking lot will deteriorate quickly, resulting in cracks, potholes, and costly repairs. A seal coat is a cost-effective way to prevent this deterioration and extend the life of your asphalt surface.

Asphalt is composed of a mix of rock, stone and gravel held together with a binding agent which is usually petroleum-based. Over time, rain, UV rays and chemicals can break down the asphalt binder. This deterioration causes the surface to erode and lose its strength and elasticity. A seal coat prevents the deterioration of the asphalt surface by creating a layer of protection which helps to hold in moisture and keep out harmful chemicals and ultraviolet rays.

The seal coat is made from a blend of water, silica sand, polymer additives and other fillers and solids. Workers spread the emulsion over the surface of the asphalt with a spray, brush, or squeegee. The sand and other solids help to fill in the small cracks and holes on the surface of the asphalt.

After applying the slurry, workers let it dry for up to 24 hours. They may need to sweep the pavement again before this happens to remove any loose materials and dirt that might get in the way of the sealing process. It is important that the weather conditions be right for this project, because the asphalt needs to be dry and free of any moisture to bond with the sealcoat.

If there is rain forecast within the next 24 hours, the project should be postponed until the weather conditions improve. Workers should also wear protective gear when working with the sealcoat, as many of the materials are toxic if they come into contact with skin or lungs.

Once the sealcoat has dried, your asphalt will look almost new again. The small cracks and holes will be filled in, and the sand and other solids will provide a level surface with no more exposed spots. The sealcoat will provide a smooth and even surface that looks great and is more resistant to the elements.

It Makes the Asphalt Last Longer

Asphalt pavements, whether roads or parking lots, start to degrade immediately after they’re constructed. This process is known as oxidation. Sealcoating protects the asphalt binder from oxidation, slowing down this inevitable process.

However, asphalt doesn’t last forever, and the lifespan of any asphalt surface is dependent on several factors, including traffic volume and usage, weather conditions, and regular maintenance.

One of the best ways to extend your asphalt surface’s lifespan is through routine sealcoating. This is a cost-effective, long-term maintenance strategy that helps prevent costly repairs and patching.

Before applying the sealcoat, professional pavement contractors will clean the asphalt surface with blowers and rotary brooms to remove any dirt or debris from the area. Then they’ll use an oil spot primer or a tack coat on any areas of the pavement with oil spots or oxidation. They’ll also fill any cracks with sand or a specialty asphalt crack filling compound.

Next, workers will spray the entire surface with a spray hose. Then they’ll use brushes and squeegees to spread the sealcoat around and make sure it’s even and in thick layers. Workers should be careful not to apply the sealcoat too thinly because it can allow UV rays and rain to seep through, which damages the bonding material.

Once the surface is completely coated, it will take 24 to 48 hours for the new asphalt sealcoat to dry. During this time, it’s important to keep people and vehicles off the surface to ensure that it cures properly.

The most common reason for peeling sealcoating is that the asphalt is not completely cleaned before the coating is applied. If oil or grease spots are not fully removed or if the asphalt is oxidized, the sealcoat won’t bond to the asphalt and will start peeling off.

Other causes of peeling include poor application or using a low-grade sealer. When a low-grade sealer is used, it won’t provide a strong bond with the asphalt. The result is that the sealer can flake off, causing it to fail. Additionally, it’s important to avoid high temperatures when applying a sealcoat because the chemicals in the product can evaporate too quickly.

It Makes the Asphalt Look Better

Asphalt is a durable material, but it’s not indestructible. Over time, the oil-based binder in asphalt can break down due to sun exposure, rain, and chemical degradation from automotive fluids like gasoline and motor oil. Sealcoating helps to keep this binding substance strong and slows the deterioration of the asphalt surface. It also fills in hairline cracks and minor pits that can cause damage if left unattended.

A fresh coat of sealcoating makes your parking lot or driveway look brand new. It restores the dark black appearance of your pavement, which looks great and impresses visitors to your business or home. Before beginning the process of applying a fresh coat, professional pavement contractors will carefully clean your pavement using powerful cleaning equipment such as blowers and rotary brooms. This is to make sure the surface is perfectly clean, ready to accept the new coat of sealcoat. Linear cracks will be filled with a hot rubberized crack filling compound and the edges of your pavement will be sealed for a crisp and finished look.

Once the preparation is complete, workers will mix the asphalt sealer in barrels or large containers. They will need to pick a day when the weather is good so that it won’t rain on the freshly applied coating before it has had a chance to set. It’s best to use a corded drill with a paddle attachment for this job as it is much faster than mixing with a hand-held bucket.

Workers will also flash heat any petroleum stains (gasoline and oil) on the surface of your pavement, before starting to apply the fresh coat. This step is done because petroleum stains will prevent the asphalt from adhering to the sealcoat.

A regular schedule of sealcoating will more than double the life of your asphalt pavement. It will protect it from oxidation, water damage, and chemicals, while providing a beautiful and safe surface for your vehicles, pedestrians, and customers to use. Keeping up with this simple maintenance will help you avoid the need to replace your asphalt, saving you money in the long run.

It Saves Money

Aside from extending the lifespan of asphalt, sealcoating can also save property owners and managers money. Pavement that is in disrepair can be costly to replace, and even more so if it is the result of an accident. When people trip and fall on cracks or potholes in your parking lot or driveway, it can lead to liability lawsuits. By having a professional apply a fresh coat of asphalt sealer every few years, you can avoid these costs altogether.

The cost of a quality asphalt sealcoat varies, depending on the material used and labor. Some materials are less expensive than others, and regional differences in weather conditions can have an impact on the price of labor. A professional contractor will account for all of these factors when calculating the bid for your project.

While a reputable asphalt sealcoating contractor will not skimp on the product, they will use reasonable rates for their services. They will consider the materials they need, labor costs, and other expenses such as transportation costs.

DIYing your asphalt sealcoating can be tempting, but it is often not the most cost-effective option. If you are not familiar with the process, it is easy to overspend on poor-quality materials or misunderstand how the products should be applied. This can lead to a patchy, uneven finish and an early failure of the sealant, costing you more in the long run.

When you hire a professional, they will know how to get the most out of your product and apply it correctly. While this may seem like a minor detail, it can have an enormous impact on your results and longevity of the coating. For example, slathering sealer on your pavement in a thick layer will cause it to crack and crumble more quickly. The same applies if you water down the sealer before applying it.

Whether you own a commercial or residential property, a well-maintained paved surface is an asset. Investing in asphalt seal coating is one of the most affordable ways to extend the life of your driveway or parking lot. Ultimately, it can save you thousands of dollars in repair and maintenance costs over the life of your paving.