Asphalt is durable, cost-efficient, and eco-friendly, but it still requires a little bit of regular and consistent maintenance to keep it looking and performing like new. Once asphalt surfaces are installed, they’re exposed to UV rays from the sun, water, oil, and winter weather treatments. This causes the asphalt to dry out, crack, and fade over time.
A professional asphalt paving team uses sealcoating to protect asphalt from exposure and damage. It soaks into the asphalt, restores the surface to look new again, replenishes the oils and binder used for the installation, fills in gaps, and smooths out the appearance. It also blocks elements like motor oil and sunlight from further damaging the asphalt. However, there are a few common sealcoating mistakes that many people make when it comes time to do the job, so watch out for these missteps.
Not sealcoating at all: Asphalt pavement is a practical, long-lasting investment. It should provide your property with many years of use. Yet, it doesn’t last nearly as long if it isn’t maintained and cared for properly. If left untreated, the asphalt faces exposure to the temperature swings common in the Greater St. Louis area. Over time, weather conditions can take a heavy toll on the asphalt’s surface.
Not working with experts: Don’t DIY asphalt sealcoating! You’ll get custom-fitted work for the specific job when you use Leritz Busy Bee for asphalt maintenance and repair. There’s no need to settle for less than expert-level asphalt pavement maintenance and repair.
Sealcoating too often: Depending on the traffic volume, your asphalt surfaces will need sealcoating every year or two. Doing it more than that is unnecessary and may start to degrade the integrity of the asphalt over time.
Low-quality materials: Using low-quality sealcoating materials or using the wrong material altogether will quickly destroy your asphalt surface and lead to costly repairs sooner than you’d hoped. Choosing a qualified paving contractor can help ensure that high-quality materials are used.
Too much sealcoating: Applying too thick a layer is one of the common sealcoating mistakes. Avoid this by working with an experienced, qualified paving professional that follows the sealcoating manufacturer’s guidelines.
Not enough curing time: Sealcoating needs at least 24 hours to cure, but ideally, you should allow three days for it to be fully cured. Of course, this means no vehicle traffic, but it’s also smart to prohibit foot traffic on freshly sealcoated surfaces.
Improper prep: The surface being sealcoated needs to be clean and prepped for proper adhesion. This includes thorough sweeping and pressure washing to eliminate debris that prevents the sealcoating layer from sticking.
Sealcoating as a “fix”: Sealcoating is excellent for dry and faded asphalt surfaces with minimal cracking, but it’s not a fix for more severe damage. Before you invest in sealcoating, make sure to patch areas of extensive damage; you may even need to have an asphalt overlay applied before a thorough sealcoating.
Why Apply Sealcoating?
Think about how newly applied asphalt looks: It’s a deep black color that you know has just been paved. You’ve also seen old, damaged asphalt; it’s faded, cracked, and roughly surfaced. Sealcoating restores that new look, which not only improves curb appeal but can also improve the value of your commercial property.
The combination of the aggregate mixture and petroleum-based binder makes asphalt flexible, but that flexibility wanes over time due to wear and tear. Oil and gas from vehicles that leak onto the pavement can further deteriorate its integrity, layer by layer. Over time, the asphalt becomes brittle and can increase the chance of cracks. Sealcoating prevents the oil and gas from oxidizing, keeping asphalt in better condition for longer and making it more durable.
Asphalt can oxidize quickly without the barrier of sealcoating. Tiny cracks form in the pavement; if you don’t take care of them, water can seep through and lead to ugly and dangerous potholes. Sealcoating applications can stop potholes in their tracks and save money on repairs for years to come.
Without proper maintenance that includes sealcoating, you could be facing an entire asphalt replacement. New asphalt installation is an expensive investment, and line striping or curb installation can add to that cost. Per square foot, sealcoating costs a fraction of new installation and lowers overall maintenance costs over the pavement’s lifetime.
If you have any further questions about sealcoating mistakes to avoid, be sure to contact us, and we’d be happy to discuss!