The Ins and Outs of Sealcoating Asphalt
The Ins and Outs of Sealcoating Asphalt. If you’ve ever managed construction that includes asphalt paving, there’s a good chance that you’re familiar with the idea of sealcoating. It’s a protective layer on top of your road or parking lot, and it’s well worth the return on investment — but it may not be the right option for your commercial asphalt surface.
What is Sealcoating?
There’s asphalt everywhere and for good reason. It’s durable, cost-efficient, and an eco-friendly choice, but it still requires a little bit of maintenance. 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.
Sealcoating is applied to protect asphalt from exposure and damage. It soaks into the asphalt and restores the surface to look like new again, and replenishes the oils and binder used for the installation, fills in gaps, and smooths out the appearance. It also blocks elements like oil and sunlight from further damaging the asphalt.
Benefits of Sealcoating
- Restoration: You’ve seen newly installed asphalt before: It’s a deep black color that you know has just been laid. 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 property.
- Durability: The combination of aggregate mixture and petroleum-based binder makes asphalt flexible, but that pliability wanes over time due to wear and tear. Oil and gas from vehicles that leak onto the pavement can further deteriorate its integrity. 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.
- Prevention: Without sealcoating, asphalt becomes compromised due to oxidation. Small cracks form in the pavement, and 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 can save money on repairs for years to come.
- Affordability: 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 lifetime of your pavement.
When to Skip Sealcoating
With all of the benefits that sealcoating has to offer, it’s important to remember that it’s not always the right option for your pavement project.
- It doesn’t work on fresh asphalt: Newly installed asphalt takes some time to cure and strengthen enough to support vehicle traffic. Curing allows excess chemicals in the binder to travel up to the surface. After this happens, usually three to six months after the initial paving process, a sealer can be applied.
- Sealcoating requires maintenance: While one of the biggest advantages of sealcoating is that it’s low-maintenance, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need a little TLC from time to time. Sealcoat lasts about two to three years, and that’s something to keep in mind when you’re budgeting maintenance costs for your property.
- Asphalt needs to be in good condition: Sealcoating is great for dry and faded asphalt surfaces that have minimal cracking, but it’s not a fix for more serious cracks, crumbles, or potholes. 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.
Prevent asphalt from becoming unattractive and dangerous by investing in regular sealcoating maintenance performed by a professional contractor. An experienced eye can inspect your pavement closely and identify issues, along with working closely with you to determine the best ways to maintain anything they see as a problem. This is especially important after periods of extreme weather and heavy rainfall.
When you use Leritz Busy Bee for asphalt maintenance and repair, you’re going to be working with a commercial asphalt paving team that creates a plan custom-tailored for your property. From a new-construction pavement project that helps prevent water damage to maintenance or repair, count on us to help. Smooth and stable pavement will help your property hold its value, offer great curb appeal, and, most importantly, help create a safe parking lot for visitors to drive on. Connect with us now to schedule a free consultation.