What to Know About Sealcoating

Spring is around the corner, and with the warmer weather comes an uptick in municipal and commercial paving projects. It’s also a great time to contact an asphalt contractor and schedule a sealcoating.

What is Sealcoating?

Asphalt is durable, cost-efficient, and an eco-friendly choice, 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.

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 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, layer after 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, 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 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.

Some Caveats About Sealcoating

Although sealcoating asphalt offers a list of benefits, it’s important to remember that it’s not always the right option for every municipal or commercial pavement project. 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, you can apply a sealer.

While one of the most significant advantages of asphalt paving is that it’s low-maintenance, 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.

Sealcoating is great for dry and faded asphalt surfaces with minimal cracking, but it’s not a fix for more severe 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 commercial and municipal asphalt paved surfaces 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 the harsh winter months when they can catch any damage done by snow and ice before it gets more serious. Contact us today to learn more!