What exactly is sealcoating and why should you consider it, you ask? There are many benefits to sealcoating asphalt pavement. Let’s break it down.
PRESERVATION – sealcoating helps to preserve the resilience of asphalt surfaces and minimize small cracks, patches and rough spots as well as making paint lines and arrows on parking lots more visible. Sealcoat that is applied correctly makes your asphalt appear cleaner because rain washes dirt and debris easily away from the smooth, non-porous surface, which could save on cleaning and sweeping costs as well.
RESISTANCE – sealcoating does just what it sounds like – it creates a seal over the asphalt pavement, preventing oxidation and erosion and replaces fine particles lost from the asphalt surface due to corrosion, especially on older pavements. It also repels fuel, gas, diesel, oils, salt (think the beach!) and chemical penetration which over time break down the bond between the aggregate (small rocks) and the liquid asphalt.
PROTECTION – sealcoating protects the asphalt from the sun as well as the harmful effects of chemical spills such as oil and gasoline, both which are all too common on a driveway or parking lot. Asphalt sealcoating fills surface voids, which reduces exposure to oxygen and UV rays and reduces the depth to which oil or gas can penetrate the asphalt.
PREVENTION – sealcoating acts as a waterproofing agent, minimizing the rate at which water enters the asphalt. Sealcoating asphalt prevents the seepage of water and moisture from rain and snow, thus preventing damage from freeze thaw cycles which is a common reason your roadway or parking lot begins forming cracks or even worse, alligator cracks. It seals the small cracks that, if ignored, can turn into large cracks and eventually a very rough and deteriorated area that would require very costly processes to remedy. Sealing also prevents water from seeping down to the base material – which is the asphalt’s worst enemy and can cause the most damage.
APPEARANCE – sealcoating provides an attractive black surface that is ideal for painting lines and other markers on parking lots. Sealcoat is a dark, black colored material and when applied to asphalt, it helps attract more heat from the sun. The hotter the sealcoating on the asphalt gets, the more pliable it becomes, which helps it to withstand traffic without cracking.
SAVINGS – sealcoating leaves a smooth, clean surface ideal for sweeping, which lowers cleaning costs and for a driveway and gives your entrance a fresh and new look, similar to painting your home or business. Sealcoating costs pennies per square foot compared to the dollars needed to repair or replace damaged asphalt that hasn’t been sealed or treated for protection. The intrusion of moisture into asphalt accelerates its deterioration and is strongly related to asphalt distress. The price of asphalt will always be affected by crude oil prices, which fluctuate when supplies vary. Sealcoating preserves asphalt for pennies per square foot, verses costly asphalt repairs.
NOTE: If your property is past the point of sealcoating – i.e. sealing is not practical or feasible – repaving may be the better option for you. This will depend on your budget and your assessment. Repaving will be pricier and that’s why we recommend sealing it every few years after initial installation, in order to preserve and protect it (and your dollar$) for as long as possible. As with any job, a formal assessment will need to be made and the most advantageous process will be recommended and quoted by your estimator.
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