Your asphalt is made up of two parts: aggregate and bitumen. The aggregate is sand, crushed stone, and gravel. The bitumen is essentially black glue that holds everything together.
Similar to the paint on your house, asphalt sealcoating protects the driveway or parking lot from the elements and keeps it looking pristine. Your asphalt should be maintained with sealcoating every few years to maintain curb appeal and protect your property.
Let the Pavement Shine with Sealcoating
Sealcoating provides an extra layer of protection on top of your driveway or parking lot.
This membrane restores a deep, shiny, black appearance and prevents the asphalt from being damaged by oxidation and the elements.
Typically, a sealcoat is a mixture of mineral fillers, sand, and oils. It is applied with a squeegee or broom every few years.
The magic of asphalt sealcoating happens when the oils seep into the surface. Suddenly, your depleted asphalt is rejuvenated, and the sealcoating immediately fills in small gaps and cracks, breathing new life into the driveway or parking lot.
Signs Your Asphalt Need Sealcoating
By sealcoating every 2-3 years, your parking lot or driveway will stay strong and serve as an attractive entranceway to your property.
There are a few signs to look for that are clear indicators it’s time to schedule a service:
- Gray Pavement – If your driveway looks light gray rather than black, it’s because the top layer of bitumen has worn away. When this happens, your asphalt will break down more quickly from everyday wear like sunlight, heat, and precipitation. Asphalt sealcoating restores the bitumen and brings back the durability and strong black color to your driveway or parking lot.
- Loose Gravel – Loose gravel happens because the bitumen was worn down and now the aggregate rock in the asphalt is breaking away. At this point, if you don’t sealcoat soon you may be creating more serious damage. Once that top layer wears away, water can seep in and break down the asphalt quickly.
- Cracks – If you’re already noticing significant cracking in the surface of your asphalt, that’s an indication that water has already seeped into the asphalt and is breaking away at the bonded bitumen. Once a crack forms, it will get wider and longer until the problem is remedied with a complete sealcoat. If left untreated, these cracks can turn into large potholes.
- Untidy Stains – If you have a busy parking lot, it doesn’t take long for motor oil, vehicle coolant, or gasoline to be spilled. These vehicle fluids are typically very visible after a car pulls out of a parking space. On protected asphalt, these fluids won’t have any damaging effects. However, if it is unprotected, you’ll have unsightly stains where they leaked through the porous surface.
6 Benefits of Sealcoating
While asphalt alone is durable, it’s not perfect.
When you properly maintain your driveway or parking lot with asphalt sealcoating, you open up the true benefits of your investment.
- Increase Life Expectancy – Perhaps the biggest payoff to asphalt sealcoating is the increased life expectancy. Now, instead of replacing your asphalt after 10-15 years, you can enjoy your parking lot or driveway for 20-30 years or even longer.
- Cost-Effective – Unprotected asphalt can burn a hole in your pocket very quickly dealing with endless cracks and potholes. Sealcoating is a cost-effective way to protect your investment. The cost of asphalt sealcoating is less than a quarter of the cost to replace your driveway or parking lot.
- Enhances the Appearance – Asphalt that is full of cracks, holes and loose gravel isn’t very inviting to your customers and guests. Instead, sealcoating gives you a fresh, clean, black finish that looks brand new.
- Protects from Salts, Chemicals, & Moisture – Your parking lot or driveway receives a lot of abuse from salt, leaked vehicle fluids, rain, hail, dropped items and heavy vehicles. A sealcoat layer protects these and other hazards from damaging the base layer.
- Easy to Apply – A sealcoat layer is easy to apply and can be completed very quickly. It is typically sprayed on and then evenly distributed with a squeegee or broom. This process is significantly faster and easier than asphalt resurfacing or replacement.
- Slows Oxidation – Oxidation is a process that wears down your asphalt over time. Oxidation happens when UV rays break down the binder that holds your asphalt together. When this happens, the asphalt becomes loose and tends to crack and crumble. A sealcoat protects the asphalt by reinforcing the binder and protecting against oxidation.
FAQs About Sealcoating