Asphalt Sealcoating 101
Reasons to Sealcoat Asphalt Parking Lots and Lanes
Sealcoats generally consist of a mixture of emulsified asphalt, water, mineral fillers and various other admixtures. Sealcoats are applied directly to the surface of your asphalt with a broom, mechanical sprayer, or squeegee. Sealcoats are designed to seal the top of your asphalt, preventing water from penetrating the surface of the pavement and protecting the top layer of asphalt from oxidation and wear caused from the exposure to sun and air. Seal coats also beautify your pavement by creating a smooth, black even surface ideal for painting lines and sweeping.
Causes of Asphalt Pavement Failure
- The primary cause of asphalt pavement failure is the penetration of water into the asphalt base.
- This process begins with the oxidation of the pavement surface which causes the asphalt to dry and become brittle, which leads to the erosion of the top layer of fine particles and the appearance of larger stones and small cracks on the surface.
- If left untreated, these cracks grow over time and allow water to penetrate the base of the pavement.
- When water enters the base of the pavement, the base rock material moves and settles which leads to further cracking and an “alligator appearance”.
Benefits of Sealcoating
- Sealcoating seals the asphalt pavement, preventing the oxidation and erosion of the top layer of asphalt.
- On older pavements, sealcoating replaces the fine particles lost from the asphalt surface due to oxidation.
- Sealcoating seals the small cracks that can turn into large cracks and prevents water from seeping down into the base material.
- Sealcoating helps protect your asphalt pavement from the sun and the harmful effects of chemical spills such as oil and gasoline.
- Sealcoating provides an attractive black, smooth surface ideal for painting lines and markings and for sweeping parking lots at lower costs.
How Often Should You Sealcoat Asphalt
- A new parking lot should be sealcoated 6 to 12 months after construction.
- After the initial sealcoating, asphalt pavement should be sealcoated every 3 to 4 years.
A consistent sealcoating maintenance plan will prolong the life of your asphalt pavement and significantly reduce costly asphalt repairs and replacements over time. You’ll spend pennies a square foot on seal coating your existing parking lot, compared to spending dollars a square foot to repair or replace damaged asphalt much sooner
than you want.