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  • Peter Craig

Why Seal Coat?

Updated: Feb 16, 2023

If you have an asphalt driveway or parking lot, it is time to start thinking about how you can maintain it. One of the most important things you can do to maintain your asphalt is Sealcoating. Why Sealcoat you ask? The simple answer is that Sealcoating may extend the life of you asphalt by as much as 300% – But that is too easy. Let us look at what Sealcoating really does and how it can extend the life of your pavement.

Asphalt has very poor resistance to UV radiation caused by the sun. Simply put, asphalt is a mixture of two basic ingredients: rock and asphalt cement (glue). Sunlight, more specifically UV radiation, breaks down the glue causing a sequence of events leading to the ultimate destruction of your asphalt. When sunlight begins to break down your asphalt, you will first notice a transition from its rich black color to a dull gray color. Then, you will notice small piles of aggregate in the low areas of your parking lot. The final stage occurs when the rocks in the asphalt begin to come out and raveling occurs. Sealcoating protects asphalt against the harmful effects of UV rays. Although your asphalt will still fade over time, you will have UV protection generally for 3 years or more.

Asphalt has a poor resistance to salt, chemicals, and petroleum products. Because asphalt is a petroleum product, gasoline and oils will be absorbed into which softens the structure and causes rapid deterioration. Sealcoating protects against this as well, creating a barrier between the harsh chemicals and the asphalt.

Below is an abbreviated list of the benefits of Sealcoating.

Sealcoating Benefits:

  • When covered with a dark black sealant, pavement looks and wears like new.

  • Parking lot sealcoating helps to project a positive image of the company, facility, or residential complex.

  • Slows oxidation and water penetration. Sealcoating fills surface voids, which reduces contact with oxygen and UV rays and reduces the depth to which oil or gas can infiltrate the pavement.

  • Gasoline dripping from a topped-off fuel tank during hot weather can soften and break down unsealed asphalt pavements.

  • Coal tars used in sealcoat are resistant to gas and oil spills.

  • Asphalt sealcoating is easier to clean and maintain.

  • Sealcoats fill surface voids while coating the pavement surface. The resulting smooth and even texture makes the surface easier to maintain year-round. For example, snow is easier to remove from a smooth surface, and sweeping is far more effective on a smooth surface.

  • Sealcoat brings a dark black color to the pavement. The blacker it is, the more heat a pavement draws from the sun. Thus, the hotter it gets, the more flexible it becomes, which helps it to withstand traffic without cracking.

  • Asphalt Sealcoating is cost effective.

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