Asphalt pavements are as famous for their remarkable durability as they are for their visual appeal and economical cost. However, constant exposure to the elements and vehicle traffic can negatively impact the pavement’s longevity and appearance. Asphalt paving contractors typically advise their customers that sealing the pavement can help prevent both structural and cosmetic damage. If you are trying to decide whether asphalt sealcoating is a procedure that you want to add to your routine maintenance program, you might be interested in learning more about the pros and cons of sealing your pavement.
Asphalt Sealcoating: What Are the Pros and Cons of Asphalt Sealing?
What Is Sealcoating?
Sealcoats are mixtures that contain a manufactured sealant, sand, and water; the mixture may also include additives that are formulated to expedite curing, darken the color, or provide other enhancements. The liquid mixture is sprayed, brushed, or squeegeed onto the pavement.
What Are the Pros of Asphalt Sealcoating?
Water, ultraviolet radiation, and petroleum-based vehicle fluids are all serious enemies of asphalt pavements.
1. Ultraviolet radiation strips moisture from the pavement, leaving it brittle and fading its color. Seal coating acts like a sunscreen to block UV rays, and it will also return gray, dinghy pavements to their original dark color.
2. Gas, oil, diesel, and other petrochemicals react with the asphalt binder that holds the pavement together. The pavement beneath the fluid softens and crumbles, and the particles can be washed away by rain or removed by vehicle tires. This typically launches the formation of a pothole. Because sealants form a tough barrier over the pavement, petrochemicals will require more time to eat their way through the sealant to damage the pavement. This buys you extra time to clean up the leaks and spills.
3. If water manages to reach the foundation that supports the weight of the pavement and the traffic it bears, erosion results. Without adequate support, the pavement can develop alligator cracking, potholes, and other significant damage. By sealcoating parking lots and other pavements, you can fight water infiltration in two ways. First, since sealants are waterproof, they boost asphalt’s natural ability to shed water. Second, the protective nature of sealants helps prevent cracks and other breaks that give water a path to reach the foundation.
In addition to giving you a line of defense against the enemies listed above, parking lot sealcoating can provide other important benefits.
1. The sand in the mixture enhances traction to make the pavement safer.
2. Tiny surface flaws can disappear beneath the sealant to make the pavement more attractive.
3. The contrast between the refreshed color and painted markings is aesthetically appealing, but it also helps make the painted markings more visible.
What Are the Cons of Asphalt Sealcoating?
There are few negatives to asphalt sealing, and most people consider them to be relatively minor.
1. Sealcoats do not last forever, so you will need to have your pavement resealed periodically. Depending on various factors related to each specific pavement, local sealcoating contractors typically recommend repeated applications every two to four years.
2. Asphalt sealing is a pavement maintenance procedure, so it will not repair damage that your pavement has already suffered. Therefore, asphalt repairs will need to be made before the sealant is applied. Because sealants are applied as liquids, they will simply drain into any pavement breaks and be lost.
3. Sealants cannot be applied until the asphalt is adequately cured, so new pavements and overlays will have to go without a sealcoat for the first four to six months of their life. During this time, it pays to give your pavement some extra attention. For example, you want to be more proactive about removing oil spills.
If you would like to learn more about asphalt sealcoating or other pavement-related topics, contact Asphalt Care Services. Our services include sealcoating, asphalt paving, thermoplastic line striping, asphalt repairs, parking lot striping, traffic signage, speed bump installation, concrete bumpers, and bollard installation. We have an impeccable reputation for reliability, craftsmanship, customer service, and integrity. If you would like to obtain a free quote, you can call 772-888-2840, submit the online request form, or email [email protected].