Asphalt is one of the most popular types of pavements for driveways, parking lots, and even full roads. This aggregate material is made up of rock or stone, gravel, and a binder, which is known within the industry as asphalt cement.
Asphalt cement is created by distilling crude oils. Over time, exposure to sunlight, water, and chemicals will degrade the binder, allowing the asphalt surface to deteriorate. It’s essential to provide proper maintenance to the driveway or parking lot to prevent premature degradation and extend the lifespan of the asphalt.
Sealcoat Provides Added Protection
The best way to protect asphalt surfaces against wear and tear from water, oil, and UV rays is to have them sealcoated every two to three years. Sealcoats are liquid formulations of bituminous-based products or acrylic mixed with silica sand, water, and polymer additives. They also contain proprietary solids and fillers that vary based on the manufacturer.
How to Apply Sealcoat
There are three methods for applying sealcoat products. They can be applied using brushes, sprays, or squeegees. Every asphalt maintenance company uses a slightly different set of techniques, but they all focus on creating a continuous surface that will stop water, oil, and sunlight from damaging the asphalt beneath.
Professional asphalt contractors follow a few industry standards to ensure optimal performance. They will:
- Apply two or more coats of sealcoat
- Schedule the application for a day when temperatures are forecast to remain above 50 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 24 hours
- Avoid applying sealcoat products when rain is on the way
- Ensure that clients allow products to cure for at least 24 hours before introducing vehicle traffic back onto the driveway or parking lot
If the sealcoat is not applied properly or any of these precautions are ignored, it can affect the performance of the asphalt surface. Property owners who want to ensure the longevity of their driveways or parking lots should always entrust this process to a trained professional.
How Often to Apply Sealcoat?
Most industry experts recommend applying a sealcoat once every two to three years. However, that’s a guideline, not a rule. Surfaces that are exposed to excessive wear and tear may need to be treated more frequently to maintain optimal levels of protection.
Added Benefits of Scheduling Regular Sealcoat Applications
The most obvious benefit of applying sealcoat products is that they extend the longevity of asphalt surfaces. Having an asphalt driveway repaved can cost thousands of dollars while applying a sealcoat is comparatively inexpensive. Experts estimate that regular sealcoating can double the expected lifespan of an asphalt surface, so this routine maintenance procedure is well worth the money.
Applying a sealcoat also confers some aesthetic benefits. As asphalt degrades, it turns from black to a dull grey. A layer of sealcoat will restore the pavement’s deep black finish, beautifying the driveway or parking lot. It will also create a slip-resistant surface, which can improve user safety.
Get Help Now
Ready to schedule asphalt maintenance? Don’t entrust this vital process to just anyone. Work with a fully accredited and insured asphalt contractor with plenty of experience. Asphalt driveways and parking lots are investments, and they deserve to be treated as such.