The Basics of Asphalt Sealcoating

What is asphalt sealcoating? Sealcoating is when a thin layer of sealant is spread over the top of asphalt. If you want to learn more about how sealcoating can benefit your property, keep reading. 

Why should you sealcoat your asphalt?

Sealcoating protects against sun damage. Asphalt can eventually crack and spread under the relentless burn of the sun. As it cracks and spreads, it causes fissures and dips that make smooth asphalt bumpy asphalt. A sealcoating can help slow down the process of sun damage and ensure that your asphalt stays smooth for as long as possible.  

Asphalt sealcoating also protects against water damage. Asphalt is exposed to water in the form of rain, snow, and ice year-round. This exposure, much like sun damage, can cause undue wear and tear on your road, driveway, or parking lot, and leave cracked and weak asphalt. Sealcoating gives your asphalt a water-resistant coating that protects against the damp. 

Sealcoating protects against oil or gasoline drips and spills. Oil and gasoline can be extremely corrosive on asphalt, and sealcoating will add a protective seal that keeps oil or gasoline from damaging your drive or parking lot. Sealcoating also protects against loose asphalt rocks that could chip a window or windshield. The sealant keeps rocks in place and your cars safe. 

A major advantage of sealcoating your asphalt is that it looks professional and sleek. Sealcoating gives asphalt a smooth, uniform, satin, and dark appearance. It hides blemishes and fills tiny cracks so that your driveway or parking lot looks well-kempt, clean, and professional. It is also a lot easier to see painted parking lines on sealcoated asphalt than on dull, gray, and unsealed asphalt. 

What does the process look like? 

A paving contractor will talk to you about the job and charge, either by the hour or by the square footage that you want sealcoated. They'll block off traffic with tape and cones. When the site has been assessed, any overhanging edges or grass will be trimmed back. The sealcoating team will then blow the asphalt clean with compressed air and stiff brooms. Any oil spots will be covered with primer so that the sealant will stick to them, while bigger cracks will be filled in with rubber sealer.

Then, contractors will apply sealant using a sprayer or brushes—usually in two coats to ensure full coverage. If the asphalt is in a parking lot, the sealcoating team will repaint the traffic and parking lines for you. Note that it takes at least 48 hours for sealcoating to dry completely, and you shouldn't use your parking lot or driveway until it is dry.