There is not a question I get asked more by prospective customers than, “Why should I Sealcoat my Asphalt?”. The fact is, after 15 years of servicing blacktop, a regularly serviced driveway or parking lot will last years longer that one that does not.
I serviced a driveway for a customer that lives next to his brother who does not, and they both had their driveways installed at the same time. I serviced this driveway since it was two years old, and serviced it again for the 5th time with a sealcoat last year. The brother next door was getting his dug up and replaced because it had reached a point of failure.
They both paid the same price to get them installed in 2003. We sealcoated one of them every 3 years, and crack-filled one when a crack developed over a culvert. The cost to maintain the driveway that lasted, cost twenty times less than his brother’s driveway, that he eventually had to pay to replace. Let us dig in to what sealcoating and asphalt maintenance is and provides for a customer.
There are many benefits to sealcoating the asphalt to your driveway or parking lot. Think of sealcoating as a preventative maintenance for your driveway or parking lot, rather than a repair, adding fine aggregate and polymers back and into the surface where they have beginning to lose them, while creating a seal to slow the process down.
Sealcoating the asphalt, seals the small cracks and air voids, that can turn into large cracks and prevents water from seeping down into the air voids in the asphalt, as well as the base material (Gravel).
Sealcoating can preserve the resilience of asphalt surfaces and help fill “Hairline” cracks, patched areas and rough spots as well as make traffic lines on parking lots more visible. A layer of High-Quality Sealer, that is applied correctly, makes your asphalt driveway look cleaner because rain washes dirt and debris easily away from the smooth, non-porous surface.
It also helps snow and ice melt away sooner, because the dark black color of newly applied sealcoat attracts heat rays from the sun. All while improving the appearance, making your driveway or parking lot look near brand new as a side-effect of taking care of it.
Another benefit of Sealcoating, is that it helps protect the asphalt from the Sun’s ultraviolet rays and drying Oxidization, as well as the harmful effects of chemical spills such as oil and gasoline, both which are all too common on driveways or parking lots. It can limit the depths to which large deposits of spilled oil or fuel can penetrate. It also resists diesel fuel, salt and chemical penetration which will break down the bond between the aggregate and the liquid asphalt. Let an asphalt based sealer take the brunt of the damage and not your large investment in a nice asphalt driveway that has added value to your property.
Sealcoating acts as a waterproofing agent as well, minimizing how much water enters the asphalt. Asphalt is compacted at installation, but is never completely solid. For example, if a surface is 87% compacted, that leaves 13% air voids that WILL be filled with water, then expanding ice, as the seasons change. Sealcoating asphalt prevents the water and moisture from rain and snow from seeping in, thus preventing damage from freeze thaw cycles which is a common reason your driveway or parking lot begins forming cracks or even worse, alligator cracks.
Sealcoating leaves a smooth, clean surface ideal for sweeping, which lowers cleaning costs for a surface and gives your entrance a fresh and new look to your home or business, all while costing pennies per square foot compared to the dollars needed to repair or replace damaged asphalt. The price of asphalt and maintenance materials will always be affected by crude oil prices, which fluctuate when supplies vary, but Sealcoating and Maintenance will always be the most cost-effective way to avoid being forced to replace an expensive asphalt surface sooner than expected. Sealcoating provides an affordable, good looking, and life extending alternative than a “remove and replace” of a parking lot or driveway.