The Pros and Cons of Sealing Asphalt
Whether you own a parking lot or a single driveway, you want to have your space looking great throughout the year. Asphalt surfaces often need to be repaved or repaired. If you are looking for ways to add a protective layer, it might be time to apply sealcoating to your asphalt. This process is an investment for your property. Before you schedule an application, you must decide if sealcoating is the right service for you.
What Is Sealcoating?
Asphalt is often used in the construction of parking lots, driveways, and roads. This material is durable and affordable. For that reason, it is a popular choice for many communities and property owners. However, after the asphalt has settled, it is exposed to oil, UV rays, water, and road salt. As a result, the asphalt is prone to cracks and potholes. Those leaks can allow water to seep into the asphalt to damage the pavement.
With sealcoating, you can protect the surface of your asphalt. This coating is formulated with oils and materials that soak into the pavement. When applied, the fresh sealer has a shiny black appearance. The oil restores the binders that may have dried up or broken down over the years. If your pavement looks craggy, then sealcoating will fill in any small gaps for a smoother appearance. It will form a protective barrier to prevent any harmful effects from water, salt, oil, and the sun.
Asphalt Sealcoating Benefits
If you are undecided about adding a sealcoat to your asphalt, there are many benefits of this process. Here is a brief look at the pros of sealcoating.
Improve the Look of Faded Asphalt
When asphalt is first installed at your property, it will have a shiny appearance. Over the years, the sun and other weather elements can fade the look of that pavement. Your older asphalt might look dingy or gray. With an application of sealcoat, that glossy black color will be restored to the surface of your pavement. A faded asphalt driveway or parking lot can decrease the curb appeal of those spaces. With a new sealcoat, your pavement will have a fresh appearance, and it might even boost your property value.
The typical pavement is made with a blend of gravel aggregate and sand. A petroleum-based binder is mixed to make the asphalt more pliable and flexible. If you have vehicles that leak oil or gas onto the surface, the pavement can become stained. In addition, the oils react with the binder to cause surface deterioration. You also have to worry about the weather elements damaging your pavement. UV rays from the sun can dry out the surface of the asphalt. When asphalt is new, it can handle temperature fluctuations and weight from vehicles. As it starts to become brittle, the asphalt begins to crack.
When you apply a layer of sealcoat, it blocks the oxidizing substances from reaching the surface of the pavement. It also allows the asphalt to remain flexible for a longer lifespan.
After the weather and oxidation have compromised the asphalt, it will start to deteriorate. Once the pavement is damaged, you might notice more chips and cracks in your driveway or parking lot. If these cracks are left untreated, they can turn into unsightly and damaging potholes. Sealcoating can help you fight the start of those cracks. This process is known to prevent oxidation from damaging your pavement’s surface. In turn, you can keep your parking areas and road looking attractive for years to come.
When you need to have fresh asphalt installed, it can be a costly project. Many new asphalt installations cost between $1 and $2 per square foot. Those prices do not even include curb installation or line striping. As you can tell, it is an expensive project. For sealcoating, the costs are $0.15 to $0.25 per square foot. When you sealcoat every few years, it can prevent the need for any expensive repairs as you extend the life of your asphalt.
While sealcoating might be the right choice for many people, there are some cons of this process. Here are a few things that you need to consider for your property.
Never Apply Sealcoat To Fresh Asphalt
Fresh asphalt requires time to cure. Many of those remaining binder chemicals must rise to the surface. Asphalt usually needs about three to six months before you can sealcoat the surface. After that time, it is safe to schedule a sealcoat for the pavement.
Pavement Needs Maintenance
Unfortunately, sealcoating is not a “one and done” process. You will need to keep it maintained. Most sealcoats will only last for two to three years. When you are managing your expenses, make sure to have some money set aside for this process. While it is cheaper than a new asphalt replacement, it will still require a few dollars out of your budget.
Asphalt Must Be in Good Condition
Sealcoating cannot be done on those severely cracked or damaged surfaces. If your asphalt is slightly faded, then you can apply the sealcoat. For damaged surfaces, all those asphalt repairs must be completed and allowed to cure before the application. However, even damaged asphalt can be restored to its previous appearance. You might want to add an asphalt overlay to revitalize those damaged spots. After it has cured, you can schedule a sealcoating team to apply the sealer.
For the most part, a sealcoat is the ideal solution to keep up the appearance of your asphalt parking lots, driveways, and roads. Along with landscaping maintenance and care, some commercial lawn care services offer sealcoating options for their customers.
We Are Ready To Handle Your Sealcoating
If you are ready to protect and restore your asphalt, reach out to the professionals at Charlestown Landscaping LLC. Our team will work to bring life to that faded asphalt. Along with that, we also offer commercial lawn care. If you want to schedule a consultation, please give us a call at (610) 608-3965.