Sealcoating is one of the most effective preventative maintenance treatments for asphalt parking lots and driveways when performed properly. It extends the life of asphalt, increases its attractiveness and decreases its maintenance costs.
Pavement is made up of a blend of sand and gravel aggregate mixed with a petroleum-based binder. It is the combination of these elements that makes asphalt pavement strong and pliable. But as motor oil and gasoline leak from vehicles, or the environment introduces oxidizing agents, this binder starts to break down and the asphalt surface becomes brittle.
Sunlight oxidation and moisture damage are two of the most common causes of premature deterioration. If left untreated, these oxidizing elements will penetrate the asphalt and cause permanent cracks in the surface.
To prevent this from happening, you should have a regularly scheduled maintenance program that includes sealcoating your asphalt surfaces. This will greatly increase the longevity of your asphalt, and in some cases double the lifespan!
The first step in a successful sealcoating process is to assess the condition of your parking lot or driveway. This assessment will include looking for cracks, potholes and other signs of deterioration that need to be repaired as soon as possible.
After this is done, you should prepare your asphalt for sealcoating by cleaning the area thoroughly. This will ensure that the sealcoat will be applied evenly and effectively to your asphalt surface.
You can apply sealcoat on your own or hire a company to do it for you. Using the right equipment, a professional team can power wash your surface and apply the sealcoat. They will also be able to help you determine the best type of product for your needs, and provide a warranty.
Sealcoating should be done every three to four years, and in some cases, can be a very cost-effective way to maintain your driveway or parking lot. This is especially important if you have a property with multiple units and want to keep the surface in excellent condition for each unit’s tenants.
To do it yourself, you will need the appropriate materials to clean and prime your asphalt surface and a squeegee to spread the sealcoat evenly. If you have a large driveway or parking lot, you may need more than one application of the sealcoat to cover it completely.
The best time for seal coating is spring and fall, when temperatures are warm enough and there is no rain to interfere with the drying process. However, you should be prepared for longer drying times in humid conditions as the sealcoat material does not dry quickly in high humidity.
Once the seal coat has been applied, you should let it sit for 48 hours to allow it to fully cure and protect your asphalt from UV rays, weather and other harmful elements. Then, you should keep cars off the surface for another 48 hours to give it a chance to fully dry and harden.
A professionally trained team will be able to complete the project with a minimum of inconvenience, and without damaging your asphalt surface. They will have the right tools and equipment to get the job done in a timely fashion, and your asphalt can look brand new after it’s been sealcoated!