What Sealcoating Can and Can’t Do for Your Paved Surface

January 31, 2020 12:35 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Keeping up with sealcoating of your asphalt is one of the best things you can do for long-term maintenance of your paved surface, whether it’s a driveway, parking lot or patio. Of course, the timing of the job is also extremely important—you need to make sure you take on the job in optimal weather conditions.

If you’re unfamiliar with asphalt sealcoating benefits in Washington, it’s important to do a bit of research before you make it a priority at your home or business, as there can be some misconceptions about just what sealcoating can and cannot do for you. Here’s a quick overview with some helpful information for you to consider.

What sealcoating can do for you

When you use sealcoating as part of a fully comprehensive pavement maintenance program, it can go a long way toward protecting your pavement for years. In general, sealcoating is best performed about 12 to 18 months after asphalt is initially installed, and then about every two to three years after, depending on the condition of the surface. The sealcoating should always be diluted and applied in accordance with manufacturer specifications to ensure proper coverage and protection.

During the winter, your sealcoat will help melt snow and ice much faster, because the rich, black color associated with the coating will draw and retain heat from the sun, even when the air temperatures are cold.

The smooth surface created by sealcoating will make it much easier for you to sweep and clean the asphalt. In addition, the coal tar, asphalt or petroleum-based emulsion in the sealcoating will protect an asphalt parking lot from gas and oil spillage, damage caused by deicing chemicals and oxidation from the sun, and will waterproof the surface, all while creating a more aesthetically-pleasing appearance.

What sealcoating can’t do for you

All that being said, there are some limitations to what sealcoating can do. It is not a maintenance task that will level or adjust low spots in your driveway, and it should not be mistaken for the process of resurfacing your asphalt, even if the product is labeled “resurfacer” when you purchase it.

Sealcoating alone will not extend the life of your asphalt—it is just one part of an overall maintenance plan you should employ for your paved surface. On its own it will only add a few years of life to the asphalt if you do not keep up with other important maintenance tasks.

If, for example, you’ve neglected maintaining an asphalt parking lot for a good decade and it’s become full of cracks and holes, with exposed stone in some areas, there is no structural benefit to the sealcoating at all—it will only be cosmetic, and even then there’s only so much you can do to make an extremely cracked and damaged asphalt surface look much better.

For more information about the various asphalt sealcoating benefits in Washington and the steps involved in the process, we encourage you to get in touch with the team at Jimini Paving today.

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