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The Benefits of Asphalt Sealcoating

Asphalt sealcoating protects pavement from damage, extends its life, improves driving performance, and restores the asphalt’s look.

A mixture of asphalt cement, emulsifiers and water-based additives, asphalt sealcoat is ideal for commercial use and is typically applied to the following:

  • Parking lots
  • Parking garages
  • Roads and streets
  • Loading areas
  • Driveways

Professional paving contractors can place asphalt sealcoat quickly – and the pavement is typically ready within hours following application. Once it cures, asphalt sealcoating provides the following benefits:

1) Improved UV and Oxidation Resistance

UV radiation is brutal on asphalt pavement. Over time, the sun’s UV rays will break down the pavement’s binders and “dry” it out. This leaves the asphalt’s surface in a brittle state that increases the risk of cracking or aggregate loss. Oxidation also causes the asphalt’s color to fade and look worn.

Sealcoating the asphalt applies a protective layer that shields it from UV radiation and slows oxidation. In effect, it is the sealcoat that takes the brunt of the UV rays, not the asphalt, so your pavement retains its look and integrity for longer.

2) Improved Wear Characteristics

Sealcoating essentially “glues” surface aggregates together and improves its flexibility, which is especially important for asphalt because it’s designed to be a flexible pavement. It works by flexing under loads and transmitting force through all pavement layers. By improving flexibility, the pavement will do this with greater efficiency, resisting cracks and other wear-related damage.

With additional oxidation and wear protection, your parking lot, driveway, walkway, access road or other piece of asphalt pavement will last longer and cost less to maintain.

3) Reduced Water Intrusion into the Pavement

Water is pavement’s greatest enemy. If water penetrates the asphalt, it will rapidly eat away at its deeper layers, causing the surface to settle and subside. Eventually, this distress shows up as potholes, which represent major weak spots for the pavement. Once potholes emerge, you can expect large portions of your pavement to fail around them.

Asphalt sealcoating helps keep the water out by providing a protective membrane against the elements. Sealcoating fills hairlines cracks and other minor flaws during application. By plugging these micro gaps in the asphalt, sealcoating slows water intrusion and keeps out dirt and other incompressible matter.

Asphalt sealcoating provides a much-needed defense against water exposure, especially in Houston, where rain is a regular threat to pavement.

4) Restored Appearance of the Asphalt Surface

Improved UV, wear, and water resistance will extend the pavement’s lifespan, and that is the priority, but asphalt sealcoating does more. It also improves and restores the look of the pavement.

A fresh layer of sealcoat restores the asphalt’s jet-black color and its texture. This does have some functional benefits as darker asphalt warms up faster and accelerates ice melt. That may not be a major benefit in warmer climates like Houston, but even the Bayou City can experience freezing weather on occasion. Also, evenly textured pavement is easier to walk on, so sealcoating may reduce tripping hazards.

But back to the cosmetic benefits because they are important as well. If your asphalt pavement looks new, it will make your property appear updated and well kept. This is appealing to people and may improve foot traffic and increase sales for the business.

5) Improved Skid Resistance

As asphalt ages and takes on wear, it will first shed tiny particles that consist of sand and small bits of aggregate. These fine particles help grip vehicle tires and therefore improve traction.

Sealcoating locks these small particles to the asphalt’s surface, embedding them and preventing them from being shed. A fresh layer of seal coat can improve vehicle traction, prevent skidding, and reduce horizontal stresses on the pavement.

6) Optimized Return on Investment

Your asphalt driveway, parking lot, or other pavement project is a significant investment. If properly cared for, you can expect roughly 15 years out of your asphalt before milling and replacement are required. In many cases, property owners will get more than 20 years out of their asphalt.

The subsurface layers may be preserved indefinitely with on-time maintenance and surface treatments like an overlay.

To extract maximum value out of your asphalt, regular sealcoating is a necessary part of that on-time maintenance. It slows wear and oxidation, prevents water and dust from penetrating the pavement, and it helps your property make a strong first impression.

Together, these benefits ensure companies realize an impressive return on their asphalt pavement.

Work with an Expert for the Full Benefits of Asphalt Sealcoating

Asphalt sealcoating provides an array of durability, longevity, and cost efficiency benefits. It also boosts the pavement’s aesthetics and creates a smooth surface for motorist and pedestrian safety.

It is also much more cost effective to apply sealcoating proactively, rather than waiting until the pavement requires extensive repairs. The recommendation is to apply sealcoat when the asphalt is first installed, and every 1-2 years after that, depending on weathering and wear.

An expert asphalt contractor can sealcoat your pavement on schedule, using high quality sealcoats and application processes to ensure a durable professional finish. If your asphalt needs an extra layer of protection, contact the asphalt experts to schedule an inspection.