Is sealcoating asphalt necessary? The answer to this question is yes. While it is not necessary to sealcoat your asphalt pavement every year, asphalt paving experts recommend that you sealcoat your asphalt pavement every few years—preferably once every three years. However, this can also depend on the traffic volume accessing your asphalt pavement.
Sealcoating is a simple and affordable way to protect your asphalt surface, and it only takes a few minutes to apply. In most cases, the sealcoat is applied using a brush or roller, and it dries quickly, thus allowing you to use your driveway or parking within the shortest time possible. Moreover, sealcoating your asphalt pavement ensures that the asphalt surface stays in good condition and continues to provide the many benefits it offers. With that said, let’s look at the top reason why sealcoating asphalt is necessary.
It keeps your asphalt in good condition
Vehicles, especially trucks, exert tremendous force on your asphalt pavement. In fact, it has been estimated that a garbage truck can produce as much as 24,000 pounds of tire pressure per square inch when loaded! With the average lifespan of an asphalt pavement being approximately 20 years, it means that every time a vehicle accesses your pavement, it is subjected to an excessive amount of wear and tear over time. The good news is that by properly sealing your asphalt pavement, you can expect to add several years to its lifespan.
So, why not do yourself a favor and sealcoat year after year? You will never have to worry about unsightly cracks or potholes forming.
Sealcoating protects your asphalt from the elements
The contractors from ABС Paving, sealcoating contractor from Florida say that the sun, wind, rain, and snow can all take a toll on unprotected asphalt pavement. Over time, these elements can cause the surface to become brittle and fade. Sealcoating will help protect your asphalt from becoming damaged and keep it looking fresh for years to come.
Sealcoating preserves the original color of your asphalt
One of the best things about sealcoating is that it helps preserve the original color of your asphalt. Unprotected asphalt can quickly become faded, stained, or discolored from oil and other debris that may get on it over time. Sealcoating creates a barrier between your asphalt and these materials, which will help to keep it looking clean and neat.
Protects asphalt pavement from UV rays
Although asphalt is a very durable material, it can be damaged by the elements over time. The most common way that asphalt is damaged is through oxidation. Oxidation happens when the sealer on your road wears away and exposes the asphalt to UV rays from the sun. You should sealcoat your asphalt pavement every two to three years to prevent this. The asphalt sealer binds with the top layer of asphalt and protects it from degradation while adding a layer of protection and beauty to your property.
Protects your surface from gas and oil spills
Another reason why you should sealcoat your asphalt pavement is to protect it from gas and oil spills. These spills are inevitable, especially if you park your vehicle in your driveway. Every time you see an oil spot on your driveway or parking lot, think about how that oil spot harms your asphalt and, in turn, costs you money.
Asphalt binder is a petroleum-based product, meaning oil and gas can react to the binder, making it brittle with time. As your asphalt pavement is exposed to more oil and gas spills, the life of the pavement shortens. Eventually, it will start to weaken, leading to the formation of cracks or potholes, which are very costly to repair.
Now, since you understand the importance of sealcoating your asphalt pavement, how can you ensure quality application? The following are the top tips for quality asphalt sealcoating.
Ensure that your pavement is clean and free of any debris before applying the sealant. To clean your pavement:
- Use a blower and brush to remove any dirt and leaves from the pavement. If necessary, use pressure water to clean the areas with stubborn dirt.
- Fill any cracks and patch the potholes in your pavement.
- Clean all the oil spots and other problematic areas, particularly under the tree lines.
When preparing the sealer:
- Make sure that you follow the mix recommendations from the manufacturer. Typically, this involves adding and mixing water, aggregate/sand, and other additives to the sealer in certain portions. You should do this following your job requirements. Ensure that you use clean water, and the aggregates/sand must be clean and with specific mesh sizes.
- Mix all the components thoroughly before applying the sealer. When using a sealcoating machine, ensure that you keep it running during the entire project.
- Never change the mix design—otherwise, you risk affecting the sealer’s general performance and durability.
- Do not use any additives other than the recommended ones. Please note that additives contain different chemical blends designed to work with specific sealants. The additives can be incompatible with your sealer, thus affecting its effectiveness.
- Follow the manufacturer’s specifications and instructions when applying the sealant—that is, ensure that you apply the recommended number of coats.
- Curing time should be observed before allowing traffic to access the pavement.