Wondering how to get your asphalt to look new again? Asphalt sealcoating is a non-structural fix that gives your surface that dark, rich color while slowing down deterioration.

What is Asphalt Sealcoating?

Asphalt sealcoating is a liquid coating of an asphalt surface that is used to help protect asphalt.  Protection is created in much the same manner as staining wood.  Asphalt pavement is essentially made up of rock, oil and sand. The oil within the asphalt pavement helps hold together the rock and sand, but when the oil begins to lose its ability to bond, the asphalt pavement will begin to unravel and deteriorate.

The Purposes of Asphalt Sealcoating

Asphalt SealcoatingAsphalt sealcoating is intended to help slow down the deterioration process caused by the sun (ultraviolet rays), rain, chemicals and overall vehicle traffic. This protective coating helps slow down the deterioration process that naturally occurs with asphalt.

Asphalt sealcoating also helps asphalt pavement to drain properly. When asphalt pavement begins to deteriorate, it often becomes rough, causing water to sit on the pavement. This water often ends up finding voids and entering the pavement.

When an asphalt surface is properly sealcoated, the sealer will essentially waterproof the pavement.  Water is easily shed off the pavement because of the smooth surface and not into the pavement creating further pavement damage.

Another purpose for asphalt sealcoating is appearance. Sealcoating can give any old, gray pavement a facelift, restoring that dark appearance. Asphalt sealcoating your parking lot or roadway gives it a new, fresh look that often times is mistaken for being entirely new asphalt.

Knowing It’s Time for Asphalt Sealcoating

Newly paved asphalt, as well as freshly sealcoated asphalt, has a rich, black appearance. If your parking lot is dull and gray, it’s time to sealcoat. Also, if your parking lot is covered in loose sand, or you have sand in front of your drains, this is also an indication that the oils in the asphalt are losing their ability to bond the rock and sand together. This sand is actually your parking lot deteriorating in front of your eyes.

Repaving vs. Sealcoating

Asphalt sealcoating is not a structural fix. If you have a solid base and your parking lot is just getting old and looks worn out, then asphalt sealcoating is right for you.

However, if your parking lot doesn’t have a solid base and you are seeing many areas of network cracks (known as “alligator cracks”), sealcoating is not the correct fix for you since your problems will persist. If this is the case, you’ll likely need to consider more substantial asphalt repair or undertaking a full asphalt paving project.

If you have any questions about repaving vs. asphalt sealcoating, let us know. We’d be happy to help you figure out what’s best for your particular situation.


 

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Sometimes you need to fix the underlying issues in addition to how your asphalt looks on the surface.  Learn about all of the asphalt and concrete services we offer in the St. Louis area. For questions or to discuss your next project, reach out to our team today!

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