BENEFITS OF SEALCOATING #1 PREVENTS WATER INTRUSION BENEATH THE SURFACE
Benefits of Sealcoating : Why Should I Sealcoat My Parking Lot?
Nothing lasts forever – and that includes asphalt pavement. But that doesn’t mean you can’t extend the life of your asphalt parking lot (and improve its life-cycle cost) with timely repair and maintenance – and that includes sealcoating.
To understand the impact pavement sealer can have on the life of your parking lot, it’s first important to understand the nature of asphalt pavement itself. Asphalt – the black stuff that coats the aggregate in the pavement – is a byproduct of the oil refining process. Because it’s oil-based it was excellent waterproofing characteristics, it’s flexible, and it’s sticky so it does a great job of holding together all the aggregate.
In addition to providing a smooth and safe riding and parking surface for drivers, hot mix asphalt pavement protects what’s beneath it – the aggregate base and clay or dirt sub base – from getting wet. Because when water finds its way beneath the asphalt pavement layer, it weakens the structure of the pavement – and that’s when real problems begin including potholes, extensive alligator-type cracking and additional damage that require costly repairs.
Unfortunately, asphalt is not perfect. As it ages it begins to deteriorate – from sun, air, weather, traffic – and begins to break down. The first sign of this is the nice black color fades to grey, then small “hairline” cracks begin to appear.
Timely and proper sealcoating applications can prevent or delay this. And compared with other pavement maintenance options such as crack sealing, remove-and-replace repairs, and asphalt overlays, sealcoating is the easiest, most inexpensive and least-disruptive step you can take to protect your pavement.
So, what, specifically, does sealcoating do?
- Prevents water intrusion beneath the surface.
Because almost all sealer contains fine aggregate (usually silica sand or Black Beauty boiler slag) sealcoating fills the hairline cracks that are an early sign of asphalt aging. By filling these cracks, you are reducing the likelihood that water will be able to find its way beneath the asphalt pavement surface – and the longer you can keep water out, the longer your pavement will last.