“Why sealcoat asphalt?” is a frequently asked question paving companies receive. Your parking lot is one of the first impressions that your visitors get, and your lot’s condition plays an important role in their safety. Slips, trips and falls are all too common in parking lots, and falls in general are the leading nonfatal preventable injury for people in the U.S. Regular parking lot maintenance has many benefits, but here are our top five reasons answering why you should sealcoat your asphalt:

  1. Long term repair costs are lower. Sealcoating asphalt is considered preventative maintenance for a reason. Small cracks can turn into large cracks. By sealing these cracks during the sealcoating process, you prevent water from seeping down to the base material, thereby preventing more expensive repair costs. In fact, sealcoating is much less per square foot compared to repairing or replacing damaged asphalt.
  2. It provides a protective chemical barrier. Asphalt that has been sealcoated repels gas, diesel fuel, oil, salt and chemical spills, all of which can break down the bond between the aggregate and the liquid asphalt (and result in damage to your pavement). Plus, exposure to sunlight results in oxidation of the pavement, resulting in quicker fatigue cracking and surface raveling.
  3. It’s winter ready. Sealcoating’s dark color retains heat and helps to accelerate melting of snow and ice on the pavement preventing surface water penetration. Without sealcoating, asphalt absorbs water and moisture from rain, snow, frost and ice and causes damage from freeze and thaw cycles that allow cracks and potholes to form.
  4. Pavement life is prolonged. Once you have made the investment of asphalt pavement, sealcoating is one of the best ways to make it last longer. When first applied 12 to 18 months after asphalt installation and then every two to three years after, sealcoating will extend the life of an asphalt parking lot by 20 years on average.
  5. Enhances the aesthetic. Aside from the elegant look of a dark black lot, sealcoating asphalt hides small cracks, patches some rougher areas, and makes line striping pop. By smoothing the surface, sealcoating allows rain (or your hose) to more easily wash away dirt and debris.

Sealcoating asphalt provides many advantages. At the same time, it’s important to know when you need more than a new sealcoat. Sealcoating alone will not improve the pavement’s structure. If the asphalt was not properly installed in the first place or is damaged, sealcoating will only make the pavement look better for a short time. An asphalt paving professional can assess your lot and best answer “why sealcoat asphalt?” If you’d like a free assessment of your pavement from an experienced and reliable partner, contact DC Construction.