01 Oct Is Sealcoating Worth It? 6 Undeniable Benefits of Sealcoating Asphalt
The United States produces $30 billion of asphalt each year.
Asphalt provides a long-lasting, durable, and reusable surface. It’s no surprise that it has become the most popular surfacing material in the U.S.
If you want to get the most out of your asphalt, proper maintenance is a must. This involves applying a sealcoat.
But don’t just take our word for it. Read on for six undeniable benefits of sealcoating asphalt.
What Is Sealcoating?
Asphalt is made of aggregate (usually gravel and other rocks) held together with an oil-based binder. If the binder starts to break down, your asphalt can begin to crack.
A sealcoat will add a protective layer to the asphalt. When correctly applied in two coats, it’s pushed down into any small cracks to undo the damage and then re-level the surface.
The optimal way to apply sealcoat changes based on the weather and season. It is always best to hire a qualified contractor for this job.
1. Improves Appearance
Sealcoating your asphalt will provide an immediate improvement to its appearance. Even on older asphalt, it will look like the day you laid it down.
Not only does it make the surface smoother and the color vibrant again, but it also allows for cracks and signs of wear to be filled in. Make sure to fill in any larger cracks before applying the sealcoat.
Whether we’re talking a residential property or a commercial one, this will make it look better and well-cared for.
2. Protects from Moisture
Properly applied sealcoat acts as a protective layer. This prevents water and moisture from reaching the surface below.
If moisture has access, it may cause damage as it weakens the asphalt base. Once it has gotten in, water can also begin to erode and wash away at the base level.
There is also freeze-thaw erosion to consider. If moisture reaches the asphalt surface, it can work its way into the tiniest of imperfections.
When the temperatures drop below zero, the moisture will freeze. As it freezes, it expands, putting pressure on the asphalt. Over time, this will cause little imperfections to expand into cracks, potholes, and so on.
By sealcoating, you’re putting down a protective layer that will help prevent and protect from moisture-related damage.
3. Protects from Oil
If your asphalt is being used in an area where cars travel over it, then gas and oil spills are inevitable. Oil, gasoline, and the chemicals within them can cause serious damage.
The harshness of these substances will erode and weaken the asphalt. Unlike moisture, this kind of damage isn’t something you’ll notice over a long period of time; the effects are visible early on.
As asphalt is made of a mixture of materials that includes oil, oil spills can change its composition. This can cause the impacted asphalt to soften. It can be so extreme that the asphalt can be dug up by hand!
If this happens often, it may lead to large and frequent repair costs.
High-quality sealcoating will form a protective layer that oil and gasoline cannot get through immediately. This gives you more time to clear it up before any damage occurs.
4. Protects from UV
Asphalt doesn’t have a high UV resistance. Once exposed to sunlight and air, it will begin to deteriorate.
The asphalt mix contains various oils. When you first lay it down, some of these will evaporate out to set and strengthen the asphalt.
You don’t want too many to oxidize, though, as this can weaken and damage the asphalt. If too many oils oxidize, it can dry out the asphalt and leave it brittle and prone to cracking and wear. With cracks forming, this opens the door for further damage.
Sealcoating is more resistant to UV and will protect the surface to slow down oxidization. It will also fill in any small imperfections and cracks caused by UV damage. This adds much-needed strength back to the surface.
5. Protect Your Investment
Correctly applied asphalt is a large investment. Its true cost depends on how much use it and the amount of time it lasts before it needs replacing.
If you know that you’ll use it for many years, the initial investment is a good choice. On the other hand, if you’re likely to rip it up and replace it after a year or two due to maintenance issues, the costs will soon pile up.
Sealcoating ensures that your asphalt will have the protection and added strength it needs. This way, it will last for years to come.
6. Reduce Repair Costs
All in all, sealcoating protects your asphalt from damage. It also improves its look and functionality. This means that it will stay in good condition longer.
We’ve looked at the ways in which damage can occur in asphalt. Repairing the cracks and potholes caused by these may need more precise and costly repairs. The expenses are even higher if these problems go unnoticed for a long time.
Applying a sealcoat reduces the need to repair due to construction damage or to improve aesthetics. By minimizing these repairs and keeping the maintenance costs low, you’ll be saving money in the future.
Reap the Benefits of Sealcoating Asphalt
As you can see, there are some serious benefits of sealcoating asphalt.
A successful sealcoating not only makes your pavement look better, but it also protects it from damage and saves you money.
If you’re thinking of having a sealcoat applied to your asphalt, contact us at Southeast Sealcoat. We use only the very best equipment to make sure you get the most hard-wearing protection available.