Sealcoating is a true “barrier coat” between asphalt surfaces and the destructive elements. The term “sealcoating” means keeping the redeeming properties of asphalt sealed in to prolong the pavement life and preserve its functional properties. The primary reason to sealcoat an asphalt pavement is to protect the pavement from the deteriorating effects of sun and water. When an asphalt pavement is exposed to sun, wind and water, the asphalt hardens, or oxidizes. This causes the pavement to become more brittle. As a result, the pavement will crack because it is unable to bend and flex when exposed to traffic and temperature changes. A sealcoat combats this situation by providing a waterproof membrane which not only slows down the oxidation process but also helps the pavement to shed water, preventing it from entering the base material.
A secondary benefit of seal coating is an increase in the surface friction it provides. This is accomplished by the additional texture the cover aggregate adds to the pavement. With time, traffic begins to wear the fine material from an asphalt pavement surface. This result in a condition referred to as raveling. When enough of the fine material is worn off the pavement surface, traffic is driving mostly on the course aggregate. As these aggregate particles begin to become smooth and polished, the roadway may become slippery, making it difficult to stop quickly. A sealcoat increases the pavement texture and increases the surface friction properties.
An additional benefit to sealcoating is curb appeal. Your parking lot or driveway is the welcome mat to your business or home. A well-maintained asphalt parking lot or driveway shows that you care about your property and the safety of guests or patrons. Finally, sealcoating saves money by extending the life span of asphalt by as much as three times that of unsealed asphalt. When you compare sealcoating costs, pennies per square foot vs. dollars per square foot for asphalt replacement, you can easily see how sealcoating makes “cents.”