Advantages & Disadvantages of Sealcoating Your Asphalt

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If you have an asphalt driveway, your contractor may have recommended sealcoating, which is a process that will extend the life of your driveway by applying a protective coat to the surface. If you want your driveway to look great and last as long as possible, you may want to consider it.

If you are located in or near Anne Arundel County, contact the professional asphalt contractors at Capital Paving and Sealcoating. We specialize in both commercial and residential asphalt paving and maintenance. In this article, we’ll help you determine if sealcoating is right for you by explaining more about what exactly it is, along with the key advantages and disadvantages.

Sealcoating Explained

Asphalt is affordable and durable. That is why it’s so popular for driveways, roads, parking lots, and more. However, things such as road salt, UV rays, oil/vehicle fluids, water, and more can cause asphalt to crack, fade, dry out, and eventually crumble.

Sealcoating is the process of applying a protective coating made from oils and paving materials that restore the appearance of the asphalt by replenishing the oils and binder that has dried up or broken down and filling in the gaps to create a smoother appearance.

This layer goes on top of the asphalt, creating a protective barrier to prevent future damage from salt, oil/vehicle fluids, sun, and water.

Advantages of Sealcoating

Below, we’ll explain the top 4 benefits of sealcoating your asphalt driveway:

Makes the Asphalt Look New Again

When we first lay the asphalt, it has a deep black color. Over time, the elements will cause it to fade out so that it looks washed out, gray/white, and dingy. Sealcoating brings back that deep black, glossy appearance. This can improve the appearance of your property and possibly increase the value as well.

Keeps Your Driveway from Becoming Brittle

Asphalt is a blend of sand/gravel aggregate mixed with a petroleum-based binder. Over time, as vehicle fluids such as gasoline and motor oil leak onto the driveway, it will not only leave stains, but reacts with the petroleum binder, which causes the asphalt to deteriorate.

In addition, the natural elements such as UV rays and water cause the asphalt to dry out. This means that the surface that was once able to withstand the fluctuations in temperature and pressure of traffic becomes brittle, increasing the risk of cracking and crumbling.

Sealcoating blocks these elements, keeping the binder flexible and pliable, which increases the life expectancy of the driveway.

Prevents Potholes

Once the asphalt is compromised, it will deteriorate quickly. Small cracks begin to form and if not addressed quickly, can quickly turn into potholes. Since sealcoating protects the asphalt against the elements, the likelihood of potholes forming is reduced, which keeps your driveway safe and attractive much longer.

Cost-Effective

By hiring a contractor to sealcoat your driveway every few years, you reduce your need for expensive repairs and increase the life expectancy of your driveway. Saving you money over the life of the pavement.

Disadvantages of Sealcoating

Of course, when you’re weighing your options, you must look at it from both sides. The disadvantages of sealcoating include the following:

Should Not be Applied to Fresh Asphalt

You should not sealcoat fresh asphalt. When asphalt is fresh, it needs time to cure and for excess chemicals to come to the surface. Once cured- typically about 3 to 6 months- sealcoating can be done.

Must be Maintained

When you have your asphalt sealcoated, you must exercise proper maintenance. This means taking care of your driveway- but also having the sealcoating reapplied every 2 to 3 years. You’ll want to make sure to factor the cost of sealcoating into your maintenance budget.

Asphalt Must be in Good Condition

Sealcoating can be applied to asphalt that is dry and faded or has minimal cracks, it will not fix a cracked/crumbling driveway. Therefore, make sure that any necessary repairs are taken care of before sealcoating is applied.

If you have severely damaged/deteriorated asphalt, you might want to consider an asphalt overlay to revitalize your driveway. Once the overlay cures, we can apply sealcoating to ensure that your driveway lasts for many years to come.

Do You Need a Professional Asphalt Contractor in Anne Arundel County?

If you need professional commercial or residential asphalt services in or near Anne Arundel County, contact Capital Paving & Sealcoating today. We offer a variety of services, from new installations to sealcoating to minor and major repairs on any of your asphalt surfaces. We look forward to taking care of your paving needs!