With the official arrival of spring, many are gearing up to begin outdoor projects. Capital Paving & Sealcoating are as well because the warmer months are our busiest time of year. As you begin the process of cleaning up the exterior of your property don’t forget to inspect your paved driveway as well. In fact, it may be time to reseal your driveway if it has any age to it. However, we understand that not everyone knows what sealcoating is. Therefore, today we want to answer a common question we receive, “What does sealcoating do?”
What is Sealcoating?
To really delve into what sealcoating does, we first must understand what sealcoating is.
Sealcoating, otherwise known as pavement sealing, is the process of applying a coating to the asphalt-based pavement to provide protection against the elements.
Sealcoating is made from crude oils and is the initial binder when creating asphalt that holds the aggregate and stone together.
Why do I Need Sealcoating?
Sealcoating is regular preventative maintenance that extends the life of your pavement. Think of it as you would the paint on the exterior of your home. Over time the paint can crack and peel off and you need to refresh the paint job to keep it looking well.
As the years fly by, as they inevitably do, your pavement is exposed to the elements just like the exterior of your home and can be damaged. With damage, your pavement will begin to deteriorate and crumble.
Elements that will damage your pavement over time are as follows:
- Water & Varying Temperatures.
- UV Rays from the sun.
- Salt treatments during the winter months.
- Gas, oil, and other leaking chemicals from vehicles.
- The load bearing of cars and trucks.
Essentially the oil in the binder of pavement breaks down and dries up. When this happens, the pavement can no longer hold itself together. Sealcoating your driveway will replenish this vital part of the asphalt extending its lifespan.
Benefits of Sealcoating
Just as a new paint job refreshes the exterior look of a home or business, sealcoating will restore your pavement back to its original black luster. Your pavement will have a visible facelift!
Along with the aesthetic benefit of resealing your asphalt, it will also provide protection against water. Water is the number one enemy of asphalt especially in climates where there can be drastic changes in temperature. Water can find the smallest of cracks within pavement and as it freezes it expands and can widen the cracks.
Sealcoating will also prevent other chemicals from seeping into the asphalt as well. Chemicals from vehicles and road treatments such as salt will cause damage. When sealcoat is applied to your asphalt it forms a barrier between the asphalt and these chemicals.
Eventually if left untreated your drive or parking area will continue to deteriorate. As cracks grow larger chunks will begin to give way resulting in potholes and depressions. This kind of damage can ruin vehicles and may end up costing money for repairs.
Maintaining your asphalt is more economical than having to have everything repaved. Laying down asphalt is a major investment and it pays to protect it.
How often should I sealcoat?
On average we recommend resealing your pavement every three to five years depending on your environment and traffic flow.
You can visibly tell when your asphalt needs attention as well. As the binder breaks down or oxidizes, your asphalt will become grey in color. As you walk your drive or parking lot you will also notice small cracking forming. When these signs begin to show up it is time to contact your paving contractor.
Capital Paving & Sealcoating are always available to answer your questions and provide you with an estimate. We are experts in the world of surface management so don’t hesitate to contact us and let us meet your paving and sealcoating needs!