Asphalt is an extremely cost-effective paving material for a wide range of pavements, including parking lots, suburban cul-de-sacs, and walking trails. However, to maximize the return on your asphalt investment, you need to provide with a bit of routine care throughout your pavement’s life. One fact that you should not overlook is that the sealcoating savings benefits can be quite substantial.
What Is Sealcoating?
Asphalt sealcoating is a mixture that contains sand, water, concentrated seal coat, and, if needed, an additive. A sealcoating contractor applies the product as a liquid, which then exhausts its water through evaporation. As the water evaporates, the particles in the mix knit together, resulting in a tough, virtually impenetrable barrier that adheres to the pavement.
How Does Sealing an Asphalt Pavement Generate Sealcoating Savings?
Basically, when you sealcoat a parking lot, you are protecting your asphalt pavement from hostile forces.
1. The sun, which emits ultraviolet radiation, is one of the most formidable enemies of asphalt pavements. From a cosmetic point of view, UV rays bleach the color from asphalt pavements, leaving them an unattractive, dingy gray instead of a luxurious black. However, UV rays do far more than affect the aesthetics of your pavement. Asphalt pavements are known for their ability to flex under loads, then rebound without suffering damage. UV rays rob asphalt paving of its moisture, leaving it hard, inflexible, and brittle. Cracks begin to develop, and they will become larger and more numerous. You will find yourself forced to spend more on crack repairs on a more frequent basis. If you neglect your crack repairs, water penetration can destroy your pavement’s foundation. You will now need to repair potholes and alligatored asphalt, and it is also quite possible that you may need a complete pavement reconstruction within seven or eight years.
2. Sealcoating a parking lot also helps prevent damage from automotive fluids. It is a virtual certainty that vehicles will drip oil, gasoline, transmission fluid, and other liquids on your parking lot pavement. Almost all vehicle fluids are petroleum distillates, and asphalt is also a petroleum-based product. Petroleum distillates display a curious tendency to try to recombine when they contact each other. These efforts typically lead to breaking each other down at a molecular level. In the case of an asphalt pavement, the asphalt binder will be destroyed. Since the binder is what keeps the aggregate and other components glued together, if it breaks down, the pavement will crumble. These spots are extremely soft, so they will rapidly turn into potholes. Although asphalt sealcoating cannot stop the progress of petrochemicals forever, it can buy you significantly more time to remove them before they reach your pavement.
How Often Should I Seal Coat to Maximize My Sealcoating Savings?
A new pavement or overlay should be sealed as soon as the asphalt completes its curing process. Depending on various factors, this could take anywhere from two months to nine months. However, you should never wait more than a year before sealcoating your parking lot. You should ask your Atlanta asphalt sealcoating contractor to recommend the appropriate interval for your pavement. Here are a few tips for scheduling the services of your sealcoating contractor.
1. Most parking lots in North Georgia need a fresh application of seal coat about every two years. If your parking lot supports only a few cars, you may not need to seal it as frequently.
2. Prior to sealcoating a parking lot, your contractor will need to repair potholes, cracks, and other damage. Otherwise, the liquid sealant will be wasted, and your pavement will not be properly protected.
3. You should not sealcoat your parking lot too often. Ideally, the existing sealant should be almost worn away first. Sealing your pavement too frequently can lead to improper curing, tracking, and a reduced life for your sealcoat.
4. Plan to restripe after sealcoating your parking lot. Your existing markings and stripes will be obscured by the sealant. Many sealcoating contractors can provide both striping and sealing services. This minimizes any disruption to your business or employees, and it is possible that you might save a little money.
The Surface Masters is an Atlanta paving company known for providing superior work and exemplary service to clients in the greater Atlanta area. In addition to asphalt sealcoating, we offer pavement markings, asphalt milling, concrete curbing, asphalt repairs, crack sealing, and asphalt paving. We have the skills, equipment, staffing, and experience to successfully execute jobs of all sizes. We offer free quotes, so request yours by emailing Info@TheSurfaceMasters.com, submitting our online form, or calling 770-250-6392.