Why Sealcoating is Important
Sealcoating a driveway is like painting the exterior of your house. Your end goal is not to create a new structure. Sealcoat is not meant to address any of the serious areas of wear and tear you may have. The purpose it to add a protective layer and make sure your structural component (Your asphalt driveway) is protected from the elements. Sealcoating is a necessary maintenance solution for all asphalt surfaces.
What Sealcoat Protects your Pavement From
Through natural processes, the oils in a bituminous aggregate (asphalt) break down and oxidize. This oxidation is very visible in grey and brittle parking lots and driveways. Sealcoating will add the protection necessary to stop the oxidation of oils in the asphalt, leading to a significant increase in life. Oxidation will lead to a complete breakdown of your asphalt.
Sealcoat works to lock in oils in asphalt, giving the pavement more flexibility. Flexibility also helps to keep pavement from cracking under a shifting base layer.
Hairline fractures will begin to appear shortly after a new asphalt surface is paved. These hairline cracks are cause by inadequate compaction on the sub layers below the asphalt. When these cracks appear, they give an easy route for water to enter the asphalt and begin its freeze-thaw cycle of destruction. Sealcoating works to fill in these hairline cracks to make sure your asphalt surface is impermeable to water intrusion.
How Often Should someone Sealcoat their Asphalt Parking Lot or Driveway?
Studies have shown that sealcoating on a regular 3-5 year basis can greatly decrease the overall cost of ownership on an asphalt parking lot or driveway. The previous layer of sealcoat should be almost completely worn down before a new layer is applied. By allowing the old sealcoat to wear down, the owner is ensuring that the new sealcoat will bond to the existing asphalt.