If you’re using asphalt, and don’t know what its sealcoating is, you need to stop using asphalt. Asphalt sealcoating is made to protect asphalt binder, ensuring it stays in top condition as long as possible before needing repair and breaking down. If you haven’t been using sealcoating, you’re laying asphalt wrong and are probably spending more than you need to be on repairs and repavement.
There are three types of asphalt sealcoating, they are:
Each has its own pros and cons and will vary depending on the project and the contractor involved. However, Coal-Tar is a controversial method of asphalt sealcoating and some states have outright banned its use due to environmental and disposal concerns. Check with your state, and asphalt provider, to see if they use Coal-Tar or if they prefer a different method of sealcoating before you begin a project.
Asphalt sealcoating is designed to help the binder stand up against everything from aging to oxidation to weight loads and chemicals. You’d be surprised what asphalt is thrown up against once laid and by utilizing a sealcoat, you can prevent some issues from occurring at least shot-term. Everything from sunlight exposure to oxidation to weather can cause damage to asphalt and sealcoating it helps stop that from occurring as often. Over the long-term, asphalt will succumb to the environment and will need to be repaved or repaired.
Sealcoating is done with the use of a pressurized sprayer or squeegee machine. It can be done by hand, too, but that’s only recommended for small projects. It’s a two coat process, with one coat being set down for 24 to 48 hours before a second coat being applied. After using a blower or sweeping machine, sealcoating can be done on any asphalt surface. This is typically done after a new layer of asphalt is put down and has dried before the area is open to the public and before it’s painted if necessary.
If your asphalt provider isn’t sealcoating, they’re doing something wrong for most projects. Make sure they’re sealcoating to preserve your asphalt for as long as possible.