Sealcoating a parking lot is the application of pavement sealer, specially formulated, consisting of either coal tar pitch or asphalt cement.
Sealcoating your pavement is a vital element in a pavement management plan. It forms a protective layer against UV damage, salt, oxidation, water penetration, and corrosive chemicals from cars and the environment. Sealcoating provides a shiny black finish that protects and prolongs the life of your parking lot.
Types of Sealcoat
There are three main bases for sealcoat:
- Coal tar based
- Asphalt emulsion
- Petroleum based
Benefits of Sealing a Parking Lot
It’s easier to clean and maintain.
Sealcoat fills cracks on the pavement surface which results in a smooth and even-textured surface. This makes it easier to sweep leaves and snow off the pavement. If you took a broom to a parking lot without a sealcoat, the surface is likely to tug on the broom. A newly sealed pavement will, however, allow the broom to slide easily over its surface.
Slows the rate of oxidation
Sealing offers a protective coating over the surface, protecting it from rapid deterioration by reducing its exposure to oxygen and UV rays. It also reduces the depth that asphalt oils or gases can penetrate the surface.
Oxidation causes the surface to become fragile, making it susceptible to more cracks and further deterioration. While sealcoating does not stop oxidation, it slows it down and gives one time to monitor and repair it before the clock runs out.
Prevents water penetration
Water is one of pavements’ leading causes of damage and sealing cracks protects them from further deterioration. Most sealers contain fine aggregate which is usually boiler slag or silica sand that fills hairline cracks. These types of cracks are a sign of asphalt aging. Filling them reduces the likelihood of water intrusion, lengthening the life expectancy of the pavement.
As the pavement ages, the first things to come loose are the fine grains and sand on the surface. This reduces the traction on the road which results in skidding. Sealcoating the pavement helps lock the fines in place, increasing traction
How Often Should I Sealcoat My Parking Lot?
Different sources recommend different periods. Some say 6 months, 2 years, 3 years, and others five years.
To know when to sealcoat your parking lot, asking these questions could give you a timeline for your specific parking lot:
- Does the damage make your parking lot unsafe?
- Can you spot the deterioration?
- When did you last sealcoat your parking lot?
- How old is it?
- How much wear and tear is your parking lot exposed to?
It helps to have a scheduled program for routine maintenance and sealcoating, regardless of whether you see the tell signs or not. Better safe than sorry.
Hiring paving professionals near you gives you more insight into the life and future of your parking lot, improving its quality of life. We at Georgia’s Wildcat Paving Company provide a team of experts who are willing and able to help you with your sealcoat need.
For more information on sealcoating and services, visit our website or contact us via our easy contact form today!