A newly installed asphalt pavement has a smooth, black texture, which plays a bigger role in improving the curb appeal of your property. However, asphalt pavements do deteriorate with time because of vehicle traffic and the constant exposure to external elements. Eventually, your asphalt pavement might require costly repairs or complete replacement as a result of the deterioration. But did you know that you can protect your asphalt pavement from these elements through sealcoating?
What is asphalt sealcoating?
Naturally, asphalt is a very durable paving material. However, it’s prone to damage if it’s not maintained properly. The constant exposure to the harmful UV rays, snow, de-icing chemicals, oil and gas leaks, and water can make your pavement brittle, which can cause cracks over time. If not repaired, these unsightly damages can negatively affect the curb appeal of your home. In the worst-case scenario, these cracks can cause potholes, which can be very costly to repair.
This is where sealcoating comes in. It helps to add an extra layer of protection to your asphalt pavement. By properly maintaining your asphalt pavement, you can extend the lifespan of your asphalt pavement by up to 20 years. Besides, it can add value to your property.
However, it’s important to note that sealcoating doesn’t repair damaged asphalt pavement—other than pavements with surface holes and minor cracks. But, the primary purpose of asphalt pavement sealcoating is to serve as a protective barrier between your asphalt paved surface and the external elements. Thus, we can say that sealcoating is an essential part of an asphalt pavement maintenance routine. By regularly sealcoating your asphalt pavement, you don’t have to worry about spending a lot of money on repairing your pavement.
Why is asphalt sealcoating important?
There are two ingredients in an asphalt mixture—bitumen and aggregates. The aggregates, a mixture of sand, gravel, and crushed stone, make around 95% of your asphalt, and the remaining 5% is the black material, referred to as bitumen. The bitumen acts as a binder, and it holds the aggregates together.
As said earlier, asphalt is a very durable paving material. However, it’s susceptible to potholes and cracks once it’s exposed to the elements. Heavy traffic is the common cause of cracks on your asphalt pavement. Grease, oil leaks, UV rays, chemicals, water, and snow can also damage your asphalt pavement. But, you can protect your asphalt pavement through sealcoating.
While most people overlook the importance of sealcoating, it’s a necessity that you need to protect your investment. If you want your asphalt pavement to last, you should prioritize sealcoating. Failing to sealcoating your asphalt pavement leaves it unprotected, which can lead to damages that can affect the foundation of your pavement. Asphalt sealcoating is a very cost-effective maintenance solution, one that can save you a lot of money in the long run while improving the appearance of your pavement.
Benefits of asphalt pavement sealcoating
UV rays are the most common enemy to asphalt pavements. By constantly exposing asphalt to the sun, the binder that holds the stone and sand in place deteriorates very quickly. As the oxidation progresses, your pavement loses oil and becomes harder. Your pavement will continue to dry—especially with the constant access of heavy traffic.
When your pavement dries out, cracks start to form. Failing to repair the cracks on time makes the pavement susceptible to water damage. Water will penetrate the surface and end up in the foundation of your pavement, causing additional damage. This can lead to alligator cracks or potholes, which are more expensive to repair.
Sealcoating, however, is the best way to slow down the oxidation process. The sealant used in this process has special chemicals that protect your pavement against harmful UV rays.
Improves the appearance of your home
Damaged asphalt pavements have an unsightly appearance, which can even lower the value of your home and make it difficult to sell it. With that said, sealcoating your asphalt pavement might sound very simple, and however, it can help attract serious buyers—first impressions matter. So, improving the curb appeal of your property can significantly determine whether your property will attract serious buyers or tenants. Besides, who doesn’t like living in a well-maintained property?
It prevents water from penetrating the base layer
Because asphalt sealers have fine aggregate, sealcoating your pavements helps fill the fine hairline cracks, which are a sign that your asphalt is deteriorating. When you fill these cracks, they reduce the possibility of water penetrating the base layer of your asphalt pavement. And, the longer you keep the water out, the longer your pavement lasts.
Protects your pavement from gas and oil leaks
Because the asphalt binder is petroleum-based, any leaks from a petroleum-based liquid can blend with the binder, thus making the asphalt soft. This can make your pavement susceptible to faster and more-extensive damage.
However, sealcoating your asphalt pavement will protect it from such damages. Please note that if your pavement has such leaks, they should be cleaned and repaired before applying the sealant—otherwise, the sealant will not affect these spots.
How often should you seal your pavement?
The Jacksonville experts from CSG Sealcoating advise homeowners against sealcoating their asphalt pavement within the first 12 months after the installation. After that, you can sealcoat your asphalt pavement once every two to three years or annually if your pavement is exposed to heavy traffic constantly.