Asphalt Sealcoating is a protective coating that protects your driveway from damaging elements. The liquid base is combined with water, silica sand, polymer additives, and other fillers to create a premium formula. Bituminous – or acrylic-based solutions – make up most of the sealant mixes. A driveway or parking lot’s lifespan is doubled when seal coating is regularly done.
Sealcoating essentially adds another layer or membrane to your asphalt driveway. This layer shields the asphalt from oxidation, environmental elements, and any fuel spills that may unavoidably happen occasionally. It is a very economical resurfacing method that increases the road’s lifespan by retaining moisture when applied over existing pavement. Additionally, because it hardens the surface of asphalt roads, it offers a driving surface free of dust while providing a skid- and glare-resistant surface during wet weather.
Applying a seal coat product will save you time and money compared to replacing your driveway, which may cost you thousands of dollars. That’s why our experts have created this comprehensive guide explaining what sealcoating is, its benefits, and how much it costs.
What is Sealcoating?
There are various paving materials in the market that can be used to pave your walkway, patio, driveway, or parking lot. However, most of these paving materials can only last a short period before they start to wear out, crack or develop potholes. When this happens, it will require much effort and money to restore your paved surface and make it look new.
You must coat the surface to protect your pavement from early damage and extreme weather conditions. Sealcoating protects your driveways, walkways, or patios. Sealcoating is the process of applying a defensive layer or membrane over your pavement to protect it from damage. This process is also referred to as pavement sealing.
What is Asphalt Sealcoating Made Of?
The adhesive used in road building, asphalt bitumen, is a naturally occurring byproduct of crude oil. Asphalt bitumen is the main component of the seal coat. It is heated to a temperature exceeding 240 degrees Fahrenheit to make the material viscose. Other seal coats on the market don’t require heating up and are constructed of synthetic tar materials.
To keep ice and water from entering and affecting the integrity of your driveway or parking lot, asphalt sealcoating entails sealing asphalt cracks. Asphalt deteriorates with time due to rain, oil, and other pollutants, leaving a brittle surface that is dangerous and unappealing.
Examples of asphalt sealers are:
Fast Dry Sealers
Fast dry sealants repair heavily traveled portions of the road, such as parking lots and main thoroughfares leading to public buildings like hospitals and gas stations. Due to the additional geotextile fibers incorporated into the sealant, the most excellent part about using rapid dry sealers is that they cure in less than an hour.
Fast dry sealers are significantly more expensive than other varieties of asphalt sealers as a result of this, nevertheless. Small-scale purchases of this sealer will also be complex because most fast dry sealer producers only do business with road construction firms. You might wish to buy in quantity and split the cost with your neighbors when you eventually locate a provider that sells this sealer kind.
Coal Tar Sealers
The most widely used asphalt sealer on the market is coal tar because it offers a long-lasting, lustrous sheen and is weather-proof. As their name implies, coal tar sealers include a significant proportion of coal tar and additional polymers and strengthening agents. By baking coal, this water-based sealant is created. Coke is then removed from the baking process and used as the primary ingredient in coal tar sealers, which is why they are resistant to chemicals derived from petroleum.
Acrylic sealers, another pricey variety of asphalt sealers, are the pinnacle of what a good asphalt sealer ought to be. They can be colored in black, red, green, or transparent shades, making them easy to identify. They are UV-resistant, robust, and resistant to extreme weather conditions. These sealers are often applied to outdoor basketball courts, tennis courts, and parking lots at retail centers.
Acrylic sealers are also environmentally harmless because they don’t contain any petroleum byproducts. The fact that this sealer only needs to be treated once every seven years adds to its many beautiful advantages and helps to save maintenance expenses.
Asphalt Emulsion Sealers
Since they are made of asphalt, asphalt emulsion sealers are frequently referred to as an eco-friendly driveway protection option. It should be emphasized, however, that no studies or recognized research have established the dangers or pollutants brought on by using coal tar-based sealers when paving one’s road. Asphalt-based sealants do a better job of maintaining the air quality, smell nicer, stop oxidation, and do not irritate the skin.
However, one disadvantage of using asphalt emulsion sealers is that they are susceptible to stains from oil or gas leaks. This sealer can only be used between May and September for best curing, and it is tough to apply it at night when the temperature is at its lowest.
Which type of seal coat should you choose?
The following qualities will be present in a quality sealer:
- Quick Drying: For the highest quality, look for a drying period of three to four hours.
- Long-Lasting: For asphalt maintenance, look for a seal coat lasting at least two to three years.
- Airport Grade: For protection against aviation fuel spills, airports must utilize the best asphalt seal coat. Looking for airport-grade asphalt only confirms you are purchasing the best available stock.
- High-Demand Clients’ Usage: Look for positive seal coating reviews online from high-demand clients like golf courses, churches, and mall parking lots.
You want to be sure that the money you spend on maintaining your asphalt is a good investment. Make sure you choose the appropriate asphalt seal coat for your pavement by keeping in mind the subpar sealer projects you’ve seen in your neighborhood. To determine whether a sealer is good or bad, look for the essential positive and bad characteristics.
Benefits of seal coating asphalt driveways and parking lots
One of the many reasons homeowners or business owners choose asphalt pavement over other paving materials is how effortless it is to maintain. Sealcoating asphalt is an essential part of maintaining your asphalt driveways and parking lots; some of its benefits include the following;
Sealcoating extends pavement durability
Proper installation of asphalt pavement is not enough to keep it from wearing away. To extend its lifespan, you must seal your asphalt pavement. A vital
benefit of seal coating is its ability to preserve and prolong driveway lifespan.
Sealcoating protects you from extra cost.
An asphalt driveway is naturally appealing to the eyes; if you want it to remain attractive, you will have to put in some effort to seal your entire driveway. This helps you save money on repairs and other maintenance measures.
It makes cleaning easy and fun.
Asphalt-sealed pavement allows you to clean the surface without much effort. Also, washing away with water and a broom is easy when you have oil spills. Sealed pavement won’t stay tugged to your broom when you try to clean.
Sealcoating protects pavement from harmful elements
Due to asphalt nature, a harmful element can easily bind to asphalt pavement and cause it to deteriorate faster. A sealed pavement prevents harmful or petroleum-based elements from binding to asphalt.
Prevent water from softening the surface
Asphalt pavement is not permeable and does not allow water to penetrate the surface. However, when your asphalt pavement starts to wear out, it develops cracks that give water access or even create puddles. Sealcoating your asphalt doesn’t just prevent them from cracking. Also, it prevents moisture or water from getting beneath the pavement surface.
What is the average cost to seal coat a driveway?
Driveway sealing costs might vary depending on several factors. Due to factors including square driveway footage, driveway material, driveway condition and accessibility, sealant type and the number of applications, labor cost, and location, prices may vary from the national average.
The nationwide average price for driveway sealing is $486, according to Angi and HomeAdvisor, with charges ranging from $250 to $768. Products for sealing asphalt typically cost between $0.06 and $0.38 per square foot. With this price range, 5 gallons of effect can cover up to 500 square feet of driveway surface for between $40 and $165.
The thickness of the sealant can affect the coverage of the driveway sealing. While covering less surface area, thicker goods offer a more concentrated layer of security than thinner ones.
How often is it better to seal coat a driveway?
Sealcoating is often advised every three years to offer adequate pavement protection and good curb appeal for your residential or business property.
So, what is sealcoating? Now you know it and maybe you are planning to fix and maintain your driveway. Before doing that, do your research and spend some time learning to prepare the asphalt sealer before applying it. Some asphalt sealers can be put straight to the pathway, while others might need to be thinned, handled differently, or allowed to cure before being applied. When in doubt, starting your endeavor is always preferable by consulting a specialist.