SO, WHAT, SPECIFICALLY DOES SEALCOATING DO?
1. PREVENTS WATER INTRUSION BENEATH THE SURFACE.
Because almost all sealer contains fine aggregate (usually silica sand or Black Beauty boiler slag) sealcoating fills the hairline cracks that are an early sign of asphalt aging. By filling these cracks you’re reducing the likelihood that water will be able to find its way beneath the asphalt pavement surface – and the longer you can keep water out, the longer your pavement will last.
2. SLOWS DETERIORATION FROM OXIDATION.
While you can’t prevent oxidation – the deterioration of the asphalt binder resulting from exposure to the air and the sun’s ultra-violet rays – timely sealcoating slows it. Oxidation causes the pavement to become brittle, makes it easier for cracks to occur and to grow more quickly, and enables other deterioration as well. Applying sealer to the pavement surface adds a layer of protection on top of that asphalt binder so it’s the sealer that takes the exposure to air and sun and not the binder itself. Regular application of sealer – generally every two or three years depending on region and traffic flow – will extend the life of your pavement.
3. PROTECTS THE ASPHALT BINDER FROM OILS AND GASOLINE.
Because asphalt is petroleum-based, any petroleum-based liquid that leaks on it will essentially “join” with the binder and soften the asphalt. That opens the door to even quicker and possibly more-extensive damage to the pavement. (If you’ve ever seen the black spots near the parking blocks in parking spaces – oil spots – you’ve seen the damage leaks can cause). Sealcoating will protect your pavement from leaks of this type. Note: If your parking lot contains any of those black oil spots they must be repaired prior to being sealcoated. Failure to adequately repair oil spots means the sealer will have no impact on those areas of the pavement and any damage will continue to spread.