How Sealcoating Can Extend the Lifespan of Your Parking Lot

Sealcoating is an effective way to dramatically extend the life of asphalt pavement. It prevents oxidation, stops weather damage and beautifies pavement.


The asphalt must be dry before the seal coat is applied. Pedestrian and vehicular traffic must be kept off the area for 24 hours after application. To learn more, visit

Proper PPE is required, including boots, coveralls and a face mask to protect from the fumes.

Asphalt is a durable material that provides an excellent surface for parking lots, but even it can’t withstand the unrelenting assault of weather and environmental elements. Over time, asphalt deteriorates and loses its original color and strength, leaving the surface vulnerable to cracking, potholes, and other serious damage. Sealcoating helps protect against these hazards, reducing the need for costly replacements and extending the lifespan of your parking lot.

The chemistry of sealcoating is complex, involving a myriad of ingredients with unique properties that benefit different aspects of the process and the resulting product. The heart of every sealcoat, however, is the binder – the substance that holds together the other materials and gives them their deep black appearance. There are several binder types used for sealcoating, ranging from coal tar emulsions to asphalt emulsion (AE) and petroleum-based products.

Coal tar is the standard coal-based binder, used for its ability to bond with asphalt pavement and provide an intense black color. Unfortunately, coal tar is also toxic to workers, releasing carcinogenic fumes that can cause respiratory problems. Fortunately, safer alternatives have been developed, including polymer-based products that are made from non-toxic chemicals. These offer a similar appearance and the same performance as coal tar, but they are much easier on workers’ bodies.

Regardless of which type of sealcoat you choose, it is important that your workers have access to sufficient PPE to minimize exposure to harmful chemicals and fumes. This should include a mask, goggles, gloves, and coveralls to ensure that they can complete the project safely.

The second step of the process involves blocking off the designated area so that it is free from traffic and obstructions while the sealant dries. Depending on the weather, this can take up to 24 hours. While this is an inconvenience, it is vital that the paved surfaces remain inaccessible to cars and pedestrians so that the sealcoat can cure completely. This will also help to prevent the infiltration of water, chemicals, and other malevolent substances into the underlying asphalt layer.

Prevents water from penetrating

Asphalt sealcoating is the process of adding a liquid layer over your pavement. It protects the surface from damage caused by sun, rain and fluids that leak from cars. It also helps prevent cracks and extends the lifespan of your pavement.

Sealcoating is a cost-effective way to prolong the life of your asphalt driveway or parking lot. It can also reduce the need for costly repairs. However, it is important to keep in mind that the asphalt must be in decent condition to receive a seal coat. Seal coating won’t repair or restore cracked, crumbling, or deteriorated pavement. If your asphalt is in poor shape, you may want to consider other pavement repair options such as hot tar sealant or microsurfacing.

Ideally, you should have your pavement sealcoated every two to three years. It is a simple and affordable maintenance procedure that will help extend the life of your pavement and make it look newer. Aside from reducing the amount of money you have to spend on repairs, sealcoating makes your pavement more attractive and protects it from harmful elements.

As a precaution, it is necessary to close off the area where the work is being done with cones and barricades. No one should walk or drive on the newly sealed surface until it is completely dry, which takes a few days. You should also put a sign that says people should stay off the blacktop, which can help to avoid any accidents.

While the asphalt granules in your pavement don’t wear away, its binder deteriorates over time due to constant exposure to UV rays and other destructive elements. When the binder deteriorates, it allows water to seep into the pavement and weaken its structure. The water can also spread cracks and make them wider. Sealcoating keeps the binder protected from these elements and extends the life of your asphalt.

In addition to protecting the asphalt surface, a sealcoat minimizes the damage caused by oil and gas spills. It also reduces the risk of trips and falls by creating a smoother, more even surface.

Prevents oil and fuel from seeping

Asphalt is a petroleum product and absorbs oil and gasoline quite easily. If these products are allowed to seep into the pavement, it can become brittle and susceptible to cracks and potholes. Seal coating prevents this from happening and protects the underlying asphalt from damage.

In addition, the asphalt surface is smoothed by a sealcoat application, making it easier to clean and less likely to harbor debris. This helps to keep your property looking its best and improves the curb appeal of your home or business.

Workers apply a thin layer of seal coat to the asphalt using squeegee machines or spray hoses. The process typically requires two applications to ensure a thick, even layer. The asphalt must be dry before applying the second coat. Workers also use flash heat to burn off any stains on the asphalt before starting to ensure a clean, pure surface.

Once applied, the seal coat penetrates the surface and replenishes the exhausted oils and binders. As it permeates downward, the minuscule particles fill the cracks in the asphalt. This makes the surface look almost as good as new and provides a durable, protective layer that shields the pavement from UV rays, water penetration, chemicals and traffic abrasion.

While the resulting appearance of asphalt that has been seal coated is attractive, many homeowners and businesses choose to get the job done for other reasons. The cost of sealcoating is relatively low compared to the expense of replacing your pavement, and it extends the life of the paved area.

It is important to remember that sealcoating does not fix existing cracks or potholes in the paved surface. If your pavement has major cracks or ruts that can’t be repaired, then it is recommended that you get them fixed prior to sealcoating the asphalt.

It is also important to note that some of the ingredients in seal coat are carcinogenic. While one instance won’t cause any harm, repeated exposure can lead to cancer and other illnesses in workers who are exposed to these substances through skin or lung contact. For this reason, it is important for contractors to provide safe working conditions and use the appropriate safety equipment.

Saves money in the long run

If your property has a driveway or parking lot constructed with asphalt, it needs to be protected. This is not just a matter of aesthetics, but it can also save you money in the long run. If you skip seal coating, the pavement will deteriorate, leading to costly repairs or replacements. Sealcoating, however, protects the asphalt and extends its lifespan. It costs only pennies per square foot, compared to the cost of a new asphalt installation that could run into the thousands or even millions.

Unprotected asphalt is vulnerable to water damage, which happens when water seeps through small cracks in the surface and then freezes and expands. This process destroys the underlying foundation and causes asphalt to crumble and erode. Sealcoating fills in the small cracks and keeps water out, saving the paved surface from expensive damage.

Aside from preventing damage to the surface, a layer of seal coat helps reduce cleaning and maintenance costs. This is because it makes it easier to sweep and wash away dirt and debris. It also reduces the number of times a professional must come to your property to perform these services. This saves you money in both labor and equipment costs.

Additionally, a properly applied layer of seal coat provides a protective barrier against oil and fuel spills. It also protects against chemical substances that can soften and degrade the asphalt. It is important to look for a qualified contractor who uses high-quality materials and adheres to industry standards. Ask for a portfolio of past projects and references from satisfied customers.

In addition to saving you money on repair costs, regular sealcoating will also increase the value of your property and extend the life of your asphalt. It is a simple and effective way to maintain the appearance of your property and protect its investment. A well-maintained paved surface attracts visitors and business, making your property more attractive and appealing to potential buyers or tenants. It is a wise financial decision to invest in sealcoating and other pavement preservation techniques that will help preserve the value of your property for decades.