Sealcoating is the right hand man to asphalt in that any job worth asphalting is worth sealcoating. The process of sealcoating involves applying one or more thin coats of a tar-like substance on top of pavement. It can repair small surface cracks, but is not designed for major repairs.
This might leave one wondering why sealcoat at all. In this article, we’ll explore sealcoating and a non-exhaustive list of benefits to doing it.
When is it time to sealcoat and how do I plan for it?
There’s a few things to keep in mind when considering sealcoating your business’s parking lot. The first question many have is when is it time to sealcoat? There are some obvious and not so obvious signs that it’s time.
Did you know that the sand pooling in the lower parts of your parking lot may not be just from the dirt carried in on customers’ tire. That sand might in fact be from the asphalt itself. As cars drive and spill out their various fluids, the asphalt can begin to take that hit, leaving its inner layers exposed to further damage.
Discolored patches in your asphalt are another sign that it might be time for a fresh sealcoat.
These factors are not only ugly, but they will eventually lead to pot holes that can damage your and your customers’ vehicles.
When considering a sealcoating project, it’s best to have a plan of attack. Can you close half or a portion of your lot? Is there nearby street parking for your customers? These are questions you should have an answer to if you’re considering a complete sealcoat.
A professional can let you know the extent of the process and whether repairing structural damage like alligator cracks might be necessary as well.
What benefit does sealcoating have?
While notoriously finicky, sealcoating can extend the life of a lot by fixing problems at the source. By blocking gasoline, motor oil and other fluid leaks from cars—not to mention water and sunlight—, sealcoating chemically protects the asphalt. It meanwhile seals in its sands and prevents potholes from forming.
But beyond the structural benefits of a fresh layer of sealcoating, the aesthetic improvements can’t be denied. Many business owners, in fact, turn to fresh sealcoating and striping their parking lots simply because it looks attractive to customers.
“Image is everything in business, so a fresh sealcoat goes a long way,” said J&W Asphalt Owner Shaun Johnson.
Beyond looks, sealcoating regularly—about every three years—can help guarantee you get the most out of the life of your parking lot.
It might be time to book
Unlike repaving or repair jobs, sealcoating is a much more time-sensitive process where temperature is concerned.
Booking your sealcoating project as soon as you are able is crucial given the small seasonal window in which professionals can apply the substance. Like asphalting, applying sealcoat should be done with adequately warm temperatures. Parking lots should be no colder than 50 degrees when applying sealcoating. This means early spring, fall and winter months are generally off the table.
Unlike asphalting, for which only the hottest Minnesota days can affect the application and curing, sealcoating can get difficult to work with at lower temperatures. So, if you are considering a sealcoating project, it may be better to plan ahead and book a consultation sooner than later.