16 Sep Is Sealcoating Really Worth it? You Bet Your Asphalt It Is!
From the moment new asphalt is installed, it is important to establish a maintenance plan. There are multiple options that can be incorporated in this plan including cleaning and street sweeping, asphalt patching, mill and overlays, pot-hole patching, infrared patching, sealcoating, slurry sealing, crack sealing, or using rejuvenating products. Every one of these options has its time and place in the life cycle of asphalt, and every situation and plan will be unique based on many different variables.
Benefits of Sealcoating
Sealcoating should be considered for a variety of reasons. Most importantly, it protects and prolongs the life expectancy of your asphalt surface. The sealant protects your asphalt pavement from oxidation, or drying and shrinking, leading to a porous and brittle surface. Sealcoating also fills small voids in the asphalt to help prevent water intrusion and other debris from deteriorating your pavement surface.
In addition to these preventative measures, sealcoating also enhances the aesthetic appeal to your asphalt pavement. Sealcoating provides a vibrant, black finish that nicely contrasts with striping and clearly distinguishes pavement markings. Overall, sealcoating helps beautify your property and neighborhood streets.
Sealcoating vs. Slurry Seal
When mapping out a maintenance plan, it is important to understand the difference between sealcoating and a slurry seal. Visually, the main difference is that slurry seal uses larger aggregate in its mixture, which makes it thicker than a sealcoat. Slurry seal is generally used on high-traffic roadways, streets, and parking lots. Compared to sealcoating, slurry seals are generally twice as expensive, leave a much coarser surface texture, and shed sand and rocks. Also, power steering marks are much more evident with slurry seal on slow turning traffic areas such as neighborhood streets, driveways, and parking lots.
Does the Pavement Pass the Test?
Before you get started, it is important to determine if the pavement is a good candidate for surface sealing. First, sealcoating is not designed to be a solution for filling or sealing cracks. Crack openings 1/8 inch and larger should be sealed with hot, rubberized crack sealant or an alternative cold, applied crack sealer. Next, what is the current condition of the surface? Any structural failures or liability repairs are recommended to be completed prior to the sealcoat treatment. Continuing, what surface treatments, if any, have already been utilized to maintain the pavement? Multi-layered systems have proven to be a great strategy over the course of your pavements life cycle (i.e., sealcoating over an oxidized, aged asphalt overlay or an aged and shedding slurry seal). Combing sealcoat with more expensive aging treatments will restore the investment by extending the surface life, increasing your entire pavement life cycle, and maximizing your overall savings. Finally, what pavement markings need to be refreshed? Restriping of curbing, STOP bars, crosswalks, and parking lines all contribute to the “like new” appearance of your project.
A strong maintenance strategy utilizes periodic cleaning and sweeping (recommended quarterly), crack sealing (when needed or annually), and repairs (when needed). Adding a sealcoat program greatly increases your pavement service life and reduces your immediate need of higher cost maintenance items.
So, is sealcoating worth it? You bet your ‘asphalt’ it is! For more information and tips on sealcoating, get in touch with the appropriate sales member.
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