Asphalt Seal Coating: What It Means

what does asphalt seal coat mean

Asphalt seal coating, or pavement sealing, is the process of applying a protective coating to asphalt-based pavements to shield them from damage caused by environmental factors. This includes protection from water, oils, UV rays, snow, and vehicle fluids. Seal coating also prevents asphalt from cracking and discolouration, enhancing its durability and appearance. The process involves applying a thin liquid layer, typically made from bituminous-based products or acrylics, over a paved surface. This layer acts as a barrier, preventing the asphalt from oxidization and other types of wear and tear. Seal coating is a cost-effective way to extend the life of asphalt pavements and can be done through spraying or squeegeeing.


Sealcoating protects against UV rays, water, and chemical spills

Sealcoating is a liquid layer applied to a paved surface to protect it from damage. It is an effective way to keep your asphalt driveway in the best possible condition for many years.

Protection from UV Rays

Asphalt is vulnerable to damage from the sun's UV rays. Direct UV exposure breaks the connection between carbon bonds inside the asphalt. Sealcoating acts as a protective barrier, blocking out UV rays and preventing further damage to the pavement.

Protection from Water

Sealcoating also helps to prevent water penetration and oxidation. When asphalt is exposed to oxygen, its surface begins to crack, and water can enter these cracks, making the pavement weak and susceptible to further cracking and pothole formation. By filling and sealing cracks, sealcoating reduces the chance of water intrusion and the resulting damage.

Protection from Chemical Spills

The chemical composition of asphalt makes it susceptible to damage from certain chemicals, including salts and oils. Asphalt has a similar chemical makeup to gasoline, so fuel spills can soften and weaken the surface over time. Sealcoating forms a protective barrier that prevents these chemicals from binding with and damaging the asphalt surface.

Sealcoating is a crucial maintenance measure that enhances the durability and appearance of asphalt pavements. By providing a layer of protection against UV rays, water, and chemical spills, sealcoating helps prolong the life of asphalt surfaces, ensuring their structural integrity and aesthetic appeal.


It also prevents asphalt from cracking under pressure

Sealcoating is a process that applies a protective coating to asphalt-based pavements. This coating acts as a protective layer against UV rays, water, chemical spills, and oxidation. It is a preventative maintenance measure that enhances the pavement's durability and appearance.

One of the greatest benefits of sealcoating is that it prevents the asphalt from cracking under pressure. Asphalt is flexible by nature, and when vehicles drive over an asphalt driveway, the surface bends slightly to accommodate the weight without cracking. However, pavement that is not regularly sealcoated can become brittle due to oxidation and lose this flexibility, leaving the driveway more susceptible to damage.

Sealcoating fills in any emerging or larger cracks in the asphalt, preventing water from entering and causing further damage. This is especially important in cold climates, where water can freeze and expand within the cracks, forcing them to become larger.

In addition to preventing cracks, sealcoating also slows down the oxidation process. Oxidation is caused by the sun's rays and can dry out the bitumen in the asphalt, making it brittle and more prone to cracking.

To ensure the effectiveness of sealcoating in preventing cracks, it is important to apply it regularly, typically every two to five years. It is also crucial to properly prepare the asphalt surface before applying the sealcoat by cleaning and filling any existing cracks.

By investing in sealcoating and maintaining asphalt surfaces, property owners can extend the lifespan of their driveways or parking lots, saving significant costs in the long run.

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Sealcoating saves time and money

Sealcoating is a cost-effective way to protect your asphalt driveway or pavement. It is a protective coating that restores the deep black colour of asphalt and prevents damage from the elements.

Asphalt is an affordable and durable material, which is why it is commonly used for roads, parking lots, and driveways. However, it is susceptible to damage from UV rays, water, oil, and road salt, which can cause the asphalt to dry out, fade, crack, and crumble over time. This damage can lead to costly repairs or replacements.

Sealcoating is a thin liquid layer that is applied over a paved surface to protect it from these elements. It is made from specially formulated oils and paving materials that soak into the asphalt, restoring its colour and replenishing the oils and binder that have broken down or dried up. The sealcoat also forms a protective barrier on top of the asphalt, preventing future damage.

The benefits of sealcoating include slowing down oxidation, preventing water from entering cracks, protecting the driveway from fuel spillages, and preventing the asphalt from cracking under pressure. By carrying out essential sealcoating, you can extend the life of your asphalt indefinitely, saving you time and money on maintenance and repairs.

The cost of sealcoating is significantly lower than that of installing new asphalt. Sealcoating typically costs between $0.15 and $0.35 per square foot, while asphalt installation costs between $1.5 and $2 per square foot. By investing in sealcoating every few years, you can minimise the need for expensive repairs and extend the life of your pavement.

In summary, sealcoating is a cost-effective and straightforward way to protect your asphalt investment. It provides a protective layer that prevents damage, improves appearance, and extends the life of your asphalt surface. By choosing sealcoating, you can save time and money on maintenance and repairs, ensuring that your asphalt driveway or pavement remains in the best possible condition for many years.


It should be applied every 2-5 years

Sealcoating asphalt every two to five years is essential to maintaining its structural integrity and enhancing its appearance. This process involves applying a protective layer that shields the asphalt from various damaging elements, including UV rays, water, oil, and chemicals. Over time, these elements can break down the binding agent in the asphalt, causing it to become brittle and crack, leading to potholes and other issues.

Sealcoating helps prevent this deterioration by providing a barrier that repels water, oil, and chemicals, while also blocking UV rays. This protective layer is especially important for asphalt pavement, which is primarily rock, stone, and gravel held together by a binder, or asphalt cement. The binder is created through the distillation of certain crude oils, and it is essential to prolong its deterioration by reducing the impact of external elements.

The recommended frequency of sealcoating varies from every two to three years to every three to five years. This variation depends on factors such as surface wear and environmental conditions. For example, in moderate climates like California, it is recommended to wait for 1-2 years before the initial sealcoating of fresh pavement and then apply subsequent coats every 3-5 years. In addition, the type of sealcoating used can also impact the frequency of application. Refined tar-based sealers, for instance, offer better protection and longer wear life than asphalt-based sealers.

To ensure the effectiveness of sealcoating, proper timing, surface preparation, and material selection are crucial. Optimal conditions for application include temperatures between 50-90°F and clear skies, allowing for robust adhesion of the coating. Additionally, prior to application, the asphalt surface should be thoroughly cleaned and dried, and any cracks or potholes should be filled to create an ideal foundation.

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There are different types of sealcoats

Sealcoating is a process that adds a protective layer to asphalt-based pavements, protecting them from water, oils, UV damage, and fuel spillages. There are several different types of sealcoats available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here is an overview of the different types of sealcoats:

Asphalt Emulsion Sealers

Asphalt emulsion sealers are asphalt-based and are known for being environmentally friendly. They are a popular alternative to coal tar-based sealers due to coal tar shortages. These sealers are water-resistant but not UV-resistant, and they may only last for a single season. They are prone to staining caused by oil or gas spillage and can be challenging to apply at night or in low temperatures. The price of asphalt emulsion sealers can be volatile due to the high demand and limited supply.

Coal Tar Sealers

Coal tar sealers are the most popular type of asphalt sealer in the market due to their weather resistance and long-lasting shiny finish. They contain coal tar mixed with other polymers and strengthening additives, making them resistant to petroleum-based chemicals. However, there are concerns about their long-term impact on health and the environment, leading to bans in some states.

Fast-Dry Sealers

Fast-dry sealers are designed for high-traffic areas such as parking lots and major roads. They cure in less than an hour, making them ideal for quick repairs. However, they are more expensive than other types of sealers and can be difficult to obtain in small quantities, making them less suitable for homeowners.

Acrylic Sealers

Acrylic sealers are the most expensive type of asphalt sealer but offer several benefits, including UV protection, durability, and environmental friendliness. They are available in different colors, making them popular for tennis courts, basketball courts, and shopping mall parking lots. Acrylic sealers only need to be reapplied every seven years, resulting in lower maintenance costs.

Oil-Based Sealers

Oil-based sealers penetrate the surface of the asphalt, creating a flexible bond that protects against temperature fluctuations and reduces expansion and contraction. However, they have several disadvantages, including a strong odor that lasts for several days and a long cure time of up to seven days. They also do not offer protection against UV radiation.

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Frequently asked questions

Asphalt seal coating is a protective layer that is applied to the surface of asphalt pavement to safeguard the asphalt binding agent from elements like water, UV rays, chemicals, and fuel spillages.

Asphalt seal coating helps to extend the life of asphalt pavement by preventing cracks and damage caused by the elements. It also enhances the appearance of asphalt, making it look new.

Asphalt pavement should be seal coated every two to five years, depending on surface wear and environmental factors.

The asphalt surface must be cleaned and dried before applying the seal coat. The seal coat is then applied by brush, spray, squeegee, or roller.

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