What Is Sealcoating? Here Are Some Key Facts

Asphalt pavement is mostly a mix of gravel, rock and/or stone and a binder. Also known as asphalt cement, the binder is what holds the rock together and slows the deterioration of the asphalt surface. Without proper maintenance, UV sunlight, rain and chemicals will begin to take a toll on the binder, weakening the surface until it crumbles apart. The good news is that sealcoating asphalt can reduce the damaging effects of these elements and extend the life of the surface.

So, what is sealcoating? Sealcoating is a protective layer that blocks out threats like oils, water and UV light. When properly applied, sealcoating turns the surface of the asphalt into a beautiful slip-resistant surface. This product comes in liquid form, typically a bituminous based product or acrylic mixed with water, polymer additive, silica sand and other fillers, which is applied to the asphalt surface by spray, brush or squeegee.

Most asphalt surfaces—including parking lots, driveways and roadways—can benefit from a sealcoat application. Here are five of the most important sealcoating facts asphalt pros in Santa Rosa, CA want you to know:

Sealcoating comes in two main types: There are two main types of sealcoating: tar sealers and asphalt emulsion coatings. Tar sealers are petroleum-based products that bind extremely well with asphalt. They protect it from the damaging effects of oils, fuel and other chemicals. Asphalt emulsion coatings tend to be darker than gray tar sealers. They don’t protect the asphalt as well as tar sealers, but do contain fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Sealcoating reduces asphalt maintenance: A properly-installed, well-cared-for and regularly-applied sealcoating makes asphalt driveway maintenance easier. It leaves your driveway smooth, filling small holes and cracks to create an even surface that’s easy to sweep.
It protects surfaces from daily harm: A quality sealcoating product protects your asphalt surface from chemicals and environmental damages, such as motor oil, gasoline and other chemicals that are caustic to asphalt. What sealcoating does is create an effective seal between asphalt materials and elements that can harm it, like oxygen and ultraviolet light. These elements contribute to the premature breakdown of asphalt driveways, roads and parking lots that are not sealcoated.
Sealcoating service depends on the weather: When scheduling sealcoating services, you must consider the weather and temperature. Sealcoating requires a temperature of at least 45 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent adhesion issues, and the weather has to stay dry for at least 24 hours. Also, the humidity has to be low, as humid conditions will prolong curing times.
It’s cost-effective: Look at sealcoating as a preventative measure. Sealcoating provides protective benefits and extends the life of your driveway, which saves money otherwise spent on premature replacement costs.

Implementing a sealcoating maintenance plan can increase the lifespan, integrity and appearance of the asphalt, as well as save you money down the road. Apply a new layer of sealcoat every two to three years for best results.

Contact Sikes Asphalt Group Inc. today for more information about the benefits of asphalt protection in Santa Rosa, CA!

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