What is Sealcoating?

What is Sealcoating?

Sealcoating refers to a type of liquid that is added for protection to asphalt. Over time, oxidation occurs. The harsh winter conditions can also result in damage to the roads. Heavy traffic and UV rays from the sun are also culprits. Sealcoating helps to protect the life of the road. The damages can be reduced and less money is spent to take care of the roadways.

Sealcoating is a type of prevention and protection, not a repair option. If there are already damages to the asphalt they must be addressed before the sealcoating is applied. It is a top layer and should only be added after everything else is completed. Patching and crack repairs have to be done first for the best results. When we spoke to the staff at Reaseal they echoed how important this step was.

Most of the sealcoating options provide a black color, often referred to as a blacktop. The appearance will be smooth due to previous sealcoating being done. If it is being done for the first time it can have a rougher appearance that will fade over time. Keeping the asphalt well cared for means you will invest less money for the upkeep over time. A quality provider like Reaseal out of northeastern Pennsylvania will help you with a professional job.

Busy roads and parking lots should get sealcoating every year. Those that don’t see heavy traffic should get it every 3 to 4 years. Don’t go more than 5 years without the sealcoating or it will often result in too much damage occurring and more will have to be done than just adding the new top coat.

Avoid adding sealcoating too frequently as that can result in the area getting too slick when it rains or there is other adverse weather. It should be used very sparingly on hills and slopes or it can create dangerous conditions. The goal of any such process is to save the asphalt but to also offer safer driving conditions. This is why you shouldn’t apply the sealcoating without the right knowledge or expertise like the crew at Reaseal sealcoating possess.

There continues to be plenty of misinformation out there about sealcoating and asphalt. One of them is the asphalt needs to be able to breath. Ask any maintenance contractor and they will tell you there is no truth to that. However, they will tell you to wait at least 90 days after new asphalt is put down before you add the sealcoating. Ideally, you should let it cure for 6 months.

As the asphalt goes through the curing stages, there are various chemicals released. This is why you often see a rainbow type of coloring when there is water on the asphalt. The water is mixing with the chemicals. If you wait too long to do it, then the asphalt will oxidize which causes fading. You can tell the age of asphalt by the coloring. It starts out black, then brown, then gray, and then white.

It is best to consult with an expert about sealcoating so it is done at the right time, it is done correctly, and a regular maintenance schedule can be created. They will also be able to answer any questions you may have.