What is Asphalt Sealcoating?
Sealcoating is the process of applying a protective coating to asphalt pavements to provide protection from water, oil, and U.V. damage. The sealcoat itself is an emulsion of coal tar or asphalt, water, and a fine aggregate like silica sand.
What Does Sealcoating Do?
Sealcoating helps protect the underlying asphalt from damage from:
- Gas and oil spills
- Oxidation from UV (sun) exposure
- De-icing chemicals
Sealcoating can help waterproof the surface of your asphalt, help snow and ice melt faster, provide a smooth surface to make sweeping and cleaning easier, and prevent hairline cracks from turning into bigger ones.
Cosmetically, sealcoating can give an asphalt driveway a uniform black color that’s very appealing.
Does Sealcoating Asphalt Extend its Life?
Sealcoating is an effective part of a preventative maintenance program that may extend the life of an asphalt driveway or parking lot by up to 20 years, on average. How long the sealcoating extends the life of your asphalt will depend on how regularly you inspect the asphalt and whether or not you take care of issues as they arise.
But, generally speaking, yes! Sealcoating can add years, if not decades, to the life of your driveway or parking lot.
When Should Asphalt be Sealcoated?
You may be tempted to sealcoat a brand new driveway or parking lot. Do not do this!
Sealcoating is most effective when your asphalt surface is at least 6 months old. New asphalt can contain too much surface oil, which can prevent sealers from properly bonding.
How Often Should You Seal Asphalt?
Your location is the biggest factor in determining how often you should sealcoat your asphalt. If you live in an area with extreme climates (heat or cold), you may want to seal your asphalt every other year to best protect it from weather damage. If you live in an area with a temperate climate, you may expect to seal your asphalt surface every three years.
How Much Does it Cost to Sealcoat a Driveway?
Asphalt sealing in the bay area costs an average of $1050 with the typical cost range of $600 and $1500. Sealcoating costs can range from $0.14 to $1.00 per square foot.
There are multiple factors that will determine your sealcoating costs, including:
Size of the Paved Area
The length and width of the paved area is the most important cost factor in asphalt sealcoating. Larger areas will require more labor and sealant and result in a higher overall cost.
Flat and uniform surfaces are easiest to sealcoat and require less effort and time. Conversely, sloped surfaces, long pathways, unique shapes, or more complicated jobs will take more time and cost more.
Another factor that can contribute to the overall cost of your asphalt sealcoating is the ease of access to the area. How hard will it be for our team to access the sealcoating area? Asphalt surfaces that are difficult to access, such as backyard areas or blacktops nestled in remote places on your property, typically require more time and result in higher labor costs.
The more traffic an asphalt surface receives, the more coats of sealcoat needed to fully protect it. For basic residential driveways, for example, one coat of sealcoat is enough. Busier parking lots, on the other hand, may require 2 - 3 coats to provide adequate protection. The number of coats will determine total project costs.
How do I Prepare My Asphalt for Sealcoating?
Before your asphalt driveway or parking lot can be sealed, a few things need to be completed, such as:
Check the Weather
The ideal weather conditions for sealcoating are when it’s at least 50°F with no rain forecasted for 48 hours. If rain is on the forecast, your sealcoating contractor will likely schedule you for a time when the weather is more favorable.
Fill the Cracks
Sealcoating works best on a flat, smooth surface. If your driveway or parking lot has cracks or crevices, they will need to be filled or repaired before the sealcoat can be applied. Filling cracks or making extensive repairs can add to the overall cost of your project.
Clean the Surface
Your asphalt driveway or parking lot must be clean and free from any oil, dirt, or debris before it can be sealcoated. Some asphalt surfaces may require a professional power washing before they can be clean enough to take the sealant.
How Do I Maintain My Sealed Asphalt?
Once your driveway or parking lot has been sealcoated, a little preventative maintenance can go a long way towards extending its lifespan. Make the most of your investment by adhering to these maintenance and care guidelines:
- Don't park on newly sealed asphalt for at least two weeks.
- Don't spill gas or oil.
- Don't apply pressure to the edges of any asphalt surface where it’s most vulnerable.
- Fix cracks asap and kill weeds growing through cracks.
- Remove snow from your asphalt as soon as you can to prevent water damage from melt.
- Reseal the surface once every 2- 3 years, depending on your climate.
What WON’T Asphalt Sealcoating Do?
Sealcoating is a preventative, protective measure that can extend the lifespan of your asphalt driveway or parking lot. However, it can’t fix structural damage from asphalt that’s been neglected, is covered in cracks, or needs repaving.
Where Can I Find Asphalt Sealcoating in the Bay Area?
JVLucas Paving has been providing sealcoating and asphalt paving services to the California Bay Area for over 70 years. Our team of asphalt contractors specializes in sealcoat for residential driveways as well as commercial and municipal parking lots.
Whatever your paving needs and whatever your location in the Greater Bay Area, JV Lucas Paving has got you covered. When it comes to reliable, timely and quality service, all roads lead to JV Lucas Paving.