When Should You Seal Coat Your Asphalt Parking Lot?

As a business owner, you want your asphalt parking lot to make a good impression on your customers with smooth, nice-looking pavement. That requires seal coating from time to time to ensure that it maintains its good appearance and performance. If you try to save some money by skipping this maintenance, it will end up costing you more in the long run.

The following explains the basics of seal coating as well as when you should seal coat your asphalt parking lot:

What is seal coating?

Seal coating is the application of a mixture of asphalt or refined coal tar with clays, mineral fillers, and water. After application, the seal coating becomes hard and forms a protective coating that looks smooth and black.

Why is it necessary?

If you don’t seal coat your asphalt parking lot, it will probably only last about five to six years before it starts to break down. Seal coating can protect against water damage and corrosive materials while making repairs to cracks more effective. In addition, the process makes your parking lot easier to keep clean while improving its appearance.

If your parking lot doesn’t receive this treatment, the asphalt binder hardens, causing the asphalt to become weak and brittle as it’s exposed to the harsh Atlanta sunlight. As the weather heats up and cools down, the pavement expands and contacts, eventually causing cracks to form. They can then become worse as water gets into the cracks and freezes.

When should you seal coat your asphalt parking lot?

Your parking lot should be seal coated for the first time about 12 months after the asphalt surface is laid. This gives the pavement time for oils to escape so the surface is ready for sealer.

After the initial seal coating, it should be reapplied every three to five years to ensure that the appearance, performance, and longevity of your parking lot is protected. Over time, you’ll save a significant amount of money by investing in seal coating so your parking lot doesn’t have to be repaired or repaved more quickly.

To find out more

If you have an asphalt parking lot near the metro Atlanta area, contact Dykes Paving at 770-448-3392 for more information or to schedule seal coating. We stand behind our work 100% and are proud of the high quality of work we’ve delivered since 1968.

Asphalt is one of the most commonly used paving materials in the world with over 400 million tons produced annually in the U.S. alone, according to the National Asphalt Paving Association. It is also the most recycled paving material (known as RAP) with one hundred percent of the recovered material returned to the paving cycle when recovered from the previous applications. While Asphalt is a well-known and versatile material, understanding how this material is produced can help make your project a success.

Petroleum asphalt is the most used type employed in paving applications. Produced as a byproduct of the petroleum refining process, this thick, heavy, viscous fluid is comprised of various aromatic compounds, asphaltenes, and saturated hydrocarbons and form the binder component of modern paving applications. This binder is then combined with various sizes of mechanically sorted and crushed aggregates, graded sand mixes, stone dust as well as any desired or required chemical components as specified for the intended project. Recycled material can be and is often used in place of newer aggregates, although some applications will require the use of both depending on the strength required and paving purpose. 

Once the non-binder added mix has been combined, it is then heat dried to remove any excess moisture and to allow it to bind completely with the binder. Once this drying process is complete, the binder is added to the aggregate composite via a mechanical mixer and this final material is then loaded on to vehicles for delivery to the project site. In addition to the production of virgin material or a plant produced, combined RAP product, another process is available, depending on project requirements, in which the RAP is hot mixed on site for immediate reuse. 

Regardless of your project size, employing asphalt as a paving material is the optimal economic and environmental choice for your specific application. For residential, commercial or industrial applications, allow the specialists at Dykes Paving to show you how you can get the most benefit from this type of paving material and how it can contribute to your project’s overall success. 

For business and property owners, understanding the long-term value of milling your existing asphalt pavement is crucial to getting the most from your investment. While many understand that milling the current surface provides for a recycled and sustainable product, few understand how this directly translates into a long-term value proposition for the business.

Direct Value Of Reusing Existing Asphalt.

Milling of an existing layer of pavement allows for a nearly immediate return of the recycled product into the new surface. This reduces costs compared to using an all-new surface without any recycled asphalt content. In addition, it also saves time in terms of delivery and transportation compared to a new asphalt product, thus providing for a faster completion in many cases.

For the longer term, the use of RAP, or recycled asphalt product, also allows your initial asphalt investment to be reused for the life of the property or pavement. In other words, this type of asphalt processing can allow your initial asphalt to be converted and reused time and time again. Of course, milling can also be used to treat trouble spots, thereby reducing the need for a complete resurfacing which could also disrupt your business for the duration. All of which delivers a direct value to your business, over both the long and short-term.

An Indirect Value of Reusing Existing Asphalt.

The use of existing asphalt allows for a smoother surface upon completion as both the milling and processing reduce the aggregate to a better, more compact finish. When this new layer is applied, it not only delivers a smoother ride but it increases the awareness of those who use the pavement. In effect, an improved look and feel of a parking lot or road create an improved perception of the business or property. Given that the surface will last for a significant amount of time, this perception is considerably long lasting in the minds of those who visit your business or property. Which again, comes together to provide you with a long-term value.

By using your existing asphalt, your investment delivers both a direct and indirect value to your business and or property. Therefore, it is important to consider how this value will benefit your company. To discover the exact benefits and how it can improve your business, contact an asphalt specialist today so you can put your investment to work for you.

Winter weather requires careful preparation for your home’s (or business’s) exterior and landscaping. However, when preparing for the cold your asphalt shouldn’t be ignored. Asphalt is also vulnerable to the cold and careful preparation is required to avoid damage, injury, and expensive repairs. When preparing for the winter keep the following four tips in mind.

Preparing Your Asphalt For The Winter

  1. Clean Up: one of the first things you should do to prepare for winter is to clean up. Debris that is easily ignored in warmer weather can quickly become unsafe when exposed to snow, ice, and moisture. Removal of trash and collected refuse also allows for easier cleanup and snow removal.
  2. Fill Cracks And Sealcoat: during the winter snow can get into cracks which later melts and then reforms into ice once the temperature drops below freezing. This process can greatly weaken your asphalt and cause further damage as the expanding ice increases the size of existing cracks. Filling these cracks prevents this from happening and a sealcoat further protects your asphalt from the elements.
  3. Pay Attention To Pooling Water: pooling water can be caused by dips or drops in your asphalt. In the winter collected water can quickly become ice which is a safety hazard for both residents and visitors. By being aware of areas where water collects you can have it removed before it freezes. Areas where water pools should also be repaired as needed by professionals.
  4. Repair Potholes: potholes are not only unsightly but they allow snow, ice, and other debris to collect over the winter. If left unattended potholes can cause much of the same damage that cracks cause but on a much larger scale and can threaten the structural integrity of your asphalt. If potholes are a common issue special cold weather asphalt may be required when repairs are made.

Final Thoughts

As the above information shows winter weather can be damaging to asphalt if you are unprepared. By taking the above tips into consideration you greatly reduce the possibility of damage during the colder parts of the year. Also, consider hiring professional help to properly seal existing cracks, repair damage, and properly prepare your asphalt for the winter.