Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Should I Sealcoat My Asphalt?

There is a saying that goes something like this "your asphalt should not be sealcoated because it needs to breath". I can't tell you how many times I heard this misinformed opinion in my travels as an asphalt maintenance contractor.

To the "nay sayers" benefit, I will acknowledge that there is some truth to the statement above. New asphalt should not be sealcoated in the first 90 days to 6 months. The reason is because new asphalt goes through a curing phase in which chemicals are released from the asphalt. A tell tale sign that asphalt is still going through this phase is that there should be a rainbowish hue to water when the asphalt is wet. This is the water and the chemicals still mixing.

After the curing process has completed, it is time to sealcoat your asphalt. If asphalt is not sealed it will oxidize and begin to fade. Have you ever noticed how the color of new asphalt changes from black to brown to grey to white? My friend, this is the direct effects of sun light, water, and other external conditions.

Only sealcoating will protect your asphalt from the degradation caused by oxidation. If asphalt becomes oxidized it now loses some of its' flexibility properties, which can result in cracking. Another major benefit of sealcoating is the protection from gasoline and oil. Unfortunately, gasoline, oil and the chemicals in the asphalt binder (holds the stone together) are all petroleum based products. Why should that matter? Well, being that these are from the same source in the earth, they have a natural tendency to bond together. The result of this bonding is the oil and gasoline deteriorates the asphalt binder. Once the asphalt binder is deteriorated that stone starts to release from the surface. Next time you visit a highly populated parking lot, take a notice to the condition of the asphalt that has been heavily soiled with oil.

So the next time someone tells you that you shouldn't sealcoat your asphalt, please point them to this article at If they choose to ignore you, let them deal with the high cost of replacing their asphalt or paying more for crack repair.

To see before and after photo's of Asphalt Maintenance and Pavement Marking projects in York, PA - Lancaster PA - Harrisburg, PA - Cockeysville, MD and Timonium, MD please visit Just Seal It at
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