Here's why that driveway sealer project shouldn't be at the bottom of your to-do list.
For new homeowners who aren't familiar, sealcoat (or pavement sealer) is a liquid coating mixture that's usually applied to asphalt-based pavement. When moving into your new house, fixing the driveway might not be high on your list of priorities. In fact, you might even be asking yourself: Is sealcoating really necessary for my home?
If you’ve made an investment by purchasing a house, you want to take great care of it, right? You spend hours picking the perfect colors to match your sheets, and every Sunday you bring out the vacuum to suck dirt and debris. You might even spend money trimming your trees and bushes to keep them looking lovely.
When you think about it, your driveway takes up much of your front yard. A cracked, dirty, and faded driveway just doesn’t match with clean, polished cars. Here are some reasons why you should invest in a sealcoat for your driveway.
1. Maintain its Appearance
Your driveway takes up space. It’s where cars are parked and where children play during the sweltering summer months. If it isn’t well-maintained, it can have a detrimental effect on your house’s appearance. Asphalt driveways are prone to cracking, fading, and other signs of distress. It doesn’t look good to anyone! Cracks in the asphalt can even lead to accidents.
A sealcoat sits on top of a driveway and acts as a barrier for it. Its deep black color looks regal and strong. The coat prevents water, car fluids, water, the sun, salt, and other chemicals from warping the color or eating away at the driveway. And a sealcoat will prevent weeds from growing in the asphalt. That means no more getting down on hands and knees just to clean those irritating weeds!
New sealcoat, when applied, looks bold and dark. It improves the appearance of both new and old asphalt, adding a pop of vibrancy to your house that you may not have expected.
2. Prevent Cracks
Sometimes, your new home comes with cracks in the pavement. You might be inclined to think, “Well, the previous owner seemed just fine with these cracks. The driveway looks good enough.” Don’t settle for mediocrity—you deserve the best!
Water that seeps into the base material can cause small cracks to widen. Sealcoating your driveway properly will prevent that. Any minor cracks and rough patches can be smoothed over, and if there's any dirt on your driveway, the rain can easily wash it away. That's because sealcoat is a non-porous, smooth surface.
3. Protect the Asphalt
The sun can burn our skin, but did you know it can also harm your driveway? Surface voids on asphalt can absorb oxygen and UV rays. The radiation from the sun can warp the asphalt and cause the color to fade quickly. On top of that, pockets of surface void allow oil or gas to penetrate.
Chemical spills can also worsen your driveway's condition. With a thick layer of sealcoat, you'll be able to prevent (or at the very least, minimize) the harmful effects of spills and the sun. By lowering the rate of water absorption (the water will run right off), sealcoating minimizes the risks of damage due to water, snow, and freezing. There are many things that can destroy your driveway: gas, diesel fuel, salt, chemicals, oil, and ice. It's better to prevent these from attacking your driveway so that you won't have to risk costly damage control.
4. It's Strong
Sealcoat helps attract heat from sunlight and becomes more pliable when hot. Instead of the asphalt cracking at high temperatures, the sealcoat will mold to shape. If you have guests over, the asphalt won’t waver under the combined weight of the cars. That’s because the sealcoat will be there to protect it.
5. It Saves Money
Sealcoating can be done as a weekend DIY project, or you can hire someone to do it for you. A DIY sealcoat project should cost about $50 to $200. It all depends on the size of your driveway. On the other hand, hiring a professional is probably safer. It would cost about $200 to $500. If you choose to hire a company or a person, you can be assured that they'll be more familiar with good products. Different products work better in certain areas (because of the temperature and climate), and a professional will know which sealants are best avoided.
Whether you choose to do it yourself or hire someone else, sealcoating your driveway is far cheaper than spending hundreds of dollars trying to repair or even replace your driveway's asphalt!
If you allow moisture to seep into the driveway, you might not notice at first. But after weeks, the quickened deterioration will begin to show as your asphalt becomes more and more distressed. It’s much easier to prevent the issues instead of scrambling to find someone who can quickly fix the asphalt! Just make sure that you wait 90 days after setting a new asphalt driveway to apply the sealcoat.
Vaca Vet Striping specializes in striping for shopping centers, business complexes,
apartments, and private roadways. Whether you have a small job of just
two parking stalls or a multi-acre parking facility, Vaca Vet Striping
will provide professional and timely work.
Parking lot lines are an essential part of a structured, organized parking lot. Over time these lines fade, which is why you have to restripe them every so often. Fading is caused by the amount of traffic your parking lot gets, environmental conditions such as sun exposure and weather, and the quality of the paint. For this reason, paving experts suggest that you should restripe your lines every 18 – 24 months.
Are your parking lot lines fading? Are you tempted to hold off on restriping until next year? These 8 benefits of restriping your parking lot may change your mind.
8 Benefits of Restriping Your Parking Lot
One of the benefits of restriping is purely aesthetic – a restriped parking lot with vibrantly colored lines will improve the curb appeal of your business. It’s an easy way to give your business a facelift that everyone passing by will notice.
A well-striped parking lot is a well-organized parking lot. Residents or customers know where the driving lanes are and where the authorized parking spots are. Parking lot stripes provide guidance just like the stripes on the road.
3. Customer Satisfaction
Your parking lot is part of the service that you offer to customers, just like the features inside your building. By restriping your parking lot you are telling customers that their experience at your establishment matters and you want to provide them with the best customer service.
4. ADA Compliance
The Americans with Disabilities Act has certain guidelines for parking lot stripes. Depending on the number of parking spaces your lot accommodates, it must include a certain number of accessible parking spaces for cars and wider spaces for vans. Restriping can help you clearly designate these spots so you are complying with the law and providing the proper accommodations for your handicapped residents or customers.
5. Maximize Parking Space
Are you getting the most out of your parking lot space? If you’re not currently satisfied with your parking lot, a restriping company can help evaluate the space and suggest changes.
6. An Economical Update
All businesses owners look for ways to make their business more attractive to customers. Restriping is an inexpensive way to get an instant improvement.
7. Reducing Liability
Faded lines can be hard for some customers to see, which could result in accidents where you are at fault. These lines communicate crucial information such as where pedestrians can walk, who has the right of way, what areas to avoid, and where vehicles must stop. Faded lines can cause confusion and accidents. Visible, well-defined lines will lower your risk of these liabilities.
8. Compliance with Fire Codes
Fire codes require a designated fire lane in case of emergency, and this lane should be marked with the appropriate signs, curb markings, or pavement markings. Restriping can also ensure your compliance with fire codes.
As you can see, there are many benefits of restriping your parking lot, from aesthetics and customer service to reducing liabilities and complying with laws. If your parking lot lines are fading, it’s time to add restriping to your parking lot maintenance plan.
What is the most cost-effective resurfacing solution after repairing cracks, potholes and depressions in asphalt driveways and parking lots
By Jeff Lax
When it comes to old, worn asphalt driveways and parking lots, commercial real estate owners, property managers, and even owners of single-family homes struggle with the same questions: Do we repave or sealcoat after making repairs to cracks, potholes, and depressions? What is the most cost-effective and durable solution?
The industry has debated this issue for decades, and what has been learned is that each option has lasting, dramatic effects and that they actually complement one another. That’s the information pavement maintenance contractors need to convey to their clients who are trying to decide which pavement maintenance option best suits their needs and property.
Sealcoating is one of the most important steps to protecting an owner’s investment in an asphalt driveway or parking lot. Sealers consist of emulsions that combine asphalt or refined coal tar with clays, mineral fillers, and water. Once applied, the water evaporates and the emulsion hardens to form a protective coating. It also becomes a beautiful black surface that adds curb appeal, giving a single-family home, multi-family residence, or commercial or industrial property a polished look. Industry experts agree that driveways or parking lots lacking the sealer can generally last only five to six years before the beginning stages of breakdown.
Initial sealing should occur six to 12 months after the asphalt surface is laid to allow the pavement to “cure” so oils can escape and the surface becomes ready for sealer. The initial sealer application forms a barrier to prevent water penetration and to inhibit deterioration of the asphalt binder by oxidation and over-drying.
As unprotected pavement ages, the asphalt binder hardens, losing flexibility and becoming increasingly brittle. Ultraviolet rays from the sun break down the carbon bonds in asphalt, further weakening the pavement. Also, daily and seasonal cycles of heating and cooling cause the pavement to expand and contract. These stresses eventually exceed the pavement’s ability to flex, and cracks form. If water seeps into the cracks and freezes, the cracks expand, allowing more water to penetrate, making the cracks wider and deeper. This cycle leads to accelerated deterioration of the parking lot surface. Early sealcoating can prevent all these preliminary dangers to the life of the asphalt.
Sealer is typically the most cost-effective solution and should be reapplied every two to three years as preventative maintenance. In fact, several government and Asphalt Institute studies have shown that neglected asphalt pavement can cost up to five times as much to repair as asphalt that has had a regular maintenance program, including sealcoating.
Pavement maintenance begins by filling cracks, patching deteriorated areas, and cleaning (and possibly priming) oil-saturated spots on the pavement surface. The asphalt also must be cleaned of dirt and debris before sealer can be applied.
While some homeowners sealcoat their driveways themselves, professional contractors not only apply a high-quality sealer material but also have professional equipment such as crack cleaners and power blowers that often enable them to perform a longer-lasting, high-quality job. Plus, professional contractors can handle other pavement repairs that a homeowner won’t be aware of, so property managers at any level will be best served by hiring a pavement maintenance professional to handle their pavement.
Repaving is the only decision for driveways or parking lots that have severe deterioration, deep wide cracks, subsided depressions and numerous potholes.
An asphalt overlay consists of a compacted layer of one-and-a-half to two inches of hot mix asphalt being placed over the existing asphalt, essentially giving the driveway a new surface. Just as with sealcoating, the first task is repair of existing pavement. Areas, where the pavement surface has slumped, indicate failure of the stone foundation supporting the pavement. These areas require digging out existing asphalt, and repair and compaction of the stone base with new material before patching with asphalt mix to prevent trouble spots from returning after repaving. Then an overlay is placed over the old surface. No sealcoating should be added for six months to a year, just as with any newly constructed pavement.
And while an asphalt overlay can begin to deteriorate within five to six years without maintenance, it could last up to 25 years with regular upkeep. The upside to installing an overlay is the pavement has a renewed wearing course, providing a pliable, flexible surface. Also after the overlay, the maintenance program can start over, leading to a virtually brand new drive or lot. However, extreme weather, heavy loads, and shortcuts during construction could lead to premature wear and failure. The downside of repaving is that it is expensive (typically thousands of dollars more than sealing). Plus, if the original asphalt isn’t properly cleaned and prepared, cracks and uneven sections may return, as well as other problems that may not have previously existed such as delamination of the overlay because of poor adhesion to the old pavement.
What’s Better for your customer?
The amount and regularity of repaving will differ from climate to climate, and even when asphalt is maintained properly an asphalt overlay will be needed every 20 to 25 years.
Regardless of whether you repave or repair, sealcoating is one of the most important aspects of any pavement maintenance effort as it protects asphalt from weathering and degradation and extends pavement life. Without sealer, the asphalt could require an overlay in as little as five to six years, costing thousands of dollars. When comparing costs, industry experts believe the best investment a homeowner or commercial property owner can make is a well-tailored maintenance program that includes regular sealcoating.
The application of linear striping, arrows, stop bars, and handicap insignias, etc. We use a plasticized material that when heated with adhere permanently to asphalt and concrete surfaces.
We understand the importance of quality asphalt maintenance and the importance of leaving a lasting impression to prospective tenants, home buyers, customers, and the general public.
Vaca Vet Striping has over 30 years of experience doing business as ACE Paving Company, with a General Engineering Class A Contractor’s License #389714. We strive to provide quality work and great service at an affordable cost. Vaca Vet Striping service area is Solano, Napa, Yolo, and Sacramento counties.
To understand the importance of sealcoating, you must first understand what asphalt is made of. Asphalt pavement is mostly made up of rock, fine stone or sand, gravel and asphalt cement which holds everything together and gives asphalt its black appearance. When harmful elements such as rain, sun and snow come in contact with the asphalt, the pavement starts to deteriorate, fade, and become brittle, which causes the surface to have less resistance to heavy loads. Also, since asphalt is a petroleum product, other petroleum products such as oil, gasoline, transmission/power steering and/or brake fluids, dissolve into the asphalt causing it to weaken and break-up its “glue-like” properties. To reduce these types of damage to your asphalt, it is essential to implement regular sealcoating into your pavement maintenance program.
Most effective preventative maintenance programs call for parking lots and other asphalt surface areas to be sealcoated every 2-3 years. Now that the weather is getting warmer, it is a great time to sealcoat. In fact, Mid-May through Mid-September are the best times to sealcoat your parking lot or any asphalt surface areas. The sealcoat can last twice as long when applied during this time, because the hot sun creates the best environment for curing the pavement sealer film. When the sealcoat is applied to hot asphalt, the water immediately evaporates from the pavement sealer. The sun dries the sealcoat film from the surface, curing from the top down. This process “hard bakes” sealcoat film onto the asphalt surface, and the harder the cured film, the more durable and longer lasting the sealcoating job will be.
Besides it being the perfect weather to sealcoat your parking lot, there are many other reasons you should not wait to sealcoat. Here are our Top 10 reasons to sealcoat your parking lot now:
10. Creates better traction for pedestrians and vehicles
9. Provides a deep, rich black color, and makes traffic lines more visible
8. Boosts curb appeal and improves property value
7. Decreases oil, salt, fuel and other chemical damage
6. Seals out water and moisture
5. Prevents oxidation
4. Protects from environmental distress and weathering
3. Increases pavement flexibility and helps prevent cracking and chipping
2. Doubles your pavement life
And the #1 reason you should sealcoat your parking lot now:
1. Saves You Money – Sealcoating costs pennies per square foot whereas asphalt repairs cost dollars per square foot. You do the math!
A smooth, well-maintained driveway is most essential if you want to make an excellent impression on a visitor to your property. Due to its shiny black appearance, smooth texture, resilience and durability, asphalt is the most preferred choice for constructing driveways. In fact, it is the best material for many other paving jobs such as parking lots, walkways, etc.
However, it is not only the material but also the way it is installed that determines whether your surface will be as sturdy and long-lasting as you expect it to be. It is important that you hire a good asphalt contractor if you want your property to benefit from the advantages offered by asphalt paving.
If you look around, you may find several asphalt contractors servicing your area. You need to sift through them to find the most skilled, experienced and reliable one to handle your job. And to be sure that you make the correct choice, you should take out time to learn the basics of the process of asphalt paving and know about the essentials that make a good asphalt paving contractor. The pointers given below can help you hire the perfect professional.
You should start your search for a suitable contractor by looking in a reliable, high-traffic online local business directory. You can also get references from your relatives, friends or acquaintances in the local construction industry.
It is best to avoid 'traveling' contractors who approach you for handling your asphalt job. These contractors may claim to have materials leftover from a previous project and offer to do your work at a discounted price. Take care not to get tempted into hiring such unpredictable services.
Determine your budget so that you can select a contractor whose services suit your needs and are also within your budget.
Get estimates from at least 3-4 contractors and compare their services before choosing anyone. But, remember that lowest bid does not necessarily mean the best option.
Feel free to discuss matters such as how long the contractor has been in the industry; machines and equipment owned by it; skills, certifications, and training of its technicians; quality of materials and mixtures to be used; etc.
Use online resources and also your local network to learn about the reputation these asphalt paving contractors enjoy.
It is most imperative that you ask the contractors for local references, preferably recent ones. Check out a few of these references through personal visits to reassure yourself about the quality of the job done, timeliness of project completion, level of customer service, etc.
Get a written contract detailing all the terms agreed upon between both the parties before initiating the project.
As an informed customer, you should make sure that you select the best contractor that delivers on its promises and delivers a high quality, durable surface.