Should I seal 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 blacktop goes through a curing phase in which chemicals are released from the asphalt. A tell tale sign that asphalt is going through this phase is that there should be a rainbowish hue to water when the blacktop is wet. This is water and the chemical 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 from black to brown to gray to white? This is the direct effect of sun light, water, and other external conditions.

Only sealcoating will protect your blacktop from 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 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 the stone starts to release from the surface. Next time you visit a highly populated parking lot, take notice to the condition of the blacktop 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. If they choose to ignore you, let them deal with the high cost of replacing their asphalt or paying more for crack repair.

Just Seal It LLC is the recognized Asphalt Sealcoating and Pavement Marking leader in the York, PA. – Harrisburg, PA. – Lancaster, PA. –  Baltimore, MD. to Washington D.C. areas. Our great attention to detail combined with our commitment to superior customer service assures that your asphalt will be sealed correctly. For a free quote click here or give us a call @ 717-855-7775.

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