Benefits to Maintaining with Sealcoat

problem | remedy | savings |
The Problem
Asphalt is a combination of many materials composed in a structure that allows for weather elements (such as rain), salts, and other substances to attack and break it down. As the asphalt molecules break down, much of the original benefits – including weatherproofing – are lost. This is first observed visually by the color change in the asphalt surface: from black to brownish gray. The rate of pavement deterioration depends upon many variables including weather or climate conditions, traffic volumes and frequency of maintenance. After the visual change in color of the asphalt surface, weather, oils and other harmful materials can significantly deteriorate the pavement surface. Oils from vehicle engines, often parked stationary for long periods of time, can cause considerable damage to an unmaintained pavement surface (as pictured below).

Also, further deterioration of unmaintained pavement leads to minor cracks which become wider and deeper without remedy. If these cracks are not remedied, water and other harmful substances will seep into the base and damage the pavement's load bearing capacity, ultimately causing pavement failure. The effects of this are shown in serious alligatoring, rutting, and overall pavement failure.

Before long, your parking lot is riddled with cracks, potholes and drainage issues that are seemingly beyond repair. Unmaintained asphalt shows its deterioration and damage quickly, in as little as two years, and cracks and potholes quickly develop. Once the cracking forms, lack of proper maintenance will lead to serious liability issues caused by severe potholes and your pavement investment will be in risk of complete failure. The deterioration of unmaintained asphalt happens exponentially faster than maintained asphalt and, consequently, costs much more money over time.


The Remedy
Sealcoat, specifically refined coal tar, is a mixture of chemicals with a structure that does not allow destructive elements to affect its properties. This material, as a protective coat for asphalt, forms a barrier to protect against weather, salts, oils, and destructive substances that lead to pavement failure. This sealant also restores the asphalt's rich black color, dramatically improving property appearance (as pictured right). Potential customers' and guests' first impression is your parking lot; a fresh, new appearance will be the best presentation no matter your industry. By consistently protecting the asphalt pavement from deterioration and from failure, you are prolonging the life of your original asphalt by as much as eight years, or almost double the expected life of an unmaintained pavement surface, without considerable investment in an overlay or other significant remedy.

Parking lot maintenance with sealcoat usually means a three to five year cycle of sealcoating, including crackfill for developing cracks later in the pavement's life cycle, which prolongs the original pavement's life as well as ensuring the appearance of your property. By evaluating your properties' parking lots on a necessity basis, all parking lot concerns could be easily amortized over three to five years – effectively eliminating your parking lot concerns. The benefits to consistent parking lot maintenance are clear:
  • Protecting your asphalt pavement investment
  • Avoiding serious liability issues to tenants, guests and customers
  • Beautify the landscape and appearance
  • Plus – save more than 48% over unmaintained pavement


The Savings

Unmaintained (or unsealed) asphalt pavement will likely require repairs after the first two years. Furthermore, this unmaintained surface may require overlay as early as seven years, versus fifteen years for a maintained parking area. According to a study performed by Girish C. Dubey, chairperson of the Pavement Coatings Technology Center at the University of Nevada at Reno, maintaining asphalt pavement with sealcoat every three years saves an average of $15.25 per square yard or $152,500.00 for a parking lot averaging 10,000 square yards. This translates into more than 48% in savings over unmaintained asphalt. Maintaining asphalt with sealcoat is a small expense that secures nearly 300% increase in asphalt life as well as the aforementioned maintenance cost savings.

Parking lot maintenance is most economical when consistently performed from the outset. However, it is never too late to implement a maintenance plan that will optimize your current pavement's condition and prolong its life.

Contact us today to find out how Miller Seal Coating. & Striping can save you thousands by properly maintaining your asphalt pavement for years to come.