The average useful lifespan of asphalt is 12 to 15 years. If you don’t maintain it, then it won’t last even that long.
There are two main services that get done to asphalt to extend its life. Asphalt patching and sealcoating both serve to maintain and protect your asphalt.
But do you know how they are different and which one is right for your asphalt? Not to worry! We have created a guide to help you know the difference and ensure that your asphalt lasts as long as possible.
Asphalt Integrity Enemies
Natural elements are your asphalt’s biggest enemies. This includes sunlight, water, oil, and oxidation. If there are other chemicals present, these will break down your asphalt too.
Over time the binders in your asphalt break down. Now you have brittle asphalt that will crack and pothole.
What Is Sealcoating?
If you want to extend the life of your asphalt and keep it looking like new, then you should have sealcoating done regularly. You should consider sealcoating as an integral part of your asphalt maintenance.
The process of sealcoating means that an extra protective layer is applied to your asphalt. This helps extend the life of your asphalt by protecting it from use and the elements.
If you regularly sealcoat your asphalt, you can extend its useful life to up to 30 years.
This is the most affordable way to maintain your asphalt. It is also simple and easy to apply.
Once applied it restores your asphalt to look like new. This will, in turn, increase the overall curb appeal of your property.
Having a fresh asphalt surface will create a surface that provides more traction. This creates a safer parking lot or driveway.
Before a sealer can be applied, you need to make sure the asphalt is in good condition. You will need to have repairs made before you can sealcoat.
The weather has to cooperate with warm temperatures and no rain expected. You also need 24 hours for the entire process start to finish.
A quality company will create a hot mix of sealer and then apply two coats. Then it just needs time to cure before you can drive on it.
What Is Asphalt Patching?
If you ignore damage to your asphalt, it will eventually become an expensive headache or complete redo. So if you see any cracks or potholes develop, have them repaired immediately with a patch.
When your asphalt becomes damaged and deteriorated, it is unsightly and just plain dangerous. If you leave the damage, you risk someone getting hurt, and now you have the liability of paying for their injuries.
Patching your asphalt is quick and affordable when done correctly. Fixing cracks prevents your asphalt from slowly crumbling into pieces.
While fixing a pothole prevents vehicle damage and potential for injury. It also greatly improves the entire look of your parking lot.
When it comes to repairing cracks, the first step is to identify the type of crack. There are three common types of cracks, alligator, block, and edge.
Because patching is about repair, it is important to address the cause of the damage. Otherwise, you risk the damage re-occurring.
Alligator cracking happens when excessively heavy vehicles drive on the asphalt, or there isn’t adequate drainage. They can also happen if the company who originally installed the asphalt did a poor job. To fix these, a full-depth repair is needed to address the surface and structural problems.
Block cracking happens when your asphalt is dried out and old. This type of cracking is usually a surface issue and occurs with age. Because of this, repair requires a patch on the surface.
Edge cracks are those half-moon shaped curved cracks along the edge of the asphalt. They occur when there is poor underlying support, overgrown vegetation, or poor drainage.
The only way to fix these cracks is to remove the problem and then seal the cracks. This means redirecting water if drainage is the problem. Or clearing away vegetation if plant growth is the problem.
Just like cracks, potholes allow moisture and debris to get in your pavement and compromise its overall integrity. To properly fix a pothole, the damaged asphalt gets removed down to a specific depth.
Then a hot mix will get poured into the hole. This will bond with the surrounding asphalt and provide strength and support.
For added support and protection, have the entire surface area of the asphalt sealed once the pothole is done curing. This will seal and protect the entire piece of asphalt.
Which Do You Need?
If your asphalt is in good condition and free of cracks or potholes, then you should choose the sealcoat. If your asphalt has cracks or potholes, then you need patching first.
Asphalt that is two to four years old and in good condition should have sealcoating done. Ultimately though, it is never too late to sealcoat your asphalt.
Schedule Your Asphalt Patching or Sealcoating
The best thing you can do for your asphalt is to schedule regular maintenance and repair. By sealcoating, you maintain the protective layer and prevent your asphalt from becoming brittle.
If your asphalt hasn’t been maintained, it’s not too late to start taking care of it. A knowledgeable and experienced company can help you with asphalt patching and sealing to extend the life of your asphalt.
Don’t worry if you aren’t sure what your asphalt needs. Our qualified professionals can come out and give you an evaluation and quote for recommended services.
Contact us today and let us repair and seal your asphalt parking lot or driveway.