Parking lots are important to virtually every business and need to stay in good condition. The way your parking lot looks says something about your business, so make sure it says something positive. Those first impressions from customers can be vital. A sealcoat protects the asphalt of the parking lot from a number of things that can cause wear. This includes corrosive materials as well as water and other elements. When the parking lot gets a sealcoating, it also looks better. You can take action to protect your investment in your parking lot.
What Is Sealcoating?
Sealcoating is a way to apply a protective coat to asphalt. The seal coat combines several ingredients, including sand and a polymer additive. The sand in this mixture is needed for durability and traction. It makes it safer to drive and walk on the surface. This type of seal is an inexpensive way to extend the life of the asphalt in the lot. It also makes the parking lot an easier surface to clean. Getting the seal coat isn’t disruptive and doesn’t take long.
When you get a seal coat, the pavement will be smoother. A smoother surface allows the asphalt to last about 10 to 25% longer than rough asphalt. This means saving a lot of money on maintenance for the parking lot. When a parking lot is consistently seal coated, it can save a business tens of thousands of dollars or more over the years. And when the pavement is smoother and cleaner, the customers who use the parking lot will appreciate it much more than a dirty, worn lot that’s hard to drive on.
Does Your Parking Lot Need Sealcoating?
There are a lot of factors that go into when a parking lot needs a sealcoat. It’s a good idea to evaluate the parking lot to get a good idea of its condition. If the pavement is brand new, there is no need for a sealcoat. However, after the first few months, there may be damage to the lot becoming apparent. Once the asphalt is at least a year old, it may be time to start thinking about getting sealcoating. It will get worn during that time from traffic, air, snow, water, and leaks that affect the asphalt.
It may not need a sealcoat at that one-year mark, but this is an excellent time to evaluate the lot’s condition. The age of your pavement is the first factor to consider. If it shows wear and hasn’t been seal coated in a few years, it’s probably time. Another factor is the amount of wear that it has. If there is only very light wear, there may be no need for a sealcoat. If the surface of the asphalt has faded to gray or there are small cracks in the pavement, these are signs that it needs to be sealed. These are often the first signs of deterioration, common from ordinary wear and tear.
If you notice a lot of uneven areas that could pose a danger to those walking in the lot, it’s probably time for a sealcoat. Allowing it to continue to deteriorate without getting it sealed may mean accidents, and this can affect your liability. It doesn’t take much damage to a parking lot to make someone trip and become injured. It may also cause damage to cars that park there. Using a sealant is a crucial step to take for the safety of everyone who uses the lot.
It’s also a good idea to think about how much use your parking lot gets. If it gets a lot of traffic, it may get worn before a parking lot that gets less activity. Tire wear on the lot is a significant factor in the wear and tear, but the elements also affect it. Even the sunlight hitting it daily can cause some wear and fade to the lot. If there are any serious issues to the lot, like deep potholes, it may need work before getting a sealcoat.
How Often Will It Need Sealcoating?
It’s often recommended that asphalt get sealcoating after three to five years. This can make the asphalt last much longer- even twice as long as it would have otherwise. Keeping your asphalt on this sealcoating schedule can prevent a lot of expensive maintenance needed on an unsealed lot.
The quality of the sealcoating is another way to gauge whether you may need sealcoating again. It’s important to get a high-quality sealcoat mixture that is applied correctly. If you have had a bad sealcoating job done, you will likely need it done again before you would if it had been high quality. A lousy mixture is often too watered-down to be effective as a seal and won’t be durable. When you’re looking at sealcoating companies near me, make sure you choose a company with a lot of experience with sealcoating and many satisfied past customers.
Getting Your Sealcoat
When it’s time for your sealcoat, two coats of sealant are applied to the parking lot. The crew must also ensure enough sealant is used in each coat. After the first coat is applied, it has to be allowed to dry thoroughly. After it’s completely dry, the second coat can be applied. The second coat must dry for a full 24 hours or more to cure the sealant. Once 24 hours have passed, the parking lot can be opened to traffic. With a high-quality coat that is applied correctly, you can usually wait another three to five years before the parking lot needs to be sealed again.
If you’re in the Tucson area and you’re parking lot needs some work, give us a call at (520) 394-8480! Our team members at Saguaro Asphalt are highly skilled in sealcoat as well as other services including asphalt paving and repair. Our team can make your parking lot look like new again!