Parking Lot Sealcoating
Weather and Asphalt: Why Sealcoating Is Essential
Asphalt provides business and homeowners with a strong and reliable parking lot and driveway surface. However, this paving material is prone to damage from weather-related issues and could wear down more quickly if you don’t contact us at Mid-State Paving & Sealcoating for help.
For example, you may need to perform a parking lot sealcoating to keep your lot strong and resistant from various types of serious damage. Understanding why weather affects your asphalt so strongly — and how sealcoating helps — can make this decision even easier for you.
Asphalt Is Strong But Not Perfect
Asphalt parking lots and driveways are designed to withstand a large array of weathering problems, such as rain, snow, wind, and much more. Their surface levels are very strong and provide years, and even decades, of protection. However, asphalt is like any type of building material and may start to wear down over time and experience some serious issues.
For example, some asphalt may develop potholes that let in water and other contaminating elements. This water will soak into the ground beneath the asphalt and make it uneven. Even worse, water may soak right into the structure of the asphalt and trigger various issues. Unfortunately, these situations typically get much worse before they get better for a parking lot.
Typically, weather-related problems with asphalt parking lots fall into two categories: temperature- and moisture-based damage. Each of these damage types has different types of causes and problems that they trigger. Just as importantly, each type can be properly treated with a high-quality sealcoating applied directly to the surface of the asphalt.
Temperature Shifts May Affect Asphalt
As the temperature changes around you, your asphalt parking lot is going to experience some changes. First of all, extreme shifts in temperature — such as drops from 100 degrees Fahrenheit to 70 degrees in a few hours — puts a severe strain on asphalt. Like all building materials exposed to the outdoor elements, asphalt reacts to these changes by contracting and expanding.
Even worse, extreme heat and cold without changes may also cause problems. For example, below-zero temperatures may freeze the water in the asphalt and cause it to crack. Extreme heat can warp the surface of asphalt and cause it to curl up around the edges or to even crack in the middle. When this happens, repairs or replacements are necessary.
Many of these changes occur because of the differences in temperature between the upper and lower portions of the asphalt paving slabs. These changes create a multitude of imbalances in the slab that can lead to cracks and other types of damage. Thankfully, business owners can minimize this problem by adding sealcoating to the surface of their driveway.
Moisture Levels May Also Damage Asphalt
When high levels of moisture appear either due to high humidity or storms, asphalt may be severely affected. Water is something of an incredible force when it comes to destruction. For example, think of the Grand Canyon. This huge dip in the Earth’s soil occurred from the persistent pressure of a very small stream. And water can also cause many types of damage to your asphalt driveway.
For example, water pooled on the surface could freeze and thaw in a way that affects the structure of the asphalt. And, as mentioned before, water can soak into asphalt and cause all sorts of damage. While properly installed asphalt typically has a hill-like design to move water to the sides, sometimes even this design isn’t enough to prevent water damage.
This problem is typically more of a concern if you are installing a driveway in an area that receives a lot of rain and snow. Desert areas, like Arizona, may not have that kind of problem. However, that doesn’t mean that these areas shouldn’t sealcoat their driveways. In fact, just about every business should seriously consider sealcoating their driveways.
How Sealcoating Helps
Sealcoating is a unique process that adds a protective layer of sealing agent to an asphalt or concrete driveway. Once this coating is installed, water cannot absorb into its surface, which helps to minimize water-related damages. Just as importantly, sealcoating helps to prevent damage by temperature changes, which are typically the worst type of damage.
Homeowners can perform the sealcoating process on their own by following a few simple steps. The process below is the bare basics of the process, though professional sealcoating typically includes extra steps that enhance the effectiveness even further:
- Add the First Coat – Carefully work a single coat of sealcoating across the surface of the driveway. Make sure to work the roller along the edges of the driveway and into all cracks to further increase the effectiveness of this treatment method.
- Wait for the Coat to Dry – Before adding another coat of sealcoating, wait at least two hours or so for the first to dry. Though the coat may dry faster in warmer and drier weather, waiting two hours ensures that it has fully soaked into the surface of the driveway.
- Repeat This Process – Continue to add coats of sealcoating to your driveway until you feel comfortable with its level of protection. Typically, you’re going to want at least two coats, minimum, for maximum protection. However, three to four coats help to add even better protection.
- Update Your Sealcoating – Try to follow this process at least once a year or so to ensure that your sealcoating stays strong. You may be able to push the process back to once every two years, but you should probably do it more often than that for maximum protection.
If you feel comfortable performing this process on your own, try it out and see how well you do. However, we strongly suggest that you work with a professional. These experts will fully understand how to coat your driveway for maximum protection and will work hard to ensure that your sealcoating lasts you years or even decades.
We Can Provide Your Asphalt With Sealcoating
As you can see, parking lot sealcoating is a great process that provides business owners with the high-quality parking lot or driveway that they need for their customers. However, trying to do it on your own leaves you out of benefits, such as controlled application and other types of specialized treatments.
If you want your driveway sealcoated by professionals that you can trust, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Mid-State Paving & Sealcoating right away to learn more. Our experts will work with you to fully understand the needs of your business and will provide accurate and friendly service that will get the job done right the first time.