When it comes to worn-out and old asphalt parking lots and driveways, property managers, commercial real estate proprietors, and owners of single-family homes struggle with the same questions of whether to sealcoat or repave their asphalt surfaces. This issue has been debated in the industry for decades, and professionals have discovered that both options have dramatic, long-lasting effects and can complement one another. Our experts on sealcoating in Park Falls, WI, offer the following information on sealing and repaving to help you make the right choice.
Sealcoating is one of the essential steps in protecting a property owner's investment in asphalt parking lots or driveways. Sealers consist of emulsions that combine refined coal tar or asphalt with water, clays, and mineral fillers. Once applied, the water evaporates, allowing the emulsion to harden and form a protective coating.
This also creates a beautiful black surface that adds to your property's curb appeal, giving a multi-family residence, single-family home, or industrial or commercial property a more polished look. Unfortunately, experts in the industry agree that parking lots or driveways without sealers generally only last about five or six years before breakdown stages begin.
Initial sealing should happen six to 12 months after asphalt surface installation so that paving has time to cure and the surface is ready for sealant. The initial sealant application forms a barrier, preventing water penetration and inhibiting asphalt binder deterioration from over-drying or oxidation. Asphalt binders harden as unprotected asphalt ages, becoming increasingly brittle and losing flexibility. In addition, UV rays break down asphalt's carbon bonds, weakening the paving further.
Also, daily and seasonal cooling and heating cycles cause the pavement to expand and contract. These stressors eventually exceed a pavement's ability to be flexible, causing cracks. If water intrudes into such cracks and freezes, they extend and allow additional water to penetrate the surface, making cracks deeper and broader.
This cycle leads to the acceleration of deterioration of an asphalt surface. Early sealcoating acts as a prevention for these preliminary dangers and adds life to your asphalt surface.
Asphalt sealant is the most cost-effective solution and should be applied every two to three years for preventive maintenance. Many studies show that neglecting asphalt pavement can cost nearly five times to repair than an asphalt surface that has been maintained regularly. Maintaining your pavement starts with filling cracks, patching up deteriorated areas, and cleaning any spots from oil saturation on the pavement surface. It would be best to clean the asphalt of debris and dirt before applying a sealant.
Repaving is the only option for parking lots or driveways that are severely deteriorated with broad, deep cracks, large depressions, and multiple potholes. Asphalt overlay consists of compacted hot mix asphalt layers placed over an entire asphalt surface. Essentially, providing the structure with a new cover. However, like with sealcoating, it is vital to repair any existing pavement damages first. Then an asphalt overlay is provided over the old asphalt surface. Sealcoating should not be done for six months to a year, just like new pavement construction.
While asphalt overlays can deteriorate within 5 to 6 years without maintenance, they can last up to 25 years with regular maintenance services. The benefit of installing pavement overlay is that your paved surfaces have improved flexibility and pliability. In addition, once the overlay is completed, you can start a maintenance program and keep your lot or driveway virtually brand new. However, heavy loads, extreme weather, and construction shortcuts could lead to premature failure or wear.
The drawback of repaving is that it is costly and typically runs thousands of dollars more than sealcoating. In addition, if your original asphalt surface isn't adequately prepared and clean, uneven sections, cracks, and other problems that you did not fix before applying the overlay may reoccur.
Whether you need repaving or sealcoating in Park Falls, WI, The Seal Guys will get the job done right. Call us today.