Sealcoating is the process of sealing a thin layer of tar on the surface of asphalt. It helps to prevent water from seeping into the asphalt and causing potholes.
An asphalt overlay is used to rebuild and repair the entire surface of a driveway where the asphalt has begun to crack or break. It will completely smooth out and resurface the driveway. Asphalt sealcoating is applied to the surface of existing asphalt to improve the appearance and extend the life of the driveway. Sealcoating makes asphalt look better and protects it from the elements. It is not a “repair” solution.
The cost of sealcoating an asphalt parking lot or driveway will vary depending on the size of your lot and the condition of your asphalt. Asphalt sealcoat builders and applicators will typically charge a minimum of $3-5 per square foot to sealcoat a residential asphalt driveway. Larger asphalt parking lots or commercial driveways, which require a greater volume of sealcoat material, will cost more.
A professional sealcoating contractor should have equipment like: a roller, a squeegee, a sprayer, a bucket, a broom, a pan, and a squeegee; you also need sealant, a sealant pump, and a stir stick.
Asphalt pavement degrades as the binder chemically breaks down and loses adhesion to the aggregate layers. This leads to a loss of strength of the pavement and an increase in surface roughness.
To find out how many coats of sealer you need for your driveway, you need to know what type of sealer you are using. Depending on the condition of the asphalt, 1-2 coats are all that are needed.
Sealcoating helps protect the surface of your driveway from the sun, water, and other elements. It seals grout and air pockets, and protects your driveway from damage. Sealcoating improves the appearance of asphalt, protects surfaces from damage and extends the life of the asphalt.
Total cost can be affected by the size and length of the roadway to be sealed as well as any existing asphalt or concrete repairs needed prior to sealing.
As far as condition of asphalt, it is too late for help from sealcoating when your asphalt begins to have multiple large cracks and crumbling asphalt. Sealing this type of damaged asphalt will not save it from needing to be replaced. Seasonally speaking, sealing your driveway in the winter can be dangerous because you must be careful that the sealer does not freeze when it is applied to the driveway. Thus, the best time to seal your driveway is typically in the spring, summer or fall.