To Sealcoat or Not to Sealcoat Your Parking Lot? That is the Question.
By Justin Hoover, PCM Pavement Marking Division Manager | May 1, 2015
There are many benefits to sealcoating, as well as things to consider when deciding whether or not to sealcoat your parking lot.
What is Sealcoating?
As the name suggests, sealcoating provides a protective seal and coat that acts as a weatherproof barrier against oxidation and deterioration. Instead of your actual pavement deteriorating, the sealcoat is put in place and wears away, leaving the pavement unharmed. It may significantly prolong the life of your parking lot if performed within 1-2 years of installation and then on a regularly scheduled basis.
Why Sealcoat Your Parking Lot?
Despite the great longevity of properly laid asphalt pavement (10-30 years), its lifespan can be cut short due to long term exposure to water, sunlight, and/or chemicals. Sealcoat shields the asphalt from these harmful elements and helps keep it safe.
Numerous studies have shown that properly maintaining your asphalt surfaces, with regular sealcoating every 2-3 years, can more than double the life of your pavement. A small investment now can save thousands, even millions, of dollars later.
Not only does sealcoating save you money, it drastically improves the aesthetics of your parking lot. Over time, asphalt loses its black color and takes on a gray, faded look. Sealcoating helps give your parking lot a deep, rich, black color. This will significantly add to the “curb appeal.”
When potential tenants or customers are looking at your property, the parking lot is the first thing they see. Take a look at your own parking lot. Is it maintained? Does it add or detract from the appearance of your property? Is it safe?
People will directly relate the condition of your parking lot to the condition of your facility. A well maintained, safe property leads to higher occupancy rates, less turnover, and overall greater satisfaction.
Why Not Sealcoat Your Parking Lot?
While there are many benefits to sealcoating, you have to decide if it’s the best decision for you. Depending on your situation, it may not be. For example, if your parking lot is made up of old, untreated asphalt, sealing it will not do much to preserve the already damaged asphalt. Asphalt sealcoat treatments are preventative surface treatments, but will not repair asphalt failure. If older asphalt is seal coated, then crackfill should also be applied where needed. This is will help slow the deterioration process.
Do you have a dirt or gravel parking lot? Unless you are planning on installing asphalt first, sealcoating simply will not work.