Asphalt is one of the most common materials used for both commercial parking lots and residential driveways. This aggregate material is strong, durable, beautiful and, best of all, it can last for years without needing to be replaced.
Property owners who want to make the most of their asphalt surfaces should make a point of prioritizing routine maintenance. Not sure if it’s time to call a contractor? Read on to find out about the most common signs it’s time to contact Sealcoating services in Raleigh.
Fading Surface Colour
Newly laid asphalt has a deep, black finish. Over time, the binder that holds the asphalt together begins to degrade, though, and the surface color turns from dark black to a dull grey.
When the pavement’s color starts to fade, that’s a sure sign it’s time to schedule sealcoating. Having the surface seal coated won’t just restore its original black color. It will also protect the driveway or parking lot from damage and extend its usable lifespan.
As asphalt degrades, it often develops small cracks. Over time, those cracks will begin to widen, allowing water to infiltrate into the pavement and its base and causing more substantial problems.
The good news is that small cracks can be filled during normal sealcoating procedures. If property owners notice tiny cracks, they should take action immediately. Allowing them to spread will mean the defects need to be filled before the sealcoat can be applied.
It’s common to see plants try to take root in small cracks in a parking lot or driveway. Tiny spears of grass and weeds can begin to grow through even hairline cracks, putting down roots below the surface that will eventually cause more substantial disruptions. Schedule sealcoating now to remove those hairline cracks and put a stop to potentially disruptive vegetative growth.
Automotive Fluid Stains
A build-up of leaked gas, oil, and other automotive fluids all leave stains on asphalt parking lots and driveways. The problem doesn’t stop there, though, since these harsh chemicals can accelerate asphalt degradation.
Automotive fluids leach right through unprotected asphalt. Sealcoating helps to prevent their intrusion, protecting the pavement from chemical damage. If there are gas, oil, or other automotive stains on the pavement, it’s time to consider calling a contractor who can apply a new sealcoat.
Sealcoating products are designed to offer maximum protection to asphalt surfaces, but they don’t last forever. Experts generally recommend having asphalt driveways and parking lots resealed at least every two to three years. If it’s been more than three years since the last time the surface was professionally maintained, it’s time to schedule an inspection, regardless of whether there are visible cracks, stains, or fading.
The Approach of Cold Weather
Property owners who are on the fence about having their driveways or parking lots seal coated should know that winter can take a serious toll on unprotected asphalt. If rain and snow are penetrating the asphalt’s protective layer and accumulating in the pavement or base, they will freeze when the temperatures drop below zero. What started out as minor cracks and fading in the fall could turn into serious damage by spring, so it’s best to take action now.
The Bottom Line
Sealcoating is the best form of protection against the elements. Specialized sealcoating products must be applied regularly to maintain optimum effectiveness, though. Property owners who still aren’t sure whether it’s time to sealcoat their surfaces should call to schedule inspections and request a professional opinion.