The Ultimate Guide to Sealcoating in 2024

seal coating


Sealcoating is a protective layer applied to asphalt pavement. It blocks out elements such as water, oils, and U.V. damage. This crucial process extends the life of asphalt, prevents oxidation and weather damage, and beautifies the pavement.

Key benefits of sealcoating include:

  • U.V. Damage Protection: Shields the asphalt from harmful sun rays.
  • Weather Resistance: Prevents damage from rain, snow, and ice.
  • Increased Lifespan: Significantly extends the life of asphalt surfaces.
  • Enhanced Appearance: Gives pavements a fresh, new look.

This guide will cover the following:

  • Comprehensive explanation of sealcoating and its purpose
  • Different types of sealcoating products
  • Application methods and best practices
  • Cost considerations and benefits of professional services

Understanding these aspects ensures optimal results in maintaining asphalt pavement.

Understanding Sealcoating: Definition and Purpose

Sealcoating is a protective layer that is applied to asphalt pavement. Its main purpose is to shield the surface from damage caused by water, oils, and U.V. rays. This process involves applying a coating over the asphalt to create a barrier.

Role of Sealcoating

  • Protection Against Damage:
  • Blocks U.V. rays which can cause oxidation.
  • Prevents water infiltration that leads to cracks and potholes.
  • Enhancing Appearance:
  • Provides a smooth, black finish.
  • Improves curb appeal by making the pavement look new.
  • Extending Lifespan:
  • Regular application can double the life of asphalt.
  • Reduces the need for frequent repairs.

Key Benefits

  • Weather Resistance:
  • Withstands extreme temperatures.
  • Protects against ice, rain, and snow.
  • Economic Savings:
  • Less costly than replacing the entire pavement.
  • Minimizes long-term maintenance expenses.

By understanding sealcoating’s purpose, you can appreciate its essential role in maintaining asphalt surfaces. The next section will delve into the different types of sealcoating products available and their specific uses.

Types of Sealcoating Products

Different sealcoating products offer unique advantages depending on their composition. Two primary types are bituminous-based and acrylic.

Bituminous-Based Products

Bituminous seal coatings are derived from coal tar or asphalt emulsions. They provide a robust barrier against water, chemicals, and U.V. damage. These sealers are known for:

  • Durability: Excellent resistance to weathering and wear.
  • Affordability: Generally more cost-effective than acrylic options.

Acrylic Sealcoating Products

Acrylic-based sealers use polymers instead of bitumen. They are often chosen for their eco-friendly properties:

  • Environmental Benefits: Low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • Appearance: Offer a rich, black finish that enhances the pavement’s look.

Performance Enhancements

Adding materials like silica sand and polymer additives can further improve the performance of both types:

  • Silica Sand: Increases the texture of the surface, providing better traction.
  • Polymer Additives: Enhance flexibility, longevity, and adhesion to the asphalt.

Choosing the right sealcoating product depends on specific needs such as budget, environmental concerns, and desired durability.

The Sealcoating Process: Application Methods and Best Practices

Brush Application
  • Advantages: Provides detailed coverage, ideal for smaller areas and edges.
  • Disadvantages: Time-consuming, labor-intensive, may result in uneven application.
Spray Application
  • Advantages: Fast and efficient for large areas, delivers an even coat.
  • Disadvantages: Requires specialized equipment, risk of overspray, less control over detailed areas.
Squeegee Application
  • Advantages: Ensures thorough penetration into the asphalt surface, good for textured pavements.
  • Disadvantages: Slower than spraying, requires physical effort, potential for streaks if not applied correctly.

Step-by-Step Guide to the Sealcoating Process

  • PreparationClean the surface thoroughly to remove dirt, debris, and oil spots.
  • Repair any cracks or potholes using appropriate asphalt repair materials.
  • ApplicationChoose the method (brush, spray, squeegee) based on area size and specific needs.
  • Apply the first coat of sealant evenly across the surface.
  • Allow sufficient drying time as per product instructions before applying a second coat.
  • Drying and CuringEnsure that the temperature is at least 50°F for 24 hours without rain for proper curing.
  • Avoid vehicle traffic on the sealed surface for at least 24 hours to allow full curing.

Important Considerations

  • Always follow manufacturer’s guidelines for mixing and applying sealant.
  • Ensure environmental conditions are suitable to avoid issues with curing.
  • Regular maintenance sealcoating every 2-3 years helps prolong pavement life.

Cost Considerations and Benefits of Professional Sealcoating Services

Factors Influencing the Cost of DIY Sealcoating vs. Hiring Professionals

Several factors affect the sealcoating cost:

  • Material Quality: Professional-grade sealants often outperform DIY products in durability and appearance.
  • Equipment: High-quality spraying or squeegeeing equipment used by professionals ensures even and thick application.
  • Labor: Hiring professionals means paying for labor, which can be more costly than doing it yourself but saves time and effort.

Additional Benefits of Opting for Professional Sealcoating Services

Professional sealcoating services offer several advantages:

  • Expertise: Professionals have the know-how to assess pavement conditions and apply the right type of sealant.
  • Efficiency: Faster application and proper curing times ensure minimal disruption.
  • Longevity: Expert application techniques can extend the life of the sealcoat, saving money in the long run.

Choosing professional services for your sealcoating needs ensures a high-quality finish that protects and beautifies your asphalt surface.


Sealcoating is essential for maintaining and protecting asphalt pavement. It acts as a shield against elements like water, oils, and U.V. damage, significantly extending the lifespan of your pavement.

Key Reasons to Prioritize Sealcoating:

  • Protection from U.V. Damage: Sealcoating prevents oxidation caused by sun exposure.
  • Weather Resistance: It guards against rain, snow, and ice, reducing the risk of cracks.
  • Enhanced Appearance: A freshly sealcoated surface looks new and well-maintained.
  • Cost Savings: Regular sealcoating can double the life of your asphalt, saving money on costly repairs or replacement.

With these benefits in mind, it’s clear that sealcoating is not just an option but a necessity for anyone looking to maintain their asphalt surfaces effectively. Regular maintenance through sealcoating ensures long-term protection and keeps your pavement in top condition.