The Differences Between Asphalt Paving and Sealcoating

February 27, 2024

The Differences Between Asphalt Paving and Sealcoating

When it comes to caring for your driveway or parking lot, understanding the difference between asphalt paving and sealcoating can significantly affect the longevity and appearance of the surface. Homeowners, property managers, and facility maintenance crews should familiarize themselves with these essential processes to ensure the proper upkeep of their asphalt surfaces.

Let’s dive into the differences between these techniques to know which is best for you.

Defining Asphalt Paving

Asphalt paving is a foundational process that involves creating a new driveway or lot. It usually consists of several layers: a base layer, a sub-base layer, and the asphalt surface itself.

During the paving process, workers lay hot asphalt over a prepared gravel base and then compact it to create a sturdy layer suitable for vehicular and foot traffic. This process lays the groundwork for any new pavement and is critical for ensuring a firm, stable base and smooth top layer.

Sealcoating: A Shield Against the Elements

Sealcoating, on the other hand, plays a protective role. Applied over existing asphalt, it provides a barrier against water penetration, UV rays, and chemical damage—common factors that cause your asphalt to degrade and crumble.

Sealcoating restores the dark black luster of the original asphalt, giving it a fresh, new appearance. However, it’s more than just cosmetic; its main benefit is its sealing property, which extends the life of your asphalt surfaces.

Paving vs. Sealcoating: Understanding the Frequency

A clear difference is the frequency of these processes. Asphalt paving is a one-time event in the lifecycle of a surface, provided the professionals do it correctly. Occasionally, a surface may need repaving if it exhibits substantial wear or damage. But generally, paving isn’t a routine task.

Contrast that with sealcoating, which is a periodic maintenance step. Depending on traffic levels and environmental conditions, you should reapply sealcoating every few years to maintain its beneficial properties. Regular application of sealcoating can prevent the premature need for complete repaving, saving high costs in the long run.

Choosing the Right Process for Your Asphalt Surface

Understanding the differences between asphalt paving and sealcoating can help you select the best technique for your surface. If you’re dealing with a new construction or an extensively damaged area, you need asphalt paving to establish a durable surface. For existing pavements that require preservation and minor crack repair, sealcoating is the appropriate choice. It's also a cost-effective maintenance measure that can prolong your pavement’s life.

Both asphalt paving and sealcoating are vital to maintaining the integrity, aesthetics, and safety of asphalt surfaces. While paving provides the initial structural foundation, sealcoating is the essential maintenance step that ensures your driveway or lot endures through the years.

Whether you're laying new ground or upkeeping an old one, investing in quality asphalt sealcoating equipment is crucial in achieving professional, long-lasting results. For top-grade supplies, explore NAC Supply's selection. Take the first step toward protecting your asphalt investment today.

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