Is your driveway or parking lot starting to show wear and tear? Are you looking for ways to protect it, before it starts to look worn out? Although your friends and acquaintances may have their own ideas on the process, it's good to do your own research. Here are some things you might have heard, along with the truth behind them:
Painting is as good as seal coating: Seal coating is a protective liquid made of coal, petroleum and acrylic and is specifically designed to adhere to asphalt. Once dried, it binds to the asphalt creating a uniform surface so that your asphalt surface is as impervious as a new one. In contrast, paint doesn't bond like seal coating. Paint can peel and weather away relatively quickly, allowing the asphalt to be exposed to the damaging effects of rain and snow. Paint can also be eroded away each time a vehicle drives over it. It will start to develop wear spots where tires make daily contact with the paint.
Seal coating doesn't serve any "real" purpose: In addition to making your asphalt look brand new, seal coating protects it in several ways. Seal coating prevents deterioration of the asphalt bed in case of vehicle gas or oil leaks, by preventing the contaminants from soaking into the asphalt bed. It also helps prevent cracks from occurring due to freeze-and-thaw cycles during winter by providing a barricade that won't allow the moisture to reach the asphalt. It can also add stability to the weakest part of an asphalt installation: its edges. It helps to prevent the edges from breaking off due to lack of support and can strengthen them so they don't break as easily. Seal coating also prevents seeds from sprouting in small fissures that you may not otherwise have noticed.
Seal coating can be a DIY project: Although you may be tempted to use materials found at your local home improvement store, they are not as durable as commercial-grade products that are available to seal coating professionals. Professionals may use a formula that is tailored to your specific city, instead of a regional or national formula. By customizing the formula for things like additional moisture resistance, their work may last much longer than formulas found in a big box hardware store. A do-it-yourselfer would also have to buy the right tools and equipment, adding additional expenses to the project. A seal coating professional already has the tools on hand, meaning that you don't have to figure them into the cost of the project.