The age of your asphalt is the biggest factor determining how long sealcoat will last on your asphalt driveway or parking lot.
When Should You You Apply Asphalt Sealer?
The most cost effective timing for application of sealcoat is one where sealer is applied between one and two years after a parking lot is initially paved, or repaved with new asphalt. This is very important because the closer you apply your initial sealcoat to the date the parking lot was paved or repaved, the more asphalt binder and asphalt cement is present on the asphalt surface. The more asphalt cement there is on the pavement surface or near the surface, the more asphalt there is for the pavement sealer to strongly adhere.
Shouldn’t I Wait Longer To Seal My Asphalt?
Ten years is a long time In asphalt years. Unfortunately, the vast majority of property managers and owners wait until their driveways and parking lots are eight, ten, or even twelve years old (or older) before they think about an asphalt pavement maintenance program, which includes crack filling, sealcoating, and restriping. This is when their parking lots and driveways look bleached out, or very light gray from the sun and elements. At this point, the asphalt cement that holds the rock and aggregate in the asphalt together has been completely oxidized to the point that only the aggregate remains on the asphalt, often smoothly polished from years of traffic and weathering.
Under these conditions, sealcoating asphalt that is bleached and dried out leaves very little to no asphalt cement near the surface for the pavement sealer to bond. The pavement sealcoat is applied and initially looks great to the property manager and owner. However, after a few seasons pass it is not surprising that the sealcoat has already worn off the tops of the asphalt aggregate disappointing the property owner who invested the money to improve the appearance of their asphalt for better curb appeal as well as extending the life of the asphalt pavement itself.
The Best Sealcoating and Maintenance Schedule To Follow
When a property manager or owner sealcoats their driveway or parking lot within one to two years after it has been repaved with new asphalt, it should be sealcoated four years later, and then every five years thereafter. This sealcoating maintenance schedule will give the property owner an attractive black parking lot at all times in comparison to the drab and faded parking lots where the white parking lines are barely visible.
If you have an aged lot, it may not be too late to make it look good and push back the expense when it will eventually have to be overlayed with new asphalt pavement. Apply two coats of pavement sealer over the entire surface, and three coats on the drive lanes, intersections, and busy entrances to the parking lot. The next year, it will likely be obvious by the premature wear on the drive lanes. At that point, you can apply a new coat of sealer over the drive lanes again to bring back the deep color. The re-application will last since there will be enough pavement sealer remaining on the asphalt surface for it bond.
For best long-term results, apply asphalt sealcoat within the first one to three years of the paving installation and repeat every three to five years to give the property owner the best looking and longest lasting parking lot for the least amount of money over the life of their asphalt pavement. Finally, the amount of traffic on the driveway and parking lot will determine the sealcoating cycle:
- every three years for a busy shopping center
- every five years for church parking lot or less traveled area