We do evaluations many parking lots each year. Some parking lots are good and some are bad, but they all have one thing in common; asphalt starts deteriorating the moment is installed. The sun's UV rays break down asphalt binder (the glue that holds the rock in asphalt together), making the surface more brittle as time passes. When asphalt is installed it is a rich black color, but will fade to dark grey, and lighten over time. That is oxidation at work. Water intrusion and chemicals like oil and gas from cars also deteriorate asphalt.
The mistake property owners make is assuming that their pavement doesn't need protected (sealcoated) until it starts to have major cracking or potholes, and that sealcoating will remediate those issues. Sealcoating is meant to protect your pavement, not repair it. The benefits of sealcoating your pavement with a high quality coal tar sealer (such as our sealer manufactured by the Brewer Company) are:
Protection from UV rays
Resistance to harmful chemicals that may penetrate and break down your asphalt (motor oil, gas, diesel)
Ensures that your pavement remains strong and flexible
Helps guard against water intrusion
Increases curb appeal by ensuring that your pavement is uniform in color
To be proactive, we recommend sealing your new pavement around one year after it is installed. By sealcoating while your pavement is is nearly pristine condition, you are basically locking in the qualities that make asphalt a top choice for parking lots, driveways, and roadways, while keeping the elements that damage asphalt out. Once the initial sealcoat is applied, we recommend sealing your asphalt every 3-4 years. Some parking lots may need to be sealcoated more often if they receive above average amounts of traffic or heavy truck traffic.
Another mistake property owners sometimes make is sealing their pavement too often. We are frequently approached about sealing parking lots and driveways that have either recently been sealcoated (within 1-2 years), or don't have enough traffic to wear off the previous sealcoat. Driveways often don't have enough traffic to wear off sealer, so the 3-4 years recommended above may be extended as needed. When coal tar sealer is layered over and over it can get brittle and crack or flake.
If you have questions about how to protect your parking lot in Indianapolis, give us a call at 317-784-1410.