Most asphalt is created using a complex combination of hydrocarbon/tar based binders with aggregates such as crushed stone of various sizes. When it is mixed at the asphalt plant, the "recipe" is combined in a large hopper and heated to more than 300 degrees. This extremely hot mix is trucked directly to your jobsite and must be graded immediately before it begins to cool and becomes too difficult to work with. Once it is smoothed and compacted, it is generally allowed to cool and "cure" for several days before it is ready for use. Of course in our eyes a well-graded, smooth, fully compacted asphalt driveway or parking lot is a beautiful thing!
There is a very important second step that is needed to keep that asphalt surface protected and looking good!
Before Sealcoating After Sealcoating
As soon as a new asphalt surface is installed it very slowly begins to lose the essential oils and hydrocarbon binders that hold the aggregate together. Although this process is slow, over a period of years it can lead to brittle asphalt, a graying surface, cracking and other asphalt problems. Adding to this loss of oils and flexibility is the cumulative degrading effect of sunlight and UV radiation, gas/oil drips, snow plowing, heavy vehicles and weathering. In order to help your asphalt retain the oils and binders that hold it together (and to resist new damage...) it is very important to seal the asphalt with a high-quality, commercial sealcoating product.
A quality sealer will provide this "skin" of protection and can be applied 30-60 days after new asphalt is installed or anytime thereafter. This simple periodic maintenance can double the life of your pavement, reduce the likelihood of larger repair issues and provide a jet-black finish for your asphalt that will beautify your home or business. This is a perfect example of a common sense, low-cost procedure that can save you a significant amount of money in the long run. Don't wait. Sealcoat your asphalt today!
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