Asphalt, while a strong and reliable material, is prone to degradation over time — just like with all building materials. Water, wind, UV radiation from the sun, and of course, vehicles and foot traffic, all wear down the strength of asphalt over time.
If you’ve looked into asphalt repair, you’ve likely seen two very similar-sounding treatment options — ‘cracking sealing’ and ‘seal coating’. If you’re confused, we don’t blame you. We’ll walk you through each of these two treatments, and help you understand which is the right one for you.
What Are Seal Coating and Crack Sealing?
Seal coating, also known as ‘paint sealing’ to some, is a way of preserving and protecting an asphalt surface for the long-term, especially in areas of low traffic or when you want an extra “premium” feel to your pavement. This method involves applying hot sealant liquid over existing asphalt pavement, often with an applicator gun that resembles a paint sprayer.
The sealant cools and solidifies as it flows through small cracks and holes in the asphalt, leaving a smooth, dark, and clean-looking asphalt surface behind. A seal coated surface can expect to maintain its premium appearance for years after it’s treated.
Crack sealing, on the other hand, is what most people think of when they think ‘asphalt repair’. Hot, thick sealant is poured directly into and around cracks to prevent them from getting bigger, and to make for a smoother walking or driving experience. Especially in climates like Denver’s, where freezes and thaws are a yearly occurrence, cracks are often unavoidable. As such, crack sealing is always the first step in asphalt maintenance.
Seal coating is primarily a preventative measure, meaning it’s applied when you first lay down a new asphalt surface. Its goal is to make your surface look nice and to prevent damage from occurring, and is therefore not the best solution for surfaces that are already damaged. For newer surfaces, or surfaces that have recently been renovated, seal coating may be the key to a high-quality, longer-lasting surface.
Crack sealing is the go-to solution for quick, no-frills asphalt repairs. For aging surfaces that have a low to moderate amount of cracks, crack sealing may be the best solution. For newer surfaces, or surfaces that are highly damaged, we may recommend other repair solutions.
Which is Right For Me?
In a nutshell:
Seal coating is for those, mainly businesses and properties, who want to give their new asphalt a high-class look and prevent damage for years into the future.
Crack sealing is for those who have cracks in their existing asphalt, who want to repair their surfaces as opposed to replacing them.
No matter which of the two is right for you, we at Coatings, Inc. are here to help. Get in touch with one of our asphalt experts today.