Sealcoating is a type of preventive maintenance that experts recommend you perform on your driveway or parking lot every so often. You can either have a professional do it or buy the equipment and do it yourself. It's a rather messy job and requires you to keep vehicles off the surface for a while after coating, but it's a necessary step to keep your pavement weather-safe and prevent rapid deterioration. Here are some of the basics of how this works.
Protection from UV rays
Although concrete doesn't look like the sort of material that would start falling apart from a little sun, it's actually quite susceptible to damage from UV rays. This tendency is enhanced by the fact that it's made of a very dark material that tends to absorb all light (both visible light and invisible light such as UV rays), rather than reflecting it away. Fortunately, sealcoating can help keep the UV rays from deteriorating the surface, which it does by a process called oxidation during which it steals elements from the concrete.
Protection from water damage
The material used for sealcoating is a sticky material that fills in little gaps in the surface of your pavement, which not only leaves a smoother surface but also helps prevent cracks from forming during the winter through a process known as the freeze-thaw cycle. In the freeze-thaw cycle, little bits of water get into any small gaps or indentations in the surface of your pavement and then freeze there. Because water expands when it freezes, this can force the gap open wider, and the next time a bit of water gets inside and freezes there, the same thing happens again. This process can repeat until there's a crack all the way through your pavement, which is bad because then water can get in and damage the foundational layers of the driveway. Fortunately, regular sealcoating can help inhibit the freeze-thaw cycle.
Protection from chemicals
No, you probably don't use bleach on your parking lot, but chemicals such as gasoline and salt, when spilled, can also degrade the condition of your driveway. Sealcoating helps prevent this and keeps the chemicals from seeping through the layers and doing a lot more damage inside the pavement itself.
These are just a few of the ways in which sealcoating can benefit your pavement. Besides the protection aspect, it can also improve your home's or company's curb appeal and much more.
Hi, I'm Caroline. Welding has always been really fascinating to me. One day, when I was at work in my office, we had a leaky pipe in the ceiling. After calling a plumber, he called a welder who came to repair the large, open pipe. As we were all sitting there trying to work, the welder just came in and started repairing the pipe! I had never worked on a construction site before, and I probably never will. But I started thinking about what it would actually be like to work on a construction site, which led to me exploring construction themes and writing this blog!