Extending the Life of Your Charleston Pavement with Asphalt Sealcoating
Paved surfaces in Charleston are exposed to the elements day in and day out. Over time, this exposure takes its toll on the integrity of your pavement if you don’t provide ongoing protection. Asphalt sealcoating in Charleston is the solution, playing a critical role in preserving and extending the lifespan of asphalt surfaces. Here’s why you need asphalt sealcoating to extend the life of your pavement and save you from costly repairs and replacements.
Charleston Weather’s Impact on Asphalt
Charleston heat is the main culprit when it comes to paved surfaces. In fact, the City of Charleston sticks to a strict rotating schedule, treating its newly paved streets with sealants in the first three years, then again in five years, and back to three, etc., to help extend pavement life.
Roadways on the east side tend to suffer from higher temperatures on paved surfaces, making it even more vital if you are in this area of the city. Meanwhile, newly developed marshland areas can increase the risk of flooding and settling foundations below paved surfaces—both present nightmare scenarios for property owners.
There are also threats related to exactly where your property is situated. For example, direct sunlight contributes to oxidation if your property lacks shade. With intensely high temperatures, the heat pulls the oils out of the asphalt, making it brittle and vulnerable to cracking.
Luckily, a regular schedule of asphalt sealcoating prevents oxidation, cracks, heaving, and water damage common in Charleston parking lots.
Understanding the Lifecycle of Asphalt
Paved asphalt surfaces have a longer life expectancy if you follow these maintenance steps:
- First five years: During the first five years following paving, your parking lot requires less maintenance and will maintain its appearance without needing any significant investments. However, a fresh sealcoat in the first two years will help prevent damage, especially if your parking lot has direct sunlight, is in the east, or is exposed to flooding.
- After five years: After four to five years, you will see visible cracks that require repairs along with your next seal coat application. You’ll also want to repaint all your parking lines and markings to help maintain safe parking distances and manage traffic flow. Depending on the traffic volume and sun exposure, you’ll want to redo your parking lines every few years.
- 10 to 15 years: In 10 to 15 years, you’re looking at more serious repairs and patching to restore your pavement’s surface. This includes severe cracks and potholes, sealcoating, and parking lot lines. Repairs at this stage become more costly, requiring heavy machinery to grind up old asphalt so it can be recycled in the repair process. However, with ongoing maintenance, you can often prolong your parking lot’s life beyond 20 years.
How Does Pavement Sealcoating Prolong Life?
Asphalt sealcoating protects and prolongs pavement’s life expectancy by filling fine surface cracks and providing a protective layer against UV rays, vehicle chemicals, and water. It also protects against the following Charleston threats:
- Water seepage: Water is enemy number one of asphalt. Sealcoating protects against water seepage that penetrates even the most minor pit marks and cracks. As a result, you reduce the expansion and contraction that occurs with subtle changes to the temperature. The more water seepage, the more pronounced cracks and tiny holes become, allowing for more water penetration. Your pavement creates larger cracks and, eventually, potholes. However, sealcoating’s protective layer prevents water from traveling through the cracks, reducing further damage that increases the cracks’ size, and prolonging your pavement’s life.
- Chemicals and oil spills: Parked vehicles can leak damaging chemicals like motor oil. The chemicals erode the outer layer of asphalt, creating vulnerabilities to water and leaving behind stains that make your parking lot look uneven. Sealcoating repels chemicals and prevents staining for longer life and improved curb appeal.
- Oxidation: The sun’s ultraviolet rays speed up aging. Much like constant tanning can lead to wrinkles and fine lines on our skin, oxidation has a weakening and drying effect that ages paved surfaces before their time. As a result, the pavement dulls to gray, and the stripes on your parking lot fade. Sealcoating protects your entire paved surface for defined lines, a rich black appearance, and reduced oxidation.
Expert Sealcoating Services for Your Charleston Property
As you can see, with proper pavement sealcoating and maintenance, you can help fight the damaging effects of Charleston weather and conditions.