Asphalt Seal Coating FAQs

You may have heard or read about seal coating and how important it is to protect your asphalt surface. And it’s true! One of the most important steps you can take to increase the lifespan of any asphalt surface is to have it seal coated. That’s why we’ve collected the following frequently asked questions about seal coating – to help you understand what seal coat is, how it protects pavement, and how often you should have it applied.

  • Why do I need seal coat? Seal coating asphalt protects it against damage due to rainwater and/or irrigation, UV rays from sunshine that can weaken the surface, and chemical spills from vehicles which can damage the asphalt.
  • How often do I need seal coat? The frequency will depend on a number of different factors, including how old your asphalt surface is, how much heavy traffic it has to endure, and your local climate. Typically, you can assume that you’ll need to have seal coat applied every 3 to 6 years, but it depends. The best way to determine this is to ask your paving contractor for their recommendation.
  • What is in seal coat? Most seal coat products are made from asphalt bitumen that has been heated and turned into a viscous substance. However, there are some seal coats that are made from synthetic tar.
  • How can I tell if my asphalt needs to be seal coated? The best way to determine if you need seal coat is to have your pavement assessed by a paving contractor. But if you’re doing your own assessment, you can assume that you probably need seal coat (and possibly repair) if your asphalt has turned gray; if you notice loose gravel on the surface; and/or if your pavement has cracks in it.
  • How long do I need to wait to use the pavement after it’s been seal coated? The amount of time that it takes for seal coat to cure depends to a large extent on the weather. If the seal coat is applied on a hot and sunny day, it will take less time to cure – typically 24 hours or so. But if the seal coat is applied on a cooler, cloudy day it can take twice as long to cure. Also keep in mind that humidity will slow down the curing process. Generally speaking, you’ll probably have to wait between 24 and 48 hours before using the surface after it’s been seal coated.

For more information about seal coating, and to determine when your asphalt will need to be treated, contact your paving contractor and schedule an on-site visit.