The average asphalt road, parking lot or driveway is designed to last for anywhere between 10 and 30 years. However, with the regular application of a seal coating, an asphalt surface can last for decades beyond this. Without sealant, an asphalt surface is likely to crack or deform. To curb the total cost linked with an asphalt coated surface, consumers can apply layers of sealant themselves.
Asphalt is a very elastic material. Under pressure, it is likely to warp or otherwise deform instead of crack. In time however, asphalt loses its elasticity, which is why it needs sealing. Asphalt is made up of approximately 80 percent carbon and a 20 percent combination of sand, gravel and other materials. Asphalt is dark and attracts the sun’s rays, which is why snow melts faster on asphalt surfaces compared to other surfaces like brick or concrete. A majority of the paved parking lots, roads and driveways in America are asphalt surfaces.
Importance of Sealant
No paved surface, including an asphalt surface, is impervious to the detrimental effects of weathering. Asphalt can rapidly deteriorate from direct exposure to the weather without a proper sealant. Regularly sealing an asphalt surface is a critical step in ensuring its long-term life. Sealants promote elasticity in asphalt and help prevent water from being absorbed. Ice build-up within asphalt can result in cracking or crumbling.
The average five-gallon bucket of asphalt sealant can cost about $5 but high-quality sealants are over $20 per bucket. A five-gallon bucket of sealant is designed to cover approximately 400 square feet. Having trained professionals come out and apply a coating of sealant to an asphalt surface can cost upwards of $5 per square foot including materials and labor. An asphalt surface should be resealed every 1 and 3 years depending on the severity of the average weather conditions.
There are several factors that can affect the overall cost of applying a sealant to an asphalt surface. The overall cost of a sealant project can be dramatically different depending on your region. For example, in the eastern United States, it can cost anywhere between $100 and $160 to have a professional apply a sealant to 1,000 square feet of asphalt while the task may only cost between $85 and $100 in the upper-midwest region of the United States. The supply and demand for this service changes depending upon your region's average weather conditions.