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Summer’s still here and the season’s still in session. Our crews are out, and this time before winter is critical for asphalt paving and sealcoating.

What is sealcoating? How is it different than asphalt paving? For those who might be new to Maul, and as a refresher for anyone who reads blogs here on The Parking Lot, let’s lay it down.

There’s nothing like that perfect aesthetic of a freshly done blacktop. A first impression like that lasts forever, but sadly asphalt pavement doesn’t. The harsh elements (especially in Chicago winters) and wear and tear of vehicles take a toll on your lot. Asphalt paving is the process of repairing and replacing potholes, resurfacing a driving surface or creating a new parking lot from scratch. It’s when a contractor applies hot asphalt – a heated aggregate combination of sand, stone and gravel bound with a crude oil binding agent and mixed at 325 degrees – to a road surface.

There are different types of asphalt, but they operate in the same vein. Hot mix asphalt typically cures within 24 hours. Whether it’s a simple repair, asphalt overlay, or redoing a shot lot, asphalt paving is critical for repairing damage. Hire a paving contractor to perform asphalt services on your asphalt surfaces, because problems could be worse than they appear, or escalate.

When it comes to preventing damage however, that’s where asphalt sealcoating comes in. After asphalt is repaired with paving, it is vital to have your asphalt sealed.

As asphalt pavement is exposed to the elements and endures rain, snow, chemical spills, and UV rays, the binding agent begins to become brittle. Cracks begin to form, water slips in, freezes, thaws, freezes again, and leaves wider and wider cracks and compromising potholes in its wake, degrading the integrity of your parking lot. Sealcoating can extend the life of your lot. Driveway sealer can preserve your asphalt driveway.

While we can crack-seal to heal minor cracks, sealcoating can’t reverse damage: any imperfections below the surface will stay put until asphalt paving services can be scheduled. The purpose of sealcoating is preventive maintenance, to stop those defects dead in their tracks in the first place. It is a proactive strategy rather than a reactive one, a protection that protects your investment.

Sealcoat is a bituminous based or acrylic liquid formulation that replenishes oils and forms a protective surfactant layer over your parking lot.

Directly applied by squeegee or spray by expert crews, the mixture of silica sand, polymers, proprietary blends, and water literally seals your parking lot to preserve its longevity. It even results in the deep black finish that impresses patrons, and a slip-free surface to safely walk and drive on. Curb appeal AND cost-effective asphalt sealer? Why not seal the deal for your driveway or parking lot?

Asphalt paving and sealcoating may be different services, but they are truly complementary and codependent: the best plan of attack for your business is to do both, with emphasis on a sealcoating strategy for preventive maintenance purposes.

Sealcoating is absolutely crucial: it significantly slows the natural asphalt degradation process and automatically increases the lifespan of your lot. You may have made the investment to either create a new parking lot or repair it, but if you don’t sealcoat and commit to a maintenance plan, you’ll have to spend that all over again. We know Game of Thrones isn’t popular after that last season, but bet on this: in Chicago, winter is always coming. Sealcoating is a smart, safe and secure insurance policy, and a fraction of the cost of a new parking lot.

You can save untold amounts of money and effort from asphalt repairs by creating a sealcoating plan for every 1-2 years with a trusted contractor. We once performed pavement maintenance on 3 million square feet of parking lot, in 48 hours. We’d love to earn that same trust with you.



When you join a tradition that’s changed the industry’s landscape for more than 30 years, your position demands hard-earned respect.



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