Asphalt sealing and chip sealing are two commonly used sealing methods to enhance the “road worthiness” of a surface, such as a road or parking lot. Pavement is a durable product that can become damaged with use and from exposure to environmental factors. Having a seal applied to the surface of the pavement adds a layer of protection.
What Is Asphalt Sealing?
Asphalt sealing is the process of applying a protective coating to your asphalt surface in order to combat the elements that can cause it to deteriorate. The sealant, made with a mixture of silica sand, water, polymer additives, and fillers, helps to prevent water from seeping into the pores of the asphalt, which can result in cracks and potholes.
Below are some of the main features of asphalt sealing:
Paving a commercial parking lot is a beneficial investment in the business. Sealcoating helps to protect the asphalt and therefore extends the lifespan of the material. It protects against rainfall, oils, fluids, damaging UV rays, and damage from motor vehicle accidents.
Protection Against the Elements
Asphalt pavement is designed to withstand the environmental elements it is exposed to. Adding a sealcoat over the pavement is an extra layer of protection for the asphalt. It helps to reduce the risk of water seeping into the crevices and expanding, leading to cracks and potholes.
First impressions are key for all businesses. Having sealcoating applied across a parking lot is a major aesthetic appeal to employees, clientele, and new customers. After several years when the dark colour begins to fade due to wear, a new coat can be reapplied.
Smooth Surface Texture
In addition to the smooth appearance, sealcoat provides a flat texture that offers a seamless driving and walking surface. The dark colouring of the sealcoat is a welcoming contrast to traffic and parking line markings to enhance safety and security.
Reduced Water Infiltration
Asphalt sealcoat is designed to accelerate the melting of snow and ice while forming a barrier from moisture penetration on the pavement. This coating protects the underlying pavement and ground base from water damage.
What Is Chip Sealing?
Chip sealing typically involves spreading a layer of small stone chips over a layer of asphalt, which is then compacted with heavy equipment. When done correctly, chip sealing can protect road surfaces from the damaging effects of weather and traffic for several years.
Below are some of the key features of chip sealing:
The costs associated with chip sealing (e.g., the materials and application process) are lower than other forms of asphalt sealing. That said, if not properly installed, the initial low costs may be countered if repairs and maintenance are needed.
Improved Skid Resistance
One of the few advantages of using a chip seal is that it provides a skid-resistant surface because of its texture. The rough texture offers traction for road surfaces while preventing smooth patches of ice from developing in the wintertime.
Rough Surface Texture
At the same time, the rough texture can be a disadvantage. Since the chip sealing process uses a mixture of small aggregates, the surface of the road will have rough bumps that can be noisy for drivers and cause damage to vehicles if loose rocks are airborne.
Chip sealing can only be applied under certain circumstances, such as on roads and parking lots with low traffic usage. This form of sealant loosens after constant use and may need to be reapplied within a short timeframe.
The Asphalt Sealing & Chip Sealing Process
The actual process of applying chip sealing and asphalt sealcoating is the main difference between the two, aside from the composition.
Chip sealing involves spraying hot asphalt liquid onto the surface before having small chips of aggregates applied. A roller disperses the chips with any excess being swept away. Asphalt sealcoating has similar aggregates mixed with the liquid at a plant before being applied to the road surface. It is spread and compacted to a smooth finish.
How to Choose the Best Option
To the layman, both asphalt sealing and chip sealing may appear to be viable options. Working with a professional asphalt contractor can help you narrow down the most cost-effective choice that will extend the lifespan and appeal of your property.
On paper, chip sealing is a cost-effective measure to cover asphalt pavement due to the components involved. But chip sealing is only a short-term fix. With regular usage, frequent repairs and maintenance will be required, which increases the overall costs. While asphalt sealing may cost a bit more upfront, it only needs to be reapplied every three years, even with heavy traffic use.
That said, chip sealing can be practical for smaller access roads and parking lots that do not have the same heavy traffic flow seen in commercial and industrial parking lots. But it isn’t as durable as asphalt sealing. Asphalt sealing is designed to withstand environmental factors and a steady flow of traffic for decades.
In addition, a professional contractor can effectively install an asphalt sealcoat surface in less time than it takes to install chip sealing. Chip seal must be installed by following several vital steps and must be left to cure for at least two days. Because of this, chip sealing may cause some temporary inconveniences for drivers and business owners, such as more downtime, reduced speeds, and lane closures.
Overall, based on durability, composite, and costs, asphalt sealcoating can offer superior options than chip seal.
Contact Sure-Seal Pavement for All Your Asphalt Sealing Needs
Have confidence when you work with one of the GTA’s top paving contractors: Sure-Seal Pavement Maintenance Inc. Our top-quality sealcoating materials can extend the lifespan of your property while saving you money.
Our unique sealcoat material supports the durability and appearance of the pavement while protecting it from liquid infiltration, harmful UV rays, and oxidation. Invest in your business with our professional services by calling (416) 410-3705 for a free onsite consultation.
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