Differences Between Asphalt Paving and Sealcoating

Rose Paving / May 06, 2019

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Sealcoating How Are Asphalt Paving and Sealcoating Different?

When the time comes to consider asphalt repair for your parking lot or driveway, you want to be absolutely sure you’re choosing the right option. Asphalt paving and sealcoating can appear similar on the surface—no pun intended—but these two maintenance and repair procedures are very different.

What is Asphalt Paving?

Asphalt paving is when existing asphalt surfaces are either replaced or have a new layer of asphalt added on top of them. It’s most often used when asphalt is showing signs of deterioration or wear, such as large cracks and potholes, but when the wear is not bad enough to warrant a complete replacement.

Rose Paving offers a number of options for surface asphalt repair, depending on the issues your parking lot is facing:

  • Infrared repair – a process in which new and existing asphalt is blended together and compacted into the damaged area for seamless reparation of potholes and rough areas. This method is particularly effective due to the quality of the repair, reduced construction time, and economical advantages.
  • Pothole repair – asphalt mix is added to the hole after debris has been cleared away, which is then compacted with a multi-ton vibratory roller or a vibratory plate. This is, more often than not, a remedial repair and the hole may reform months or even weeks after the job.
  • Resurfacing – after the asphalt has been cleared of debris, a new layer of asphalt is applied to the old surface. Between these layers is tack coat, which bonds the two different asphalts together firmly. The new layer will measure the correct depth and be compacted with a multi-ton vibratory roller.

If your parking lot or other asphalt paved surface is coming to the end of its life, it will likely have potholes, cracks, be brittle or exhibit discolored areas from elemental exposure and use. While it will extend the life of your asphalt, paving will not repair issues or defects below the surface. However, it can be laid quickly and makes outdoor surfaces appear new, making it a good choice for repairing minor damage or defects to your asphalt surfaces.

What is Sealcoating?

asphalt paving How Are Asphalt Paving and Sealcoating Different?

Sealcoating is when a mixture of asphalt, petroleum products or coal tar pitch is combined with other substances such as inert fillers, water, and additives, and then is applied to the surface of your asphalt in a thin layer, either through a spray or by using a squeegee. This top layer of sealcoat is a preventative measure that protects the parking lot from wear and tear, heavy traffic, gasoline, salt, water, ultraviolet rays, and oil – all of which will erode and damage your parking lot and require replacement sooner. A sealcoat acts like a barrier, filling in any small cracks or areas where moisture can seep in, preserving the structural integrity of your asphalt, and giving it a fresh, new appearance. Rose Paving explains the greater benefits of sealcoating on our blog, found here.

Difference Between Sealcoating and Asphalt Paving

Sealcoating is a parking lot maintenance step that adds a thin “coat” of sealant to the top of the pavement. Asphalt paving is the application of asphalt to the ground to create a surface on which to drive. Asphalt paving must come first before a sealcoat can be applied.

Sealcoating is recommended as part of a routine maintenance program for your asphalt, beginning between 2-5 years after it has been first laid. At this point, the surface of the parking lot or driveway can begin to develop signs of wear, so maintenance must be performed to preserve durability.

Heavy vehicular traffic and extended weather exposure will contribute to the wear rate of your sealcoating, meaning your asphalt will require regular maintenance. Not only does routine application extend the lifespan of the asphalt considerably, sealcoating gives a fresh, updated look, particularly when accompanied by applicable lot striping. Both services are relatively easy methods to ensure that your parking lot stays looking great and lasts for as long as possible.


Ready to learn about Rose Paving’s sealcoating and other paving services? Get in touch with a local Rose Paving sales team near you today.