If you’re an asphalt contractor, you know that business picks up once the snow melts. Not only is the weather warm enough for asphalt paving, but the snow is no longer able to hide cracks and potholes. We recommend you visit your local sealcoat supply company before the spring thaw so you can stock up on asphalt sealer and sealcoating equipment.

When your customers come to you for asphalt repairs, you’ll need to be able to explain the differences between asphalt overlays and sealcoating. While both can help prolong the life of an asphalt driveway or parking lot, they perform different functions.

Asphalt Sealcoating

Sealcoating protects asphalt from UV rays, rain, snow, and automobile fluids. Similar to how a coat of paint protects your car from the elements, sealcoating protects asphalt pavement from potholing and cracking. Asphalt sealcoating also gives your parking lot or driveway a rich black color so it looks like new. We recommend stocking up on sealcoating products before the paving season begins.

If a customer has recently paved their parking lot or driveway, you’ll want to recommend a sealcoat application within the first 1 to 3 years of installation. If more than 3 years have passed, you may still be able to do sealcoating. However, you’ll need to repair all asphalt cracks and potholes before you can apply a layer of sealcoat. It’s important your customers understand that sealcoating is used to prevent damage, not repair it.

Asphalt Overlay

An asphalt overlay is a fresh layer of asphalt used to patch over pavement that has cracked or potholed. While an asphalt patch temporarily fixes small cracks and potholes, it isn’t a permanent solution. Any underlying cracks and potholes will show up in the new surface within a year or two. Keep in mind that your customer may prefer the asphalt patch if their driveway or parking lot is reaching the end of its natural life span. Asphalt pavement lasts about 20 years before it needs to be replaced. An asphalt patch could extend that lifespan for a year or two depending on the condition of the pavement.

How do I explain the differences to customers?

Ask your customer what their goals are for asphalt maintenance. If your customer tells you that they want to prevent damage caused by weather conditions, you’ll want to steer them toward sealcoating. Sealcoating will protect your customer’s parking lot or driveway from UV rays, rain, snow, and automobile fluids. If your customer has recently paid for crack and pothole repair, sealcoating gives them an added layer of protection.

 If your customer tells you they want to temporarily fix potholes and cracks, you’ll want to suggest asphalt overlays. A customer may be looking for a temporary fix if their asphalt pavement is reaching the end of its natural lifespan. Asphalt overlays are best for parking lots or driveways that are damaged, but not ready for replacement.

B&E Seal Coat Products is a sealcoating products company dedicated to supplying asphalt contractors with the products they need. If you are interested in browsing our inventory of sealcoating and asphalt repair products, give us a call at (616) 608-6169.