A properly installed and maintained asphalt parking lot or driveway can last 20-25 years and beyond. Below are some general guidelines for asphalt maintenance.
- The first year following installation, there is typically no maintenance requirement. In the past it has been believed that it’s best to wait several months to a year before the first sealcoat application. The thought behind this is that there is cure time needed for the bitumen, or “oils” in the asphalt. However, Asphalt Pros USA has found no negative effect of sealcoating right away, for those who choose to do so.
- After the first year, or more specifically after the passing of winter, and spring, we recommend the first sealcoat application. We also plan on inspection for any cracks.
- Every 2-5 years after the previous application, we recommend the next sealcoat application. Our customers with the nicest parking lots have us seal their asphalt every 3 years on average.
- After the appearance of cracks, Asphalt Pros USA recommends inspecting and filling any cracks on a yearly basis, especially for commercial customers. This prevents water from infiltrating the asphalt and eroding the base under the asphalt. We have found that despite using the highest quality products, heaving/shifting of the earth throughout the seasons can cause separation in crackfill material, even with plenty of product remaining. For that reason, residential customers with minimal cracking may consider re-heating the existing crackfill material to re-seal the crack.
- Asphalt Pros USA recommends patching any potholes or spider-cracked areas as soon as they appear. Failure to address these issues will result in worsening and spreading of the problem, primarily due to further infiltration of water.
- For pavement markings/line striping, we work with each customer’s needs. Safety and aesthetics are the main considerations for the frequency. New asphalt is most often striped the day after installation, or within the first week, before any debris can get on the lot. Some customers will have us stripe every 1-2 years, to keep the vibrant, freshly painted look, and ensure clear markings for ADA and traffic flow purposes. Others wait until after a sealcoat application, every few years.
Asphalt Pros USA uses the highest quality maintenance products, from SealMaster, a world-renowned manufacturer. The products, as well as more maintenance information can be found at sealmaster.net.
In summary, for best results plan to sealcoat new asphalt the first summer after installation, and every 2-5 years thereafter. Crackfill is often a yearly maintenance item. Patching should be performed immediately as needed. Pavement markings should be repainted often enough to maintain good visibility.