How it Works
Asphalt is made of rock and gravel, which is held together with a binding agent, or binder, made of cement by distilling crude oil. Asphalt wears down because rain, U.V. rays from the sun, and chemicals will all degrade this binder over time.
Sealcoating adds a thin protective layer to asphalt surfaces and protects it from future cracks and wear, as well as potential water logging from heavy rain or snow.
Asphalt and its Environmental Effects
Now that we’ve established the benefits of sealcoating, let’s take a quick look at asphalt and its environmental effects.
Asphalt and Vegetation
Some people think that sealcoating damages surrounding plants or lawns. Initially, the sealer will leave a slight coating on the grass, but this will go away when you mow the lawn. In fact, since asphalt is a porous material, it provides natural drainage and runoff to nurture vegetation and may even improve the water quality. For example, Oregon and Washington use asphalt to line their fish rearing ponds, and many drinking water reservoirs are lined with asphalt.
Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Asphalt has a comparatively low level of greenhouse gas emission compared to other pavement surfaces such as concrete. A 2005 study found that asphalt requires about 20 percent less energy to produce than other pavements, making it a sustainable choice.
Faster Repair Time and Less Vehicle Emissions
There’s also the fact that asphalt can be repaired quickly, which means less road blockages or shutdowns and consequently, less traffic and emissions. This is in stark contrast to concrete, which can’t be repaired layer by layer. Instead, concrete often needs to be completely removed and replaced, which takes time and costs money.
Questions? Contact the Collett Services office to arrange a site evaluation or to get a free price quote within two business days.