Preparing Your Asphalt Pavement for Sealcoating

Preparing Your Asphalt Pavement for Sealcoating

Maintaining your asphalt pavement is essential to extend its life and keep it looking its best. One of the most effective ways to preserve your pavement is through sealcoating. If you're in Lakeland, FL, and thinking about sealcoating, this guide will walk you through the process of preparing your asphalt pavement to ensure the best results.

Why Sealcoating is Important

Sealcoating is a protective layer applied to the surface of asphalt pavements. It shields the pavement from the damaging effects of UV rays, rain, snow, and chemicals like oil and gasoline. By applying a sealcoat, you can:

  • Extend the lifespan of your pavement by preventing cracks and potholes.
  • Improve the appearance of your asphalt, giving it a fresh, clean look.
  • Increase safety by providing a smooth surface free of debris and rough patches.
  • Save money in the long run by reducing the need for costly repairs.

Step-by-Step Guide to Preparing Your Pavement for Sealcoating

1. Inspect the Pavement

Begin by thoroughly inspecting your asphalt pavement. Look for any signs of damage, such as:

  • Cracks
  • Potholes
  • Oil stains
  • Loose debris or dirt

Identifying these issues early allows you to address them before applying the sealcoat. This ensures a smooth and even application, which leads to better protection and durability.

2. Clean the Surface

Cleaning your pavement is a crucial step in the preparation process. Follow these steps to ensure your surface is spotless:

  • Remove loose debris: Use a broom or leaf blower to clear away leaves, rocks, and other debris.
  • Wash the surface: Use a pressure washer to remove dirt, dust, and oil stains. Pay special attention to areas with heavy stains, as oil can prevent the sealcoat from adhering properly.
  • Allow it to dry: Make sure the pavement is completely dry before moving on to the next step. Any moisture can interfere with the sealcoat application.

3. Repair Cracks and Potholes

Before applying the sealcoat, it's essential to repair any cracks and potholes in your pavement. Here's how to do it:

  • Crack filling: Use a crack filler to fill in small to medium-sized cracks. Make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for the best results.
  • Pothole repair: For larger potholes, use a cold patch asphalt mix to fill them in. Compact the material firmly to ensure a smooth and even surface.

4. Apply a Primer (If Necessary)

In some cases, applying a primer to your asphalt pavement can improve the adhesion of the sealcoat. This is especially important if your pavement has been previously sealed or has areas with heavy oil stains. Check with your sealcoat manufacturer to determine if a primer is recommended for your specific situation.

5. Choose the Right Sealcoat

Selecting the right sealcoat for your pavement is crucial to achieving the best results. There are two main types of sealcoats:

  • Coal tar emulsion: This type of sealcoat is known for its durability and resistance to oil and gasoline. However, it may have a strong odor and can be harmful to the environment.
  • Asphalt emulsion: This option is more environmentally friendly and has less odor. It provides excellent protection but may not be as resistant to oil and gasoline as coal tar emulsion.

Consider your specific needs and preferences when choosing a sealcoat. If you're unsure, consult with a professional for guidance.

6. Schedule the Sealcoating

Once your pavement is clean, repaired, and primed (if necessary), it's time to schedule the sealcoating. Here are some tips to ensure a successful application:

  • Check the weather: Sealcoating should be done on a day when the temperature is above 50°F and there is no rain in the forecast for at least 24 hours.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions: Make sure to read and follow the instructions provided by the sealcoat manufacturer for mixing, application, and drying times.
  • Apply evenly: Use a squeegee or sprayer to apply the sealcoat evenly across the surface. Avoid applying too thick or too thin, as this can affect the durability and appearance of the sealcoat.

Benefits of Professional Sealcoating Services

While DIY sealcoating is possible, hiring a professional has numerous advantages:

  • Expertise: Professionals have the experience and knowledge to ensure a high-quality application.
  • Equipment: They have access to specialized equipment that can provide a more even and efficient application.
  • Time-saving: Hiring a professional allows you to focus on other tasks while they take care of your pavement.
  • Warranty: Many professional services offer warranties on their work, giving you peace of mind.

If you need help with sealcoating in Lakeland, FL, contact A. Rafferty Paving today to get your free quote. They offer expert services to ensure your pavement receives the best care possible.

Maintaining Your Sealcoated Pavement

After your pavement has been sealcoated, proper maintenance is key to ensuring its longevity. Here are some tips for keeping your sealcoated pavement in top condition:

  • Keep it clean: Regularly sweep away debris and wash the surface to prevent dirt and stains from accumulating.
  • Address spills promptly: Clean up oil, gasoline, and other chemical spills as soon as possible to prevent damage to the sealcoat.
  • Inspect regularly: Periodically inspect your pavement for any signs of wear or damage. Address any issues promptly to prevent them from worsening.
  • Reapply as needed: Depending on the level of traffic and exposure to the elements, you may need to reapply the sealcoat every 2-3 years.


Properly preparing your asphalt pavement for sealcoating is essential to achieving the best results. By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth and durable sealcoat that protects your pavement and keeps it looking great for years to come.

If you're in Lakeland, FL, and need professional sealcoating services, contact A. Rafferty Paving today for a free quote. Their expertise and commitment to quality will ensure your pavement receives the best care possible. Sealcoating is an investment in the longevity and appearance of your pavement, so don't wait—get started today!

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