Does Sealcoat Work in California?

This new striped asphalt in California looks amazing, and requires a sealcoat plan as part of maintenance.

The short answer is YES! There is, unfortunately, a lot of misinformation floating around about sealcoat. It starts with — what exactly is sealcoat anyway? Or more precisely — what sealcoat is not.

  • Sealcoat is not a way to repair damaged asphalt.
  • Sealcoat is not a way to fill large cracks.
  • Sealcoat is not a structural solution, it is a maintenance solution. It is a wearing membrane to prolong pavement life – it is not a replacement for new pavement.

Property owners who expect these kinds of results end up being disappointed.

Now let’s talk about what sealcoat does accomplish.

  • Sealcoat will extend the life of your asphalt — saving you money for costly repairs
  • Sealcoat will make faded (gray) asphalt look jet black  — increasing your property value and curb appeal.
  • Sealcoat will fill in minor damage (small cracks) — again saving money.

At the end of the day, sealcoat should be the primary component of any asphalt maintenance plan.

And, yes, it’s necessary in California.

You might think that just because many areas of our state are immune from snow, ice, and freezing temperatures, sealcoat is not needed — or even a waste of time & money.

The truth is quite different. That’s because UV light from the sun is often the number one cause of asphalt deterioration.  Simply put, sunlight “ages” the “glue” in asphalt, just like it ages the skin by drying it out and making it brittle. Low humidity levels exacerbate the problem. We get plenty of unrelenting sun in the Golden State — and we have many locales in regions of arid, semi-desert humidity.  

It all adds up to mean that asphalt in California needs sealcoat just as much as asphalt in Maine!
In fact, any new asphalt should get its first application of sealcoat within 9-18 months of new installation. And then every 3-5 years thereafter.

Plan Ahead
Sealcoat disrupts traffic. There’s the time to apply and the time to dry.  Both can be reduced by a schedule that is aligned with weather conditions. Let’s look at:

Sealcoat Drying Time
Foot traffic: 2-4 hours
Motor vehicles:  Up to 24 hours. Sometimes longer in shaded or cold areas.
Fully sealed: In 30 days sealcoat will be pretty much “cured”

Sealcoat Application Time
This is also weather dependent.  Many inclement weather conditions can affect the application process. These include rain, fog, Santa Ana winds, wildfire smoke, or 100+ degree temperatures.

If you’re sealcoating an area that gets a significant amount of traffic, a disruption of even a couple of days can create a lot of frustrated residents, customers, or visitors…

Pick a Pro
Applying sealcoat pays for itself many times over — by substantially delaying the inevitable (and much larger) expense of repaving asphalt. You definitely want to hire a company with the tools, equipment & expertise to install a sealcoat that does its job. An experienced contractor will:

  • Custom mix a sealcoat that meets the specific requirements of your location.
  • Plan. A plan that all parties can stick to will keep the inconvenience to owners, residents and tenants to a minimum. GPM does this by correctly phasing a project to minimize disruption.

Sealcoat typically doubles the life of asphalt pavement. And keeps it looking new. It’s a win-win for you and your property.

Contact us for a complimentary assessment plan and cost proposal.