Sealcoating Your Parking Lot: Answers To Business Owners' FAQs

Posted on: 23 May 2017

Owning a business comes with a lot of maintenance tasks, one of which is caring for your parking lot. The primary maintenance an asphalt parking lot requires is sealcoating, a process in which a special sealant is applied to the top of the asphalt, helping to repel water and reduce wear. Since parking lot maintenance is not your profession, you likely have some questions and concerns about this process. Here's a look at business owners' common questions about sealcoating -- and the answers.

How often does the parking lot need sealcoating?

This really depends on the climate in your area, how busy your parking lot gets, and the condition of your asphalt. A good rule of thumb is to have your parking lot sealed every 3 years. You may be able to go a bit longer in a mild climate or if your parking lot gets little use. You may need to reseal every one or two years in a heavy-use lot or one where a lot of heavy vehicles, like RVs and trucks, park.

What are the signs that your parking lot needs sealing?

If you notice that the lot is beginning to look dull gray in color, rather than black, this indicates that the previous coat of sealant is more or less gone -- and you need to have a new layer applied. Other signs that it's time to sealcoat include:

  • Cracks along the edges of the asphalt
  • Little divots forming on heavy-wear areas
  • Granules of asphalt coming loose and lingering on top of the lot

What is sealcoating?

The sealant used to coat your parking lot is made from a mixture of asphalt and coal tar. It's like the asphalt that your parking lot is made from, but with a lot less solid material and more liquid. The sealant is usually rolled onto the lot, though some contractors prefer to spray it using a special apparatus. 

Does sealcoating fix cracks?

Seal coating helps prevent the parking lot from cracking, and it can fill small, alligator skin-type cracks in your parking lot. However, if your lot has any larger cracks that are 1/4 inch wide or more, your paving contractor will need to fill these cracks before applying the sealcoating. If you just apply the sealant over the open cracks, they may appear to be filled initially, but they will soon re-crack once someone drives over the lot or it's exposed to harsh weather conditions.

Will sealcoating make the parking lot last longer?

Sealcoating does extend the life of your parking lot by slowing down the rate of damage and wear. Results vary, but it's not unheard of for regular sealcoating to extend the life of a parking lot from about 12 years to 25. So while sealcoating will cost you money up-front, it will save you money in the long run by allowing you to postpone replacing the parking lot.

How much does sealcoating cost?

Costs vary by region, but you can expect to pay an average of $5 per square foot to have your parking lot sealcoated. This includes materials and labor. If you're handy and have some helpers available, you may wish to sealcoat the parking lot yourself to save money. Expect to pay $20 for a five-gallon pail of sealand that covers about 400 square feet. Keep in mind that you'll need to buy a roller and other equipment, which can drive up the cost of your DIY project.

To learn more about sealcoating and its importance for your business, talk to an asphalt contractor in the area and visit sites like They can give you an estimate and let you know how often you should have your parking lot sealcoated for ideal results.