Benefits of Sealcoating Commercial Parking Lots
Freshly sealed commercial parking lots are instantly recognizable. Traffic markings pop off the dark black color. Their clean smooth appearance has an almost inviting quality that says “park here“. This is especially true when the parking lot across the street is grey with fading yellow parking spot lines. While sealcoating commercial parking lots makes them look great, it provides numerous additional benefits.
These benefits range from making it easier to remove snow in the winter to spending less on parking lot repairs. Here are the top benefits property managers can take advantage of by sealcoating their parking lots on a regular basis.
Extending Commercial Parking Lot Life
One of the biggest benefits of sealcoating commercial parking lots is adding to the useful of the parking lot. Asphalt parking lots should be sealed 6 to 12 months after they are first paved then every 12 to 24 months depending on wear and tear. This basic maintenance schedule can extend the life of an asphalt parking lot to over 25 years. Asphalt parking lots with no follow up sealing or maintenance can require replacement in as little as 10 years.
Most parking lot damage, whether it is fixing cracks or filling potholes, is the result of asphalt deterioration caused by the elements, oil, gasoline, salt, and other chemicals. Sealcoating commercial parking lots creates a protective barrier on the asphalt surface. This reduces parking lot damage and repair costs. This is another way sealcoating extends commercial parking lot life.
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Parking Lots Look Brand New
Sealcoating commercial parking lots gives them a fresh, almost brand new appearance. In general, asphalt parking lots lose their dark color and turn grey over time. After applying sealcoat, they will appear dark, and traffic markings will pop off the surface. This photo demonstrates how sealcoating and striping a commercial parking lot can dramatically improve its appearance:
For commercial properties, the appearance of the parking lot goes a long way. A clean, well maintained parking lot adds to curb appeal and makes a property more inviting. On the other hand, a poorly maintained parking lot makes a bad first impression. This is especially true for retail shopping centers, multifamily communities, and class A office parks. All of these properties are competing for traffic and tenants, so strong curb appeal is extremely important.
Winter Ready Parking Lots
Believe it or not, sealcoating asphalt in the fall will make snow and ice melt faster during the winter. This is because sealcoat’s dark color helps the parking lot retain heat. Snow and ice melt faster on warmer parking lots. As a result, parking lots absorb less water and go through fewer freeze thaw cycles. By reducing the number of freeze thaw cycles, parking lots are less likely to develop cracks and potholes from winter weather.
It is undeniable that no one gets excited about snowy and icy parking lots. They create headaches for property managers, tenants, guests, and pretty much anyone who has to park on one. Sealcoating reduces these headaches because it helps snow and ice melt faster. This is another benefit of sealcoating commercial parking lots each fall.
Easy To Clean Parking Lots
Parking lots are easier to clean after applying sealcoat. This is because it creates a smooth surface, free of cracks and potholes. As a result, dirt, debris, and litter do not get trapped on the parking surface. This makes it easier to clean the parking lot and improves the overall appearance.
Street and parking lot sweeping machines are also more effective on sealed parking lots. This makes sealcoating especially important for properties with frequent sweeping services. Additionally, it is easier for commercial plows to remove snow from freshly sealed parking lots.
Makes Parking a Breeze
After sealcoating a parking lot, freshly striped parking spaces and traffic indicators will pop off the dark black sealcoat. This makes it easier for visitors and tenants to use the parking lot. Parking spaces are more clearly defined, reducing the number of vehicles that end up using two spaces by parking on faded lines. Traffic arrows standout, helping improve the flow of vehicles through the parking lot.
Affordability of Sealcoating Commercial Parking Lots
According to CostOwl, a 1.5″ to 2″ depth overlay costs anywhere $1.25 to $1.70 per square foot. Meanwhile, sealcoating costs between $0.10 and $0.30 per square foot. An asphalt overlay on a 50,000 square foot parking lot will cost between $62,500 and $85,000. On the other hand, sealcoating a 50,000 square foot parking lot will cost between $5,000 and $15,000.
It must be noted that an asphalt overlay is a significant undertaking, often considered a capital expenditure project, and effectively creates a brand new parking surface. While sealcoating does not offer the same benefits of an asphalt overlay, it will extend parking lot life and improve the visual appearance. For properties working on a limited budget, this makes it a great option. Click here to get a free sealcoating estimate for your commercial parking lot.
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Types of Commercial Sealcoat Products
The type of sealcoat product a property chooses for its parking lot can also drive benefits. This is because commercial sealcoat is a synthetic product that commonly uses one of four bases. Most sealcoats use coal tar emulsion, asphalt emulsion, oil, or an acrylic base. Different bases offer different benefits when applied to a commercial parking lot.
Coal tar emulsion sealcoats are considered by many to be the best option for commercial parking lots. They are durable, affordable, petroleum resistant, and use additives to give parking lots a dark black appearance. Coal tar emulsion sealcoats, however, are not environmentally friendly and have been banned in certain areas.
While acrylic based sealcoats are the most expensive, they are a good alternative to coal tar emulsion sealcoat. They are extremely durable, UV resistant, and considered an environmentally friendly product. Depending on traffic volume, acrylic sealcoat can last up to 7 years. They also come in a variety of colors, which is one reason they are commonly used to seal tennis and sport courts.
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