Top Signs Your Driveway or Parking Lot Needs Sealcoating

June 21, 2024

Maintaining your driveway or parking lot is crucial to ensure it not only looks good but also lasts long. Sealcoating plays a vital role in preserving the asphalt surface, protecting it from wear and tear caused by weather conditions and vehicle traffic. Over time, however, the asphalt can degrade, and knowing when to sealcoat can save you from costly repairs down the road. Here are the top signs that indicate your driveway or parking lot needs sealcoating.

Fading Color and Appearance

One of the most noticeable signs that your asphalt needs sealcoating is its appearance. Asphalt that has lost its deep black color and looks gray or even brown is likely experiencing surface wear. This discoloration occurs as the sun’s UV rays oxidize the asphalt binder, causing it to become brittle and more prone to cracks. Sealcoating rejuvenates the color of the asphalt, giving it a fresh, black appearance that enhances curb appeal and protects against further oxidation.

Cracks and Potholes

Visible cracks or potholes are clear indicators that your asphalt surface is in need of attention. Cracks can develop due to weather changes, moisture penetration, or simply the natural aging process of the asphalt. If left untreated, these cracks can widen and deepen, leading to more extensive damage and potentially requiring costly repairs. Sealcoating fills in minor cracks and prevents new ones from forming, extending the lifespan of your driveway or parking lot.

Alligator Cracking

Alligator cracking refers to a pattern of interconnected cracks that resemble the scales of an alligator’s skin. This type of cracking usually occurs when the asphalt is subjected to heavy traffic or if the base layer was improperly installed. Alligator cracking indicates that the structural integrity of the asphalt has been compromised and requires immediate attention. Sealcoating can help mitigate further damage by sealing these cracks and reinforcing the surface.

Fading Traffic Lines

If your parking lot or driveway has designated parking spaces or traffic lines that have become faded or barely visible, it’s a sign that the asphalt surface has worn down over time. This not only affects the aesthetics but also compromises safety and organization. Sealcoating includes re-striping services, ensuring that traffic markings are clearly defined and enhancing the overall functionality of your paved area.

Water Ponding

Water ponding or pooling occurs when depressions or low spots form on the asphalt surface, allowing water to collect instead of draining properly. This can happen due to poor initial installation, heavy traffic wear, or settling of the underlying base. Prolonged exposure to standing water can weaken the asphalt and lead to more significant damage over time. Sealcoating helps to create a smooth, even surface that promotes proper water drainage, preventing future ponding issues.

Loss of Aggregate

Asphalt surfaces contain small stones and aggregate materials that provide traction and durability. Over time, these aggregates can loosen and dislodge from the surface, leaving the asphalt vulnerable to further deterioration. Sealcoating replenishes the binder and restores the surface by locking in the aggregate, improving traction and preventing premature wear and tear.


Oxidation occurs when the asphalt binder is exposed to oxygen and UV rays from the sun, causing it to dry out and become brittle. This leads to the formation of small cracks and fissures on the surface of the asphalt. Sealcoating acts as a protective barrier, shielding the asphalt from UV rays and oxidation, thereby slowing down the aging process and extending the life of your driveway or parking lot.

Increased Maintenance Requirements

If you find yourself frequently patching cracks, filling potholes, or performing other maintenance tasks on your driveway or parking lot, it may be a sign that the asphalt surface is deteriorating. While regular maintenance is essential, an increase in repair needs could indicate that the asphalt is no longer adequately protected. Sealcoating reduces the need for frequent repairs by providing a durable, waterproof barrier that prevents water infiltration and minimizes surface damage.

Age of the Asphalt

Finally, the age of your driveway or parking lot is a significant factor in determining when sealcoating is necessary. Asphalt typically lasts between 15 to 20 years with proper maintenance, but environmental factors and usage can accelerate deterioration. If your asphalt is approaching this age range or if it has been several years since the last sealcoating application, it’s advisable to schedule a professional inspection and consider sealcoating to protect and extend the life of your investment.


Regular sealcoating is essential for maintaining the integrity and appearance of your driveway or parking lot. By recognizing these signs early and taking proactive measures, such as sealcoating, you can protect your asphalt surface from extensive damage and costly repairs. Whether you notice fading color, cracks, or increased maintenance requirements, addressing these issues promptly will ensure that your asphalt remains durable, safe, and visually appealing for years to come. Consult with a reputable paving contractor to assess the condition of your asphalt and determine the best sealcoating schedule for your specific needs. By investing in sealcoating, you’re investing in the longevity and functionality of your paved surfaces.

Got Questions? Let Us Help!

Since 1976, Star Paving and Sealing Company has been providing high-quality asphalt and paving services. Backed by over 45 years of experience, customers trust us because of our expertise and attention to detail. We continue to establish a reputation for pristine excavation, seal coating, and paving skills. We are equipped to handle all of your asphalt and sealing needs from asphalt repair to jogging and golf tracks! Family-owned and operated, Star Paving and Sealing Company are able to offer personalized service for any project. In everything we do, we strive for excellence. We do provide free estimates so call us today for more information.

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