Are seal coats necessary? Well, no, not exactly. Are they recommended? Yes. Seal coats aren’t something that commercial paving contractors try to push because it makes them money. They recommend seal coats because when seal coat is routinely applied to a solid foundation, it can stave off deterioration for a considerable amount of time. In other words, an investment in seal coat can actually save you a lot of money down the road.
Commercial paving contractors will also recommend a seal coat to freshen up an aging surface or to just add durability and perhaps some skid resistance depending on the climate area. The hot oil chip seal has been very popular in the upper Midwest for quite some time. It is great in the winter due to the additional traction that it gives to vehicles, but also the extra protection that it provides year long to the underlying layers.
The seasonal change and the varying climate of the upper Midwest is very hard on commercial paving products. Even if blacktop is well maintained, there is still the possibility of damage occurring in the underlying ground structure from poor drainage and harsh weather conditions. Will seal coats be a sure fire solution to prevent inevitable asphalt repairs? No. However, if you get the right commercial paving contractor out to your location to take a look, they should be able to spot any problem areas that you may have. Once those areas are fixed and you continue with routine seal coats when needed, it’s unlikely you will be looking at the major expense of excavation and starting from the ground up.
Some commercial paving contractors even offer a scheduled maintenance service, where they will drop by and assess the blacktop for any needed repairs. That way you’ll always be above the curve on any needed repair or the next seal coat.