Differences Between Asphalt Paving and Asphalt Sealcoating

Differences Between Asphalt Paving and Asphalt Sealcoating
woman standing on an asphalt driveway

Understanding the differences between asphalt paving and sealcoating is essential for keeping your pavement in good shape. A simple way to put it is that asphalt paving is like giving your pavement a fresh start. Sealcoating, on the other hand, is like giving it a shield to protect against wear and tear.

By understanding the distinction between asphalt paving and sealcoating, you can make informed decisions about maintaining and repairing your pavement.

Both processes play a crucial role in proper pavement maintenance, ensuring that your pavement stays strong and resilient for years to come.

Continue reading this article when and why you need one over the other. You’ll also know about their lifespan, costs, and curing time.

What Exactly is Asphalt Sealcoating?

Sealcoating is a protective layer applied on top of the existing pavement to shield it from external elements such as water, UV rays, and chemicals. Sealcoating serves as a barrier that seals out harmful substances, preventing cracks and deterioration.

Its biggest benefit to a driveway owner is that it helps extend the pavement’s life and reduces the need for costly repairs in the future.

man shoveling snow off his seal coated driveway

Benefits of asphalt sealcoating

There are several benefits of asphalt sealcoating. It’s going to cost you money upfront but you should think of it as an investment This section will explain five of the most important advantages of having your driveway sealed.

Shields against water, UV rays, vehicles, and chemicals

Asphalt sealcoating offers a crucial benefit by acting as a shield against various harmful elements. When an asphalt surface is sealed, it forms a protective barrier. It is this added layer that helps to keep out water, and UV rays from the sun. It can also protect against wear and tear from vehicles and chemicals.

Water can seep into the tiny cracks and crevices of asphalt which causes damage over time. If you seal coat your driveway, it will prevent water penetration. And if you prevent water penetration, you extend your driveway’s lifespan.

UV rays can cause asphalt to deteriorate and fade over time. But sealcoating provides a layer of protection against these harmful rays.

Vehicles driving on asphalt surfaces can also cause wear and tear but adding a protective layer helps to minimize vehicle traffic impact.

Lastly, oil and gasoline can damage asphalt. The good thing is that sealcoating acts as a barrier to protect the surface from these corrosive substances. It’s a good idea to clean up oil spills promptly.

Reduces surface friction

One key benefit of sealcoating is that it reduces surface friction, which means there is less resistance when vehicles and pedestrians move across the surface. This reduction in friction helps to prevent skidding and slipping, making the surface safer for all users.

When asphalt is exposed to the elements over time, it can become rough and lose its smooth texture, leading to increased friction. By applying sealcoating, the surface is restored to a smoother, more even texture, reducing the friction between tires and the pavement.

This not only enhances the look and feel of the surface. It also helps boost safety and improve the overall durability of the asphalt surface. Your sealcoated asphalt will look better and be safer for those driving on it.

Enhances visual appeal

When asphalt is exposed to the elements and traffic over time, it can start to look worn out with cracks and fading. Sealcoating helps to rejuvenate the appearance of the asphalt, making it look brand new again. By enhancing the visual appeal of the pavement, sealcoating also contributes to creating a positive impression on anyone who sees or uses it.

Think of it like putting a new coat of paint on a wall to make it look nice and clean. Sealcoating fills in small cracks and imperfections, making the surface look well-maintained and attractive. It creases a smooth, even finish and looks great at a distance and up close too!


Asphalt sealcoating acts as a shield that prolongs the life of your pavement, saving you money in the long run by reducing the need for frequent repaving or repairs. So, if you want to protect your asphalt and make it last longer, sealcoating is a smart investment that offers both practical and aesthetic benefits.

Additionally, sealcoating makes the pavement easier to clean and maintain. The smooth, sealed surface prevents dirt and debris from embedding into the asphalt, allowing for easier removal and maintenance. This helps keep your pavement looking great and performing well over time.

Cost-effective maintenance solution

One of the best benefits of asphalt sealcoating is that it helps extend the lifespan of your pavement, reducing the frequency of repairs and replacements needed. By investing in sealcoating, you are essentially protecting your asphalt investment and ensuring it stays in good condition for a longer period.

This means spending less money on major repairs or complete re-pavements in the future. Overall, asphalt sealcoating is a smart and cost-effective way to maintain the quality and durability of your asphalt surfaces.

What is Asphalt Paving

Asphalt paving involves installing a new layer of asphalt over the existing pavement to create a smooth and durable surface. This process is done to repair damaged areas, improve the appearance of the pavement, and enhance its longevity.

Benefits of Asphalt Paving

house needing asphalt paving and sealcoating

Asphalt paving is a popular choice for driveways, parking lots, and roads due to its numerous benefits. Firstly, asphalt is durable and can withstand heavy traffic and harsh weather conditions without deteriorating quickly. This means fewer repairs and maintenance are needed in the long run, saving time and money.

Secondly, asphalt is smooth and provides a comfortable driving surface, reducing wear and tear on vehicles. Its dark color also helps in melting snow and ice faster, making it safer during winter. In addition, asphalt is a sustainable material that can be recycled and reused, making it environmentally friendly.

Ideal for new driveways/parking lots and major repairs

Asphalt paving is a highly favored option for new driveways, parking lots, and major pavement repairs due to its durability and cost-effectiveness. The smooth finish of asphalt provides excellent traction and a sleek appearance.

Additionally, asphalt pavement is quick to install and requires minimal maintenance over time. Its ability to adapt to changing weather conditions makes it a reliable choice for areas with extreme temperatures.

Application Method

Asphalt Overlay: Minor repairs

Asphalt overlay refers to the process of applying a new layer of asphalt over an existing paved surface, such as a driveway or parking lot. This technique is typically used to address minor damages and extend the lifespan of the pavement without the need for a complete reconstruction.

Minor repairs on asphalt overlays involve fixing small cracks, potholes, and surface wear to ensure a smoother and more durable driving surface. This may include filling in cracks with asphalt sealant, patching up small holes, and resurfacing the top layer to create a uniform appearance.

By addressing these minor issues promptly, property owners can prevent further deterioration of the pavement and save money on more extensive repairs in the future. Asphalt overlays are a cost-effective solution to maintain the integrity of paved surfaces and enhance their longevity for years to come.

Asphalt Resurfacing: Major repairs

Asphalt resurfacing is a type of major repair done to roads or driveways that have become worn

out or damaged over time. The process involves applying a new layer of asphalt on top of the existing surface to restore its smoothness and functionality.

The main purpose of asphalt resurfacing is to extend the life of the road or driveway by providing a fresh, new surface that can withstand heavy traffic and harsh weather conditions.

It also helps to prevent further damage and deterioration, saving time and money in the long run. Asphalt resurfacing is a cost-effective solution compared to completely rebuilding the road or driveway from scratch, as it provides a quick and efficient way to repair and improve the existing surface.

Application Lifespan

An asphalt driveway that receives proper maintenance can last anywhere from 15 to 20 years. With regular upkeep such as sealing cracks, resealing the surface, and repairing any damage promptly, the lifespan of the driveway can be extended significantly.

Seal-coating can help increase the lifespan of an asphalt driveway by preventing moisture penetration, reducing the risk of cracks and deterioration, and enhancing its overall resilience. This additional layer acts as a shield, making the surface more resistant to wear and tear over time. So, if you want to get the most out of your asphalt driveway and ensure it lasts for as long as possible, regular maintenance and seal-coating are key factors to consider.

Cost Comparison

Sealcoating is less expensive compared to paving and serves as a crucial part of maintenance to extend the life of the asphalt. According to Forbes, you could expect a price of $3 and $15 per square foot when paving.

On the other hand, Asphalt seal coating could cost anywhere between $3 to $5 per square foot.

Curing Time

Paving refers to the process of laying down a new driveway or road surface. After paving is done, you can drive on it within 3 days, but it takes a full 30 days to completely cure. This means that while you can start using the newly paved surface relatively quickly, it’s important to be cautious and avoid heavy traffic or sudden movements that could damage the fresh pavement during the curing process.

professional contractors doing asphalt paving

On the other hand, sealcoating is a protective layer applied on top of the pavement to shield it from the elements and extend its lifespan. Once sealcoating is applied, you can typically drive

on it after 24-48 hours. This quick drying time allows you to resume normal use of the surface soon after the sealcoating process is completed.

Keep in mind that sealcoating helps maintain the quality of your pavement and should be done regularly to ensure its durability and appearance.


Understanding the differences between asphalt paving and sealcoating is crucial for effective pavement maintenance. Asphalt paving provides a fresh, durable surface ideal for new installations and significant repairs while sealcoating offers a protective layer that extends the lifespan of the existing pavement. Both methods are essential, with paving ensuring structural integrity and sealcoating preserving and enhancing the surface.

Are you looking for a professional to do asphalt paving or sealcoating on your driveway on the South Shore, MA? Donovan Sealcoating is the go-to company to contact. We are experts in maintaining and enhancing the durability and appearance of your paved surfaces.

Also, we’re a local company that has been serving the area for many years. And we have a lot of satisfied clients. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call because we will offer you a free quote!