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The primary cause of asphalt failure is the penetration of water into the asphalt base. The process of oxidation begins shortly after the asphalt has been placed. Over time, it becomes dry and brittle and the aggregate starts wearing away. As water seeps into the cracks, the base material moves and settles leading to surface cracking.
Seal coating is an important tool in extending the life of pavement. The process seals the top of the asphalt preventing water from penetrating the surface of the pavement and protecting the top layer of asphalt from oxidation and wear caused by exposure to the elements. Good looks are also a benefit of seal coating and it also extends the pavement life.
A seal coat should be applied to new pavement within 6 months to a year after placement. Future application of seal coat should be applied at intervals of three to five years depending on the environment.