Worker Seal Coating surface

Nothing compares to the appearance of freshly done asphalt. It is so smooth and black that it gives your property a new feeling. Unfortunately, paving can take a beating and lose its beautiful appearance. When that happens, you may wonder how to bring it back. Should you opt for seal coating, or would you be better with asphalt paving?  

Let’s look at the difference between asphalt paving and seal coating. Once you understand each process, you’ll be better able to decide the right one for your paving needs. 

What is asphalt paving?

Asphalt paving is a method that centers around repairing damaged pavement. The process involves laying down new asphalt. You may benefit more from asphalt paving if you have cracks or potholes. There are two ways to do that. 

Asphalt overlay

If your paving is not significantly damaged or needs a short-term solution, you can opt for an asphalt overlay. This is where asphalt is installed on the top of the pavement that is already there.

If your pavement still has a strong foundation, getting an asphalt overlay can extend the life of your pavement. However, if the foundation of your pavement is damaged or there are significant potholes, asphalt overlay won’t be the correct fix. 


Asphalt pavement with severe damage, like deep potholes or significant cracks, or pavement with foundational problems, it’s best to repave the area. This involves removing the damaged pavement, fixing foundation issues, and laying down fresh asphalt. 

When should I get asphalt paving?

Asphalt paving is the right solution to paving that has significant damage, not just a few cracks but large webs of cracks or holes. It’s also the only way to regain the integrity of your paving when the foundation has been compromised.

Most often, when water can leak down to the foundation level of your pavement, it can cause irreversible damage. The only solution is to remove the damaged paving, fix the foundation, and lay down new asphalt. 

Another time it’s right to get asphalt paving is when your current pavement is nearly the end of its life. That is usually about 15 to 20 years after it was initially installed. 

What is seal coating?

Seal coating is preventative maintenance to keep your asphalt paving looking new. It is a special coating applied to protect your asphalt against damage. It goes on as a liquid but dries into a strong film. 

Seal coating protects your asphalt against various hazards that can cause it to break down sooner, such as

  • UV ways that can cause your asphalt to become brittle or crumbly
  • Fuel or oil leaks from vehicles parked on your asphalt
  • Prevent small cracks, giving your asphalt paving a smooth look
  • Damage from freeze/thaw cycles in winter
  • Chemical breakdown caused by road salt, etc. 

Applying seal coating can be one of the best ways to care for your asphalt paving regularly. If you want to provide your asphalt paving with the best care, you can have professionals also do crack-filling before they seal coat your asphalt.

However, it’s important to understand that seal coating cannot fix the damage already there. Before applying the seal coat, you’ll need professionals to repair cracks or holes in your asphalt. That way, you’ll be able to keep your paving looking new for longer. 

Maintaining a seal coat schedule with your professional asphalt company can save you time and money. When you don’t use seal coating, you could wind up paying for repairs that could have been prevented. 

When do I need seal coating?

Seal coating should be done every couple of years for the best results. If you’ve noticed some small cracks in your paving, it might be the right time to call in the professionals, have the cracks filled, and applies seal coating to prevent future damage. 

When it comes to extending the life of your asphalt paving, both the paving process and seal coating work together. They are different ways of caring for your asphalt paving. Deciding which procedure is best for your situation requires you to examine the amount of damage your existing paving has acquired.

And be honest with yourself. While you may want to avoid the expense of asphalt paving right now, it will only worsen if you repair the damage in your paving. Consider paving and seal coating as investments to protect your paving. They can both help you prevent big repair bills in the future. 

How much does it cost to pave a driveway?

Paving a driveway is a more engaging process than seal coating. Seal coating is one of the least expensive asphalt services that you can get. However, remember that seal coating won’t repair the damage that is already there in your paving. It is designed to protect your asphalt after it is applied.

So, even if you don’t want to pay for asphalt paving, it may be the best option in the long run. The longer you leave damaged asphalt, the worse its condition will get. And it may even impact the integrity of the foundation. 

Although asphalt paving costs more than seal coating services, it can provide long-lasting pavement for your home or business. With regular maintenance, asphalt paving can last up to 20 years. And it is often the only remedy for your paving problems. 

Why call Black Tar?

At Black Tar, we’re committed to providing the best customer service. We’re the top-rated paving and interlock company in Ottawa. Our company is also verified by the Canadian Business Review Board, which means you can know that we’ll get your paving done right. 

Since we were founded nearly ten years ago, our growth has been achieved through the quality of our paving work. We’re so confident in our work that we offer a lifetime warranty. It’s the first of its kind in our industry. 

Contact Black Tar for a free estimate if you need seal coating to protect your asphalt paving or update your pavement. 

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