What Are the Major Differences Between Sealcoat and Asphalt?

What Are the Major Differences Between Sealcoat and Asphalt Grand Rapids

Do you know the difference between asphalt paving and asphalt sealcoating? It’s similar to the difference between the coat of paint on your car and the metal structure underneath.

Without its protective layer of paint, the metal frame of your car would begin to rust and might even become structurally compromised from being exposed to the elements. The same concept can be applied to your asphalt driveway or parking lot.

Asphalt paving refers to the actual structure while asphalt sealcoating is a protective layer applied to the surface. In this blog post, we will go over the differences between asphalt paving and sealcoatingso you can make an informed decision about your paved surfaces.

What are the differences between asphalt paving and sealcoating?


  • Applied to asphalt surface
  • Protects against UV rays, automobile fluid leaks, and water penetrations
  • Makes asphalt appear more even and darker
  • Considered routine or preventative maintenance
  • Least expensive maintenance service for asphalt
  • Extends asphalt pavement’s life expectancy (can sometimes double its life)
  • Can be given specific qualities, such as shorter drying time

Asphalt Paving:

  • Process involves installing new asphalt pavement
  • May be done for an entire parking lot or an isolated section of road
  • Not considered routine maintenance
  • Considered a repair cost or capital expense
  • Disrupts traffic longer than commercial sealcoating
  • 20 years life expectancy with proper maintenance

Should I choose asphalt paving or sealcoating?

In general, sealcoating is for maintenance while asphalt paving is to replace broken asphalt foundations. When used together, asphalt paving and sealcoating can improve the look and function of your driveways, parking lots, and roadways. If you are unsure whether you need sealcoating or new asphalt paving, we recommend contacting an experienced asphalt contractor in your area. They will be able to help you make the right choice for your paved surface.

Some asphalt contractors would have you believe that complete asphalt replacement is the only way to fix small driveway cracks and other types of minor damage. This simply isn’t true. Make sure you hire an asphalt contractor that has a reputation in your community for being honest with customers. Minor potholes and cracks in your asphalt surface can be filled and repaired. However, alligator cracks, problems with drainage, and large potholes are all signs that you’ll need asphalt surface replacement.

Also, be sure to keep an eye on the color of your asphalt surface. If you notice that your parking lot has significantly faded from black into gray, this could be a sign of sun damage from UV rays. A reputable asphalt contractor will be able to tell you if total parking lot or driveway replacement is necessary.

A-1 Asphalt, Inc. is a Grand Rapids asphalt company that offers residential sealcoating, asphalt paving, and many more asphalt-related services to customers. We offer superior results at competitive prices, whether you need your parking lot sealcoated or your driveway repaired. Feel free to call our asphalt paving contractors at (800) 871-4401.