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Seal Coat vs. Slurry Seal: Which Option Is Right For You?

In our last post, we touched on the four sealing options available to help protect your asphalt surface from UV damage: seal coat, slurry seal, microsurfacing, and TRMSS. While these solutions will help maximize the life and functionality of your pavement, the intended application of each varies significantly. This week we will compare the two most widely used sealing solutions for pavement: seal coat and slurry seal. Both products are designed for asphalt pavements that are structurally sound.

Slurry Seal

  Seal Coat Slurry Seal
Product Description An emulsion with high quality liquid asphalt, select mineral fillers and other anti-oxidation additives. A cold-mix paving treatment containing specially graded aggregate, asphalt emulsion, water and other additives.
Application Method Seal machine with spray or squeegee applicator. Specialized, self-mixing equipment with applicating spreader box.
Cure Time for Traffic 24 hours 24 hours
Life Span Improvement** 2-3 years 5-7 years
Cost $ $$

**Life span improvements are based off pavements that are regularly maintained and depend on the condition of the pavement prior to the method used. Other factors that contribute to a treatment’s life span are asphalt mix type, asphalt thickness, construction quality, and traffic loads.

Seal Coat
Seal coat provides a thin layer of protection to shield against moisture and help minimize raveling. It also restores the original black color to asphalt which greatly enhances the overall appearance of your property. It is the most cost-effective tool in your pavement protection arsenal. Regular seal coat applications are recommended on surfaces paved with asphalt, slurry seal, and microsurfacing to help protect against UV damage.

Slurry Seal
Slurry seal is a resurfacing treatment. It contains aggregate for a thicker application and provides a new wearing surface for traffic. Unlike seal coat, slurry seal helps replace the fines in the existing surface that have raveled out over time. While it may not have as smooth a finish or typically last as long as an asphalt overlay, slurry seal is a rather economical alternative.

Knowing which of these options is right for you is dependent on the condition of your pavement. Let one of our professional estimators assess your parking lot and recommend the best treatment for your surface…and your pocketbook.

Contact ACE for a free assessment of your parking lot today.

ACE Asphalt is a full service asphalt maintenance, repair, and paving company with offices in Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff, Arizona, Las Vegas, Nevada, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Dallas,Texas. Ace serves the parking lot repair, maintenance, and paving needs of property managers, building owners, and contractors.

(6) responses to "Seal Coat vs. Slurry Seal: Which Option Is Right For You?"
Ron Giraudi says: 01-Jun-2015 12:25 PM
When contracting to apply a seal coat or slurry seal, should an independent inspector also be retained to verify the contractor applies the quoted material and thickness?
Jon Baggett says: 03-Jun-2015 09:55 AM
Ron, thanks for your question. Inspectors are usually retained for high specification work (such as public roadways). Inspectors are often involved in all aspects of the process including testing the material prior to application. We do not see many projects where owners and managers of private roadways and parking lots include design specifications (and subsequent inspections to ensure adherence) in their scope as requirements for contractors to include in their proposal. If you do decide to procure an inspector or a consultant, it is important to let the contractor know that this is your intent prior to obtaining a proposal for the work to reduce the chance for disputes.
Gary Crosby says: 01-Jul-2015 10:24 AM
When do I know it is time to perform routine maintenance on my parking lot's surface?
Jon Baggett says: 21-Jul-2015 02:00 PM
Good afternoon, Gary. Mark Peschman looks forward to speaking with you about the condition of your parking lot. He will try to reach you again today.
Amie Dorn says: 17-Jul-2017 01:28 PM
Can you please explain if the slurry coat would be good enough cover for an area that is exposed to metal chips and water based cnc coolant?
Lea Porras says: 18-Jul-2017 11:14 AM
Thanks for your question, Amie.

To determine whether slurry seal or a coating designed specifically for industrial applications is the best choice for your surface, we would need to see your operation area and process.

One of our professionals will be in touch today to learn more about your application and schedule a site visit. After visiting your site and seeing your surface, we can recommend the best solution for your needs.

Thanks again for posing the question!
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