Asphalt Paving & Sealcoating: The Difference

Asphalt Paving & Sealcoating: The Difference


Asphalt Paving & Sealcoating: The DifferenceIf you already understand the difference between asphalt paving and sealcoating, you might be surprised that contractors are asked this question frequently. If you do not know the difference, read on for a complete explanation.

Asphalt Paving & Sealcoating: The Difference

To give you an example of the difference, think of the tile on your kitchen floor. Beneath the tile lies a sub-floor that supports the tile. The tile helps protect the sub-floor from stains and water damage, and it also makes your kitchen more attractive. However, without the sub-floor, there would be nothing to which the tile could be attached.

Asphalt pavement is the surfacing material that provides a smooth, durable and flexible street, parking lot or driveway. Sealcoating goes over the pavement to protect it and “beautify” it. Without the pavement, there would be no need for sealcoating — there would be no surface to which it could be applied.

Asphalt pavement:

• Is a mixture of aggregates, such as crushed gravel and sand, and asphalt.
• Is installed over a base that is usually comprised of crushed, compressed rock but can also be a solid, stable concrete surface.
• May be several inches in depth, depending on the loads to which the pavement will be subjected and other factors.
• Lasts for many years if properly maintained and repaired as needed.
• Relies on the integrity of its base to remain resilient and strong.
• Can deteriorate prematurely if not adequately protected from UV rays by sealcoating.


• Is applied in a thin layer to asphalt that has had sufficient time to cure.
• Protects against premature deterioration of the asphalt by screening out UV radiation.
• Helps keep automotive fluids from reaching the asphalt.
• Must typically be reapplied every two to three years.
• Improves the appearance of the asphalt.
• Can prolong the life of the pavement significantly when used in conjunction with prompt, professional repairs.
• Can only be applied when air temperatures are within specific ranges.

Dirtworks is a full-service asphalt pavement company in Cape Cod serving residential and commercial clients.  We also offer excavation services and site work. Whether you need a driveway paved or a road built, asphalt repairs or a cellar excavated, we can help. We offer an extensive range of asphalt maintenance and repair services, including sealcoating, pavement markings and crack filling. You can use our online form to request a free estimate, or give us a call at 508-240-5541.