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Sealcoat is a liquid that is applied to asphalt to protect it from oxidation and the damage caused by winter cracking, as well as UV rays and traffic.[1] In areas of the world that experience freezing and thawing, the reapplication timeline will likely be sped up.


Sealcoating is needed in cold climates, but is useful in warmer climates as well. Since asphalt is a petroleum product, other petroleum products will react with the surface. This includes vehicle oil and gasoline.[2] The sealcoat will act as a barrier against those materials. A sealcoat is not a crack filling agent; this must be done prior to applying the sealcoat.[3] Properly applied, sealcoat can save an owner huge costs over the life of a hot mix asphalt pavement.[4]


Chemicals used in seal coats, especially ones that contain coal tar, can be carried off by stormwater and contaminate streams and lakes. As a result, many municipalities in the United States are banning this material.[5][6] It can be harmful if ingested before curing and ingesting soil or dust contaminated by eroded coal tar sealant.[7] It is also known to have effects on fish and other animals that live in water. Other water based seal coating materials often perform poorly, especially in climates where temperatures drop below freezing point.[citation needed]