April 18 2024 0Comment

Can You Put Asphalt Sealer Over Concrete?

Understanding the difference between sealer types. 

When it comes to maintaining a concrete parking lot, one common question property managers often have is whether they can apply asphalt sealer over concrete surfaces. The short answer is, generally, no. Asphalt sealer and concrete sealer are formulated for different materials, and using them interchangeably is not advisable. In this guide, we’ll explore why using asphalt sealer on concrete is not recommended, what alternatives are available, and how to properly maintain your concrete parking lot. 

Understanding the Difference Between Asphalt and Concrete Sealers

Asphalt and concrete are fundamentally different materials, each with unique properties and maintenance needs. Asphalt sealer is designed to penetrate and seal the porous surface of an asphalt parking lot. It helps replenish the binder that holds asphalt together. It also provides a black finish that makes the parking lot look new again.

Concrete sealer, on the other hand, is formulated to block the pores in a concrete surface to reduce absorption of water and salts and to prevent dirt from building up. Concrete sealers generally do not change the appearance of the surface as drastically as asphalt sealers do.

Why Asphalt Sealer Should Not Be Used on Concrete

Incompatibility with Material Properties

Asphalt sealer is specifically designed to bond with asphalt, not concrete. Concrete’s chemical makeup is significantly different from that of asphalt. Applying asphalt sealer over concrete can lead to improper adhesion, resulting in a patchy appearance that may peel or flake off over time.

Aesthetic Considerations

Asphalt sealers are typically black. This can significantly alter the appearance of a concrete parking lot that is usually light gray. This coloring might not be desirable for homeowners looking to maintain the natural look of concrete.

Longevity and Protection Issues

Asphalt sealer on concrete won’t provide the protective benefits it does on asphalt. For concrete, using the correct type of sealer is crucial to protect against moisture penetration, freeze-thaw damage, and staining — issues that asphalt sealer is not formulated to combat on concrete surfaces.

Proper Care for Concrete Parking Lots

Choosing the Right Sealer

For concrete parking lots, it’s important to choose a sealer that is specifically designed for concrete. There are several types of concrete sealers, including acrylic sealers, epoxy or polyurethane sealers, and penetrating sealers. Each has different characteristics and benefits. Selecting one should depend on the specific conditions and needs of your parking lot. 

Application and Maintenance

Concrete parking lot sealer should be applied according to the manufacturer’s instructions, generally every few years, depending on the product and the wear and tear on your parking lot. Regular cleaning and the removal of stains from oil or grease can also help maintain the integrity and appearance of the sealed parking lot. 

Repair Before Sealing

Before applying any sealer, make sure the concrete is in good condition. Repair any cracks, chips, or other damage with suitable concrete repair products. Sealing over damaged areas can lead to further deterioration and may affect the appearance of the finish.

Alternatives to Sealing

If sealing does not appeal to you, or if the maintenance requirements are too intense, consider other finishes like concrete staining or installing pavers for a more durable and aesthetically varied option. These alternatives can offer greater durability and a wider range of stylistic choices than sealing alone.

Protect Your Investment with Parking Lot Sealcoating in Tampa Bay

While it might seem like a quick fix to use asphalt sealer on a concrete parking lot, doing so can lead to more problems than it solves. For the best results and longest lifespan of your parking lot, use a concrete-specific sealer that will properly adhere to and protect your investment. Properly selected and applied concrete sealer will enhance the appearance of your parking lot and protect it against the elements. This will ensure it remains a functional and appealing aspect of your property for years to come.

Contact PLS for parking lot sealing in Tampa Bay and schedule a free consultation.