How Are Asphalt Paving and Sealcoating Different?If you are not involved in the paving industry, overhearing a conversation between a group of asphalt contractors can leave you puzzled over some of the terms they use. They may discuss things like asphalt sealcoating, milling, curing times, subbase construction, alligator cracking, and other topics that can pique your curiosity. Often, contractors use terms that may appear to be referring to the same thing but are very different procedures. One example is the confusion surrounding the difference between asphalt crack sealing and asphalt sealing. Another example is the confusion between paving and sealcoating.

How Are Asphalt Paving and Sealcoating Different?

What Is the Fundamental Difference Between Paving and Sealcoating?

The basic difference between the two terms is similar to the difference between the metal structure of a car and the paint applied over the metal. Paving is the method by which asphalt is used to create a pavement, and sealcoating is the protective covering applied to the pavement. If the paint on a vehicle is chipped, the metal is exposed to the damage that the environment can inflict, including rust. Similarly, if sealcoating is damaged, worn, or nonexistent, the pavement will be exposed to environmental damage from UV rays, water, oil and other vehicle fluids, and thermal expansion.

What Are Some Other Differences Between Sealcoating and Asphalt Paving?

One difference is that sealcoating is typically less expensive than paving. Sealcoating is a very economical procedure that is normally classified as routine maintenance. Therefore, most businesses expense the costs of their commercial sealcoating. Paving costs can vary widely because the term can be used to describe a partial pavement reconstruction, an asphalt overlay, a new construction, or some types of asphalt repairs. Paving expenses are typically either expensed as a repair cost or capitalized as a fixed asset. The classification depends on the company’s policy that defines the qualifications for expensing, amortizing, or capitalizing a purchase. For example, if a company hires an asphalt paving company to build a new parking lot, the project will be more likely to qualify as a capital expense than if the company hires a contractor to remove and replace a small area of damaged pavement.

When Do I Need Each Type of Asphalt Service?

Depending on your pavement’s use and age, you will usually need sealcoating applied every 18 to 30 months to maximize the protection and visual appeal of your pavement. However, your contractor may recommend a different interval. Besides constructing or reconstructing a pavement, you may also need paving services to repair potholes, install an overlay, or repair patches of alligator cracking. Since remediation depends more on the pavement’s condition than its chronological age, you could need paving services at any time during the life of your pavement.

If I Need Sealcoating and Paving, Should I Call Two Different Contractors?

If you choose an experienced, reliable asphalt paving company, you will probably only need to work with one contractor. For example, many commercial sealcoating contractors also offer paving services, and many driveway paving contractors also perform sealcoating. However, there are some sealcoating contractors who only offer sealcoating, crack repairs, and parking lot striping.

C&C Super Seal is an asphalt paving & commercial sealcoating contractor, and we serve both residential and commercial clients throughout Philadelphia County. Our services include asphalt crack repair, paving, sealcoating, pothole repair, parking lot sweeping, snow removal, line striping, and parking lot bollards. Over the past two decades, we have demonstrated our exceptional workmanship and commitment to customer service on projects of all scopes and complexities. We have an unparalleled reputation, charge competitive prices, and offer free job quotes. If you have questions or are ready to request a quote, call our Bensalem office at 267-223-9906, send an email to, or submit our online form.