How to Measure and Prepare for Parking Lot Sealcoating

Enhance durability with parking lot sealcoating. Boost protection and curb appeal today. Follow our simple guide. Get started now for a longer-lasting lot.

Judson Burdon
Posted by Judson Burdon on August 24

Asphalt pavements are susceptible to wear and tear, and that's bad news for business owners and property managers.

Asphalt is exposed to the elements and traffic. Exposure to the elements results in fading and cracking over time. But the good news is it's easy to maintain an asphalt parking lot and keep its black finish.

Are you planning to conduct some crack sealing and apply asphalt sealer to the parking lot? Then this pavement maintenance blog is for you.

But first things first. Accurately measuring up your parking lot prior to sealcoating is absolutely essential; the last thing you want is to run out of sealant halfway through.

Equally, ending up with barrels of asphalt sealer left over will make the job much more expensive than it needs to be.

Luckily, measuring a parking lot for sealcoating does not have to be a complicated task, and there are a variety of tools that can help you breeze through the process with ease.

Take a look at our step-by-step guide to measuring a parking lot ready for sealcoating!

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A Step-by-Step Measuring Guide for Parking Lot Sealcoating

What you will need for measuring the area before sealcoating a parking lot:

  • A measuring wheel or surveyor’s tape measure
  • A calculator
  • A notepad or notes app to record the measurements

These items will help you determine how many square foot the parking lot has and the amount of pavement sealer you need to purchase.

Step One

Survey the parking lot and figure out what shapes are involved. Luckily, most parking lots are squares or rectangles, making measuring up incredibly easy work. However, some parking lots may contain circles, semi-circles or ‘flares’ around the edges.

The first step in measuring a parking lot for sealcoating is figuring out the shape

Step Two

Measure each area of your parking lot.

  • Using your wheel, measure the length and width of the asphalt pavement, making sure to walk in a straight line for increased accuracy.
  • Multiply the length of the parking lot by the width to figure out its area in square feet (or meters, depending on which unit you are working with!)

For circular areas:

  • Measure the radius of the circle (the distance from the centre point to the edge). If you’re dealing with a semi-circle, simply imagine the circle is whole and measure the radius accordingly.
  • Use the formula ‘A=πr2’ to figure out the area of your circle. To break this formula down, simply square your radius, then multiply this figure by pi (which can be substituted for 3.14).
  • If the area in question is a semi-circle, use half this value.

For flares:

  • A flare is an area at the edge of a parking lot that ‘flares’ outwards at the end.
  • Measuring the area of a flare can never be 100% accurate, but it’s important not to discount these areas, particularly if you’re dealing with more than one.
  • The general rule for measuring a flare is to measure the distance from the beginning of the flared area up to the widest point at the end (this is the length). Then measure the length of the flare itself at its longest point (this is the width).
  • To find the approximate area, multiply length by width, then divide this value by two, essentially creating a triangular area around the size of the flare.

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Step three

Add all the areas from your parking lot together!

 

Top tip

If you are unable to go out and physically measure the area or would like a quicker and more convenient option, our online tool can help you easily measure up your asphalt surface area using Google’s satellite technology.

 

Once you have figured out approximately how much area you are looking to cover, it’s time to decide how much parking lot seal (either asphalt emulsion, acrylic, or coal tar) you need. Take a look at our handy sealcoating calculator for an accurate estimate.

We'll factor in the size of the area and the sealcoating method you will use. This is to provide you with an accurate idea of how many gallons of product you will need.

How to Conduct Parking Lot Sealcoating

Now that you know how to measure a parking lot for sealcoating, it's time to prep your asphalt pavement and apply sealer.

For many business owners, maintaining parking lots isn't just about functionality — it's also about presenting the best face to customers and clients. An asphalt parking lot that's been meticulously maintained adds significant curb appeal to a property. 

One essential component of an effective parking lot maintenance or pavement maintenance program is parking lot sealcoating. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you ensure the longevity and appeal of asphalt surfaces.

Step 1: Inspection and Preparation

  1. Evaluate the Asphalt Surface. Before sealcoating a parking lot, conduct a thorough inspection to identify signs of wear and tear. Check for cracks, potholes, or any surface deformities.
  2. Crack Sealing. Address any cracks you find. Crack sealing is a preliminary step before sealcoating. It ensures the sealer will adhere properly and that existing cracks in any pavement surface or asphalt parking lots won't worsen.

Step 2: Cleaning the Surface

  1. Remove Debris. Clear the lot of any debris, including leaves, twigs, and trash. This will ensure a smoother finish.

Step 3: Applying the Sealer

  1. Mix the Sealer. Before applying to the parking lot, ensure the pavement sealer is mixed thoroughly.
  2. Spray or Brush Application. Depending on the size of the parking lot and the tools you have, the sealer can be applied using a sprayer or a large brush. Spraying is more efficient for larger lots while brushing might provide a thicker coating.
  3. Apply in Thin Coats. It's recommended to apply two thin coats rather than one thick one. This ensures even coverage and a more polished black finish.
  4. Coverage Rate. On average, a gallon of sealer covers 100 square feet. Always check the manufacturer's recommendations for specific coverage rates.

Step 4: Drying and Curing

  1. Allow Adequate Drying Time. After application, sealcoating parking lots requires a good amount of time to dry. Typically, a parking lot should be kept traffic-free for at least 24 hours after sealcoating.
  2. Check Weather Forecasts. It's essential to conduct sealcoating when the weather is clear. Rain can wash away the sealer before it dries, compromising the integrity of the job.

Step 5: Maintenance and Care

  1. Regular Inspection. Encourage the business owner to inspect the lot regularly for signs of wear or damage. Prompt attention to issues will extend the life of the sealcoating.
  2. Reapply as Needed. Depending on the traffic and environmental conditions, sealcoating might be required every 2-3 years.

Please feel free to explore our two handy tools for your next seal coating job and let us know what you think!

Want to grow your sealcoating business? Contact Asphalt Kingdom at 1-866-399-5562 for FREE expert advice. 

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Topics: Sealcoating, Asphalt Maintenance Business, parking lot sealcoating

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