There’s no question that sealcoating improves the appearance of asphalt pavement, and in fact appearance is one reason many property managers sealcoat their pavement every year or two.
“The parking lot is the welcome mat to your property – to your store or your mall,” Luzar says. “So if you parking lot looks terrible then you don’t present an inviting place and that’s going to affect your store traffic. On the other hand if it’s nice and black with bright stripes – that tells the public that you run a nice operation and you take care of the place they’re going to visit, so you’ll probably take good care of them.”
The Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) confirms that the subjective idea of “curb appeal,” or how a property looks to the public, is in fact a very real phenomenon. Houser says that on a scale of 10, appearance ranks 8 and the parking lot is a big part of that perception. So one of the simplest things to improve a property and raise its “curb appeal” is to sealcoat the parking lot.
“One of the most important ways to attract and retain tenants in office building or property management settings is to maintain the property’s exterior and curb appeal,” Houser says. “The property’s parking lot is the first impression for potential tenants and their customers, so curb appeal is paramount. A clean, well-maintained parking lot indicates a professional outlook in all aspects of business and translates into a positive first impression.”
Refined coal tar sealer is a blacker product that many property managers prefer, but asphalt-based sealers also result in an improved pavement appearance, making striping stand out and improving the curb appeal of property.
“Aesthetically, sealcoating shows off the grass, the stripes and the building making it all look better and more appealing,” Vance says. “We’re a service-oriented society and an ego-centric society and we all like to look good. So anything property owners can do to improve the appearance of their parking lot makes their shopping center or mall or office building that much more appealing to the public.”
“Sealcoating does make a pavement look great and that’s important to a lot of property owners and managers,” Luzar says. “But the main reason for sealcoating is to keep the fines and the aggregate locked into the asphalt so the pavement doesn’t crack. Sealcoating locks the fines and binder and aggregate into the asphalt.”