When asphalt is new, the oils in the mix are fresh and able to move and flex. This allows the asphalt to contour to the base and any small movements from weather. As the asphalt gets older, the sun bakes the petroleum in the asphalt and water also strips the asphalt of the oils in it.
These factors make the asphalt brittle and more prone to cracking, raveling, and breaking. Gilsonite is a natural asphalt that is mined from the ground and made into a powder. It is then cut with a petroleum liquid. This dissolves the Gilsonite and makes it possible to spray it onto the asphalt.
By applying Gilsonite to asphalt, it rejuvenates the oils in the asphalt to replace the oils that have been lost. It also protects the asphalt from the UV rays of the sun so that the petroleum will not break down as fast. Gilsonite also waterproofs the surface so that it is more water tight.
Gilsonite has a useful life of 3-5 years depending on the condition of asphalt is applied to. It is recommended for very dry asphalt and also for new asphalt. It penetrates into the top of the asphalt to give better protection.