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Protective Shield: Exploring the Benefits and Importance of Sealcoating

The investment in an asphalt driveway or parking lot can be safeguarded by routine Rochester NY Sealcoating. This minor maintenance task can extend the life of your pavement by decades, saving you time and money on repair costs.

Sealcoating

Before sealcoating can begin, the surface needs to be completely clean. Workers will need adequate PPE, including a respirator, to deal with any fumes or particles that may be present.

Sealcoating is an important investment that safeguards asphalt surfaces against damage, but harsh weather conditions can impact its efficacy. Temperature, humidity, precipitation and sunlight are critical factors that affect the speed at which sealant dries and “cures.” Understanding these weather conditions is key to ensuring your sealcoating project meets expectations and produces optimal results.

Temperature influences how quickly the sealant dries, and this is especially true in hot weather. Sealcoating contractors recommend applying the product during early morning or late afternoon to minimize the pavement surface’s heat and reduce drying time. This ensures that the material adheres properly to the asphalt, resulting in a robust, protective coating.

Humidity impacts the rate at which the sealant dries, and the best time to sealcoat a parking lot is when the humidity level is below 60%. High humidity levels slow the evaporation of water, which prolongs drying time. A few percentage points of added humidity can double the sealant’s curing time, so it’s essential to keep it below this threshold for optimum performance.

When it comes to rainfall, heavy showers or rainstorms can derail a sealcoating project by washing away the fresh material before it has a chance to dry and cure. Aside from wasting money and creating an unsightly, uneven appearance, the additional moisture can also dilute the sealant mixture, negatively affecting its viscosity and overall performance. A reputable contractor will avoid sealcoating in these weather conditions to protect their work and the safety of those on or near the pavement.

Clear, warm temperatures are ideal for sealcoating because they allow the material to dry quickly. A light breeze helps facilitate evaporation, but wind speeds over 10 mph can blow the sealant off the pavement and cause overspray. Additionally, the weather should be free of rain, sleet and snow for 24 hours after the application. These elements can wash away the uncured sealant, which will significantly reduce its lifespan and the protection it provides for your asphalt. A professional contractor will assess the prevailing and forecasted weather conditions before beginning any asphalt sealcoating job.

Preparation

The success of seal coating depends on how well the asphalt is prepared for it. Every trace of sand, dirt, oil, and other residue must be cleaned away from the pavement surface to promote strong bonding with the protective coating. The asphalt must also be free of raised markers used for separating lanes, delineating parking spaces, or otherwise marking the pavement surface.

Ideally, the area that is to be sealed should be blocked off to prevent anyone or anything from entering it during the sealcoating process. If a commercial parking lot is involved, it’s important to inform customers and suppliers that the parking lot will be inaccessible for a few hours during the sealing process. This will allow them to make alternative arrangements and to avoid disruptions and delays.

Once the area to be sealed has been blocked off, it’s time to begin cleaning the pavement. The pavement should be broom swept to remove loose pebbles and small amounts of debris, such as grass clippings, leaves, and dust. It’s also a good idea to clean the pavement of any grease, oil, and other chemicals that have spilled on the pavement. This will help to extend the life of the asphalt.

Asphalt is prone to oxidation, which is a gradual process that wears down the asphalt binder and causes the aggregate particles to shift and crumble. This damage eventually results in cracks that get worse with the passage of time, making them more difficult to repair. The application of a seal coat slows down the oxidation process and protects the asphalt from chemical penetration, water damage, and the elements.

A seal coat also makes the asphalt look brand new, which enhances the curb appeal of a property and is an attractive feature for potential customers to see. In addition, it helps fill in the smaller cracks that may be present on the asphalt surface. However, it’s important to note that a seal coat is not a replacement for repairing the existing cracks in your parking lot. It can be helpful to combine sealcoating with asphalt crack filling for optimal results.

Application

Asphalt surfaces are vulnerable to many factors that can compromise the structural integrity of the material. Consistent maintenance, like seal coating, aims to prolong the lifespan of the surface and prevent costly repairs in the future.

To ensure optimal outcomes, the application process for sealcoating must be performed under the right conditions. First, workers must meticulously prepare the surface by sweeping and clearing away any visible materials that could interfere with adhesion. They should also use a high-powered blower to remove debris and thoroughly dry the surface. Then, a thorough inspection of the surface should be undertaken to identify any cracks, sinkholes and other damage that need attention.

The next step is to mix the sealcoat according to manufacturer instructions for proportions and a consistent mixture. This can be done manually or mechanically, depending on the size of the project. A specialized sealcoating machine that utilizes a pump to agitate the sealer can make the process much faster and more efficient.

There are two primary types of sealcoats: coal tar-based and asphalt emulsion-based. Coal tar-based sealcoats contain harsh chemicals that can harm the environment and pose health risks for workers. Asphalt emulsion-based sealcoats, on the other hand, contain milder ingredients that are safe for both the environment and workers.

Once the sealcoat is mixed and applied, it creates a protective barrier against UV rays, water, oils and other oxidizing substances. It also helps re-bond the aggregate, preventing deterioration and giving the pavement a vibrant new appearance.

While it’s impossible to completely protect the asphalt from natural elements, the judicious application of sealcoat can greatly reduce the rate at which it degrades and stains. This is especially crucial in colder regions that experience frequent freeze-thaw cycles, as the thawing and freezing temperatures can severely damage the pavement’s structural integrity.

Sealcoating is an easy, affordable way to extend the lifespan of your pavement and improve the look of your parking lot or driveway. It’s important to plan ahead, however, so you can order enough sealcoat to cover the area you need to address. Simply enter your measurements into our free sealcoating calculator and we’ll show you how much you need.

Maintenance

Sealcoating is a preventative maintenance procedure that protects asphalt pavement from gasoline, salt, water, and ultraviolet rays – elements that erode the surface of the roadway. It also fills small cracks and improves the structural integrity of asphalt. Pavement that is eroding and in need of repair can cost thousands of dollars to replace, but regular sealcoating can prolong the life of asphalt and protect the environment.

The process involves mixing asphalt, filling cracks and allowing it to dry before vehicles can be used on the area again. Workers must follow all health and safety protocols for working with the materials involved. They may be exposed to toxic chemicals, such as coal tar emulsions or other petroleum byproducts that are known to cause cancer and other health problems. Keeping workers away from these substances is the best way to keep them safe during and after the job is done.

Before a seal coat can be applied the surface must be in good condition, with no cracks or potholes. If the area is in need of repairs before the sealcoat can be applied, it should be repaired first with a hot pour crack fill machine to ensure a long-lasting result. Once the area is ready to be sealed, it can be coated and allowed to dry for up to 24 hours. During this time it is important that workers are not driving or walking on the pavement as this can remove the sealcoat prematurely.

In addition to protecting the pavement from damage, a sealcoat enhances the appearance of a parking lot or driveway, making it look newer and more appealing. This can boost the curb appeal of a property and increase its value. In addition, it provides a smoother road surface for safer driving conditions.

A professional company that provides seal coating services will have the equipment, materials and expertise to provide a high quality job. It is not recommended that homeowners attempt this project on their own, as the results will likely be subpar and not last as long. Relying on a professional will also minimize long-term repair costs and extend the life of asphalt.