Asphalt seal coating protects the pavement from moisture, sun (which can cause oxidation), and chemicals like road salts and vehicle fluids. It also helps the surface look brand-new.
Whether you’re a homeowner with a driveway or a commercial property owner with acres of paved surfaces, it’s essential to get the seal coating process right. Purchasing subpar asphalt sealers off the shelf can be a huge mistake that can cost you money and time. To learn more, visit https://www.rochesternysealcoating.com/.
Asphalt is a composite material used for construction, transportation and other infrastructure applications. Its primary use is in road construction, although it is also used for car parks, driveways, airport runways and taxiways and even sports surfaces like tennis courts. It is typically black in color, but can be coloured, and it dries into a hard, weather-resistant surface.
It is made from two primary ingredients, aggregates (crushed stone or gravel) and bitumen. The aggregates provide the bulk of the material, while the bitumen binds it all together. The bitumen is a liquid that comes from the distillation of petroleum and it has polar molecules that attract the polar molecules of the aggregates.
Over time, oxidation can cause the bitumen to flake away from the aggregates, which results in cracking. When this happens, water can penetrate the cracks and freeze, which expands them significantly and causes the aggregate to break off from the pavement. Sealcoating slows down the oxidation and can prevent cracking, which can extend the life of your asphalt by years.
A well-applied asphalt sealcoat can restore the glossy, black appearance of your paved areas and improve your property’s curb appeal. It can also protect your investment and extend the lifespan of your asphalt. However, not all asphalt sealers are created equal, so you need to choose the right one for your specific needs. A professional should be able to advise you on which is best for your pavement.
What is Asphalt Sealing?
Asphalt sealcoating is an effective way to protect your commercial driveway or residential parking lot from damaging elements. It blocks the sun’s UV rays that cause oxidation and cracking, and it protects against oil spills and other chemicals that can degrade the asphalt surface. It also enhances the appearance of your parking lot or driveway, giving it a fresh new look.
When an asphalt surface is sealed, it is coated with a thick liquid that fills small cracks and pores in the pavement. This creates a barrier that protects against water, harmful chemicals, oil and gas spills, and other contaminants. It also restores the oils in the asphalt that keep it flexible and prevents damage from extreme temperatures.
The best type of asphalt sealant to use depends on your unique needs and environment. A professional asphalt paving contractor will be able to help you choose the right product for your specific situation. They can also provide guidance on the appropriate maintenance schedule for your asphalt, reducing the need for expensive repairs and extending its lifespan.
When a paved area is newly constructed, it must be allowed to cure before sealcoating can begin. This usually takes three to six months after the space has been paved. A reputable, professional asphalt paving company will use their specialized equipment to ensure an even, consistent coating of seal coat that is adhered properly to the pavement surface. Doing it yourself with a squeegee bought at the local home improvement store is generally not a good idea, as improper application can lead to premature cracking and lessen the life of your asphalt.
Why is Asphalt Sealing Important?
Asphalt is made of two things: aggregates, such as sand, crushed rock or gravel and bitumen, which is oily and sticky. When it is new, the bitumen adheres to the aggregate and prevents water and sunlight from degrading it. But over time, the asphalt starts to deteriorate, which is when it becomes vulnerable to cracking and potholes. The best way to protect your asphalt is to regularly seal it.
Unsealed asphalt is susceptible to water damage, especially in the winter when cold water seeps into small cracks and then freezes. The expansion of the frozen water causes larger cracks and other forms of pavement damage. The same is true for the summer sun, which is why regular sealing is a must.
Inexperienced and unscrupulous contractors often over sell their services and use low-quality coal-tar or asphalt emulsions that start to peel within one year. They believe that this will save them money, but it actually costs the property owner more in the long run as they have to reseal more frequently and the quality of the work is lessened.
A high-quality, professional asphalt sealer is a thick liquid that is applied over the surface of your asphalt. It is important that the surface is clean and all minor repairs are done before sealing. Also, the presence of any oil spots must be addressed and cleaned before sealing. This will ensure that the oil does not mix with the asphalt and cause further damage.
How is Asphalt Sealing Done?
Asphalt pavement isn’t cheap, and neither are the repairs required to keep it in good condition. That’s why a lot of homeowners and even commercial property owners and managers who are tasked with maintaining vast parking lots and access driveways often go the do-it-yourself route to save money on routine maintenance. This can be a great idea, provided the steps to sealcoat a blacktop surface are taken correctly.
First, the asphalt must be prepped by sweeping and blowing to remove any debris or dirt that could interfere with adhesion. Then, the sealer must be thoroughly stirred before it’s hooked up to a spray or squeegee application system. A lot of sealcoating materials separate over time, so this step is vital.
It is then applied to the paved surface in thin, overlapping coats. The contractor will typically recommend a certain amount of dry curing time between each coat. This is another reason why working with a reputable professional is always best.
While slathering asphalt with a thick layer of sealer may seem tempting, doing so will actually shorten the lifespan of the pavement. It will also cause premature cracking and other deterioration.
Aside from oxidation, another big reason for asphalt damage is water leaks that seep into and soften the asphalt binder, which then creates cracks and other deterioration. Proper sealcoating can help prevent this by forming an invisible barrier to protect the asphalt from oil and gasoline spills, as well as other liquids that can easily penetrate and damage the underlying concrete structure.
How Long Does Asphalt Sealing Last?
Asphalt is made up of stones and fine sands that are held together by asphalt cement. Over time, this material begins to oxidize due to exposure to the sun’s UV rays and moisture from rain and snow. This causes the pavement to become dull, gray, and eventually crack. Applying asphalt seal coating prevents this deterioration and extends the life of your asphalt driveway or parking lot. There are many different types of asphalt seal coating, so be sure to work with a professional paving contractor that can determine the best type for your project.
It’s important to wait at least six months after your new asphalt is installed before applying seal coat. This allows the oils in the asphalt to evaporate. Sealing a new driveway or parking lot too soon can trap these oils, which will cause the asphalt to be more flexible and susceptible to imprints and tire marks.
Once the asphalt is sealed, it’s a good idea to schedule regular maintenance for your pavement. It’s recommended that your asphalt be re-sealed every three years to protect it from damage, and to improve the curb appeal of your property. If you skip out on re-sealing your asphalt, it may require major repairs and cost more to replace down the road. Regular asphalt sealcoating, combined with crack filling and routine inspections, can significantly extend the life of your asphalt.
How Much Does Asphalt Sealing Cost?
Keeping asphalt driveways, parking lots and roadways sealed can prevent damage to the surface. This protects against water and ice, and it prevents sun damage to the surface. Regular asphalt sealing also helps the pavement last longer, which can save money on repairs or replacement costs. This is why asphalt sealcoating is a good investment for homeowners and businesses.
The cost of driveway sealcoating varies depending on the type of pavement and the size of the area that needs to be sealed. Driveway contractors usually charge by the square foot, so you’ll need to know the total square footage of your driveway before requesting an estimate.
There are many different types of pavement sealants to choose from, each with its own benefits and costs. For example, asphalt emulsion is cheap and fast-drying, but it doesn’t last long or fill cracks. Coal tar is durable and long-lasting, but it’s also toxic and carcinogenic.
When choosing a pavement sealant, make sure you choose one that is mixed with silica and rubberized latex for the longest lasting application. Avoid buying a product that is sold in 55-gallon drums or 5 gallon pails, as these are not properly mixed with the sand and latex and will not provide the best results. You should also hire a professional contractor with the right equipment for the job. This will ensure that the sealant is properly mixed and applied, resulting in a long-lasting, high quality finish.