No asphalt maintenance procedure is more effective and more economical than professional sealcoating. However, not every individual who claims to be proficient at sealcoating possesses the knowledge, equipment, skill, and willingness to do the job correctly. Some are inexperienced amateurs, but others are scammers who will disappear with your money before you have time to realize that the job was a total failure. Many times, both amateurs and con artists take shortcuts that should never be taken when asphalt sealcoating.
What Shortcuts Should Asphalt Companies Avoid When Sealcoating?
Every company that manufactures asphalt sealants supplies detailed instructions for mixing and applying their products. These instructions specify the steps that must be taken to prepare the pavement before sealcoating, the ingredients to be added to the sealant mix and the proper amount of each ingredient, the weather conditions that must be present, the correct thickness of each coat, and the proper interval between an application and the introduction of traffic. Every reputable sealcoating contractor will make sure that all steps are completed within the manufacturer’s specifications.
What Steps Are Needed to Prepare an Asphalt Pavement for Sealcoating?
The durability and longevity of a sealant depend on a strong bond between the sealant and the pavement. The bond cannot develop if the pavement is dirty, so the contractor must clean the pavement to remove any dirt, vegetation, or debris. Oil stains will need to be thoroughly cleaned or primed. Any paving services, including crack or pothole repair, must be performed before sealcoating. Skipping any of these steps can result in a sealcoating job that is extremely short-lived.
If Asphalt Companies Prepare a Sealcoating Mix Improperly, What Will Happen?
One critical mistake that a reputable contractor will not make is eliminating or severely reducing the amount of silica sand that should be in the mix. Sand enhances traction, but it also contributes to the longevity of the sealcoating. However, sand takes up room in the mix, so some unscrupulous contractors omit the sand so that they can add more water. The additional water produces a mixture that can cover more pavement, saving the contractor money. The watered-down mix will soon wear off, and it will offer little or no protection even before it wears away.
What Weather Conditions Are Needed for Asphalt Sealcoating?
Manufacturers supply a list of ideal conditions for applying their sealants, but they also provide acceptable ranges. For example, a manufacturer may state that ideal conditions include an air temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit and a relative humidity level below 50%. Since manufacturers know that ideal conditions are rare in many areas, they include acceptable ranges. A manufacturer might state that a sealant can be applied when the temperature is as high as 90 degrees, but the contractor might need to take steps to cool the pavement if the temperature is above that point. However, certain specifications should never be disregarded. The temperature can never fall to less than 50 degrees from the time the application begins until 24 hours after completing the application. During that same period, there can be absolutely no precipitation; even a sprinkling of rain can ruin the job. Few paving services can be successfully completed in all weather conditions, so beware of any asphalt contractor who tells you that he guarantees to sealcoat your pavement on a specific date no matter what the weather.
How Thickly Should a Contractor Apply Sealcoating?
Several variables determine the proper thickness. The problem that you are likely to encounter is an asphalt contractor who assures you that one thick coat of sealcoating is equal or superior to two thin coats. This is simply not true. Much like paint, sealants need to lose their water through evaporation. The water will evaporate from the top of the sealant long before it can escape from the lower layers. The best you can hope for is that the sealcoating will show wrinkles, but it is more likely that the top layer will flake off, the wet sealant will be tracked, and the job will need to be repeated.
How Long Should I Keep a Freshly Sealed Pavement Closed to Traffic?
Only your sealcoating contractor can answer this question. It depends on the weather, traffic type, and other factors specific to your pavement. In general, however, most pavements can be opened to foot traffic in four to eight hours, but parking lots typically need to stay closed to vehicles for 18 to 24 hours.
For Superior Asphalt and Concrete Services, Contact Marathon Solutions Group
Marathon Solutions Group offers a list of asphalt sealcoating and paving-related services, including asphalt paving, sealcoating, asphalt repairs and overlays, thermoplastic markings, traffic sign installations, concrete services, parking lot striping, and bollard installations. Whether you need a complete reconstruction, drainage improvements, or an asphalt maintenance plan, we can help. We are a well-respected company with impeccable references, highly experienced crews, and an exemplary reputation. Contact us for a free estimate by submitting the online form or calling 800-879-1147.