Although asphalt is a guaranteed durable material, its exposure to environmental elements such as UV rays, oxygen, extreme temperature, and water makes it vulnerable. Heavy traffic load, chemical spills, and oil leaks can further weaken it. If left unprotected, the asphalt pavement can lose its deep black color or become cracked and damaged.
Sealcoating is akin to applying wax to your car to protect the paint. It provides a protective barrier against the elements that can cause deterioration and damage. Applying asphalt sealer before the effects of wear and tear start is crucial. A timely sealcoat application can add several more years to the life of your asphalt paving. It can prevent unwanted asphalt repair and replacement costs.
Sealcoating Best Practices
Proper sealcoating is crucial to enjoying its full benefits. So, whether you’re hiring a sealcoating contractor or doing it yourself, you want to follow the sealcoating best practices.
Before applying a coat of asphalt sealer, make sure all cracks and potholes are fixed. You can either hire a professional or learn how to DIY.
Potholes can become harmful, dangerous, and unattractive to your asphalt driveway. Meanwhile, cracks can lead to more serious damage as water can seep through it and erode the foundation. If left unchecked, cracks can eventually turn into large potholes.
For minor cracks, there are asphalt crack filler products that you can do the trick. However, for major cracks and potholes that require base repair, it is best to consult professionals.
Clean the surface
To ensure the sealcoat adheres well to the asphalt surface, make sure it is completely clean. Dirt, aggregates, pebbles, oil spills, and grease might cause the asphalt sealing not to adhere to the surface.
You need a gas blower, degreaser, scrub brush, water, and hose to remove all dirt. The gas blower can clear all fine dirt, sand, and aggregates. If you don’t have a blower, you can use a broom as an alternative. For painted areas or parking lot lines, use the scrub brush to remove flaking paint. Apply degreaser cleaner to areas with oil spills, stains, and leaks.
If the asphalt pavement is bordered with grass, trim it before you start sealcoating. Grass can become embedded in your sealer or leave unsightly markings.
Use the right sealer
There are many types of sealcoat products in the market such as coal tar emulsion, asphalt emulsion, oil-based, fast-dry, and acrylic. All of these types have their pros and cons. Be sure to consider these factors when choosing the product to apply. According to Tampa experts from CSG Sealcoating, the coal tar emulsion is most commonly used due to its durability and affordability.
Apply the proper mix
Follow manufacturer instructions for the recommended mix, coverage rate, and the number of coats. Any deviation or using a watered-down mix or “black water” can lead to unsatisfactory results. Be sure the mix is completely blended before application. Most importantly, use quality materials to ensure a lasting effect.
Choose the right day
Like other outdoor home projects, you need good weather conditions for effective sealcoating. Ideally, this project should be done in summer when there is plenty of sunlight, less chance of rain, and temperature is at 10 C or higher.
Check the weather forecast for the next couple of days. Sealcoating is not recommended during the winter season or overcast days. Heat and sunlight are necessary to speed up drying times and uniform settings.
Best time to sealcoat
Sealcoating is recommended at least one to two years after the initial asphalt application. This allows the asphalt to cure properly and wear the outermost surface. Sealcoating should be repeated at least every three to four years. Of course, the type of sealer you use and the manufacturer’s recommendation should be considered. Some sealers have a longer lifespan compared to others.
Sealcoating is a simple, inexpensive maintenance procedure for your asphalt surfaces. But like all other home maintenance projects, make sure you follow the right techniques and best practices so you get the most out of your investment. Better yet, work with a reliable sealcoating contractor to ensure the quality of your sealcoating project.