Frequently Asked Questions

Sealcoating

Cars, tools, appliances - examine most any product that is subject to oxidation and moisture damage and chances are, you'll find it has a protective coating. But did you know you can protect your investment in asphalt paving the same way? Make no mistake; pavement is a significant investment. And in recent years, with the cost of petroleum products on the rise, it has become even more so.

Why does uncoated asphalt degrade?

Asphalt pavement is a mixture of stone aggregate, mineral fillers, and asphaltic binder. It has the ability to take great loads then flex back to its original position, providing the smooth ride and durability we're familiar with in an asphalt surface. However, the primary molecular structure of asphalt is what is known as an "open chain" structure. This structure provides unintended access to the weather, UV radiation, slats, and chemicals which come in contact with the pavement. Plus, since asphalt is a petroleum product itself, other petroleum products, such as oil and gasoline, easily combine with it to break down. Over time, all these degradants cause the asphalt to lose its flexibility and cohesiveness.

 

How does sealcoating protect pavement?

Sealcoating functions in the same way as any protective coating. It puts a barrier between the degradants and the product. It seals out problems and seals in asphalt's natural flexibility and performance. Asphalt emulsion sealcoating are a blend of emulsion, specialty chemicals, fillers, and pigments. It is applied directly to the surface of an asphalt pavement with a rubber squeegee, broom or mechanical spray.

 

Are sealcoats safe?

Practically odorless and non-irritation, emulsion sealcoating is not only easy to use, but safe for applications such as school properties and restaurants. Sealcoats also provide a smooth, black, even surface ideal for painting and sweeping.

 

Are all sealers the same?

No. You should use a sealcoat materials manufactured by a member of the Asphalt Seal Coat Manufacturer's Association. Members adhere to the strict A.S.M.A. standard specification in manufacturing their material which ensures a quality product. We use Armor Seal #A-100 Concentrated Asphalt Base Pavement Sealer. A-100 is designed to seal and protect asphalt pavements such as roadways, airports, parking lots and playgrounds. A-100 is long lasting and is designed to outlast all other asphalt sealers on the market. A-100 will extend and preserve asphalt pavement for many years.

 

How much money can I save?

The cost of sealcoating is significantly less than replacing asphalt. In face, according to a recent study, regularly maintained sealcoated pavements offer a whopping 65% cost savings over unsealed pavements. During a 15-year period, that can add up to as much as $127,000 for a 10,000 square foot pavement. What's more, sealcoating enhances property value and customer perceptions with its handsome, well-maintained look and rich, black color.

 

Can it do it myself?

Sealcoating must be properly prepared and applied in order to assure optimal performance. This means contractor selection is critical to making sure you get all the benefits you deserve. A professional pavement maintenance contractor is your best source for the skill and experience required to protect your investment in pavement. Click to to see common asphalt problems.

 

When should seal coating be done?

Generally you should wait a few months before sealing new pavement to allow it time to cure. The A.S.M.A. recommends waiting 6-12 months before seal coating new pavement. After a surface has been sealed it should be resealed every 3-4 years or as necessity dictates.

 

What surfaces are ideal for sealcoating?

Seal coats are designed for off highway use where there are low traffic speeds and tight turning radiuses such as parking lots, mobile home parks, schools, churches, driveways and road shoulders.

 

How long should I stay off newly seal coated asphalt?

The usual time to stay off newly seal coated surfaces is 24 hours. After completing your project, we will make sure the job is completely blocked off until the seal coating has had time to cure.

Asphalt Repair

When is it time for an asphalt repair?
Any type of cracking is the primary indicator that a repair is necessary. Cracks always begin on the underside of the asphalt. When cracks appear, it's a sure sign that water, oil, gas, etc. are penetrating and damaging the underlayment. If caught early enough, these cracks can be filled before the pavement disintegrates into potholes, which are more unsightly and inconvenient for your customers, and considerably more expensive to repair.

 

What are some of the causes of asphalt failure?
The reasons for the problems vary widely. Lack of maintenance, poor drainage, inadequate thickness, accumulated wear-and-tear, or unstable subgrade components contribute to the eventual need for significant repairs. Asphalt deteriorates when the surface is worn away by weather and traffic. When this happens, there is nothing to bind the larger aggregates together and the surface begins to ravel. This weakens the pavement section and eventually allows water to penetrate the subgrade, which leads to pavement failure. Click here to see photos of common asphalt problems.

 

What is crack seal?
Crack seal is a hot, rubberized petroleum pavement crack and joint sealant. The sealant forms a long lasting, resilient seal which is flexible and expandable in varying pavement temperatures. Crack sealing prevents the penetration of surface water between the layers of asphalt and sub-grade rock, thus preventing premature pavement failures, deterioration and potholes.

 

When should cracks be sealed?
Immediately. Any crack measuring a quarter-inch or wider in the pavement will allow moisture to penetrate to the subsurface. This moisture will eventually compromise the subgrade under the asphalt resulting in pavement failure.

 

Is sealing cracks cost effective?
Proper crack repair procedures can double the life of most asphalt pavements.

 

When should traffic be allowed on a recently repaired parking lot?
The amount of time depends on several factors. For asphalt repairs, allow 2 to 6 hours before using the new lot depending on the temperature. Sealcoating and overlays need a 24-hour curing time after work is completed. Do not allow traffic on your lot before the end of the 24-hour drying period. Cooler temperatures and the use of drying agents can also affect the cure time.