Sealcoating is a simple yet very effective way to protect your pavement from untimely wear and tear. Sadly, many property owners are unaware of this preventive measure. Here is everything you need to know about asphalt sealer – what it is, how it protects your asphalt pavement and why it is important, and many more tidbits.
What is a sealer?
As the term suggests, sealcoat or sealer products seal or lock in the properties of asphalt to prevent the untimely deterioration of the pavement. This protective coating keeps out petrochemicals, ultraviolet rays, water, weather, and other things that can potentially damage the surface and cause it to wear out fast. A properly sealed asphalt retains its flexural, cementing, and waterproofing properties.
Sealer is composed of asphalt emulsifier, coal tar, specialty chemicals, filler/clay, and water. Typically, asphalt sealers are supplied in concentrated form. This mixture will then be mixed with water to achieve a workable consistency; aggregate to attain the desired abrasion and skid resistance properties, and ensure an even surface, and additives to enhance overall performance properties.
Specialty chemicals and other compounds are added to the sealer to improve certain properties. These additives have different properties, so it is important to choose the right additive depending on the needs of the project. These substances are added to sealers to achieve different objectives thickening, aggregate suspension, uniform color, and performance improvement.
Latex is among the most commonly used additives to sealers. There are numerous additives that you can choose from based on your paving requirements.
How do sealers protect asphalt?
Sealer seeps through the existing asphalt. It revitalizes the oil on the asphalt surface and lubricates the binder that keeps the asphalt together. This ensures that the asphalt maintains its flexibility as well as its thermal-specific properties. Sealcoating enables the asphalt to contract in cold weather and expand in the heat. As the asphalt loses its oil content, it dries out and becomes brittle. Without sealcoating, the asphalt pavement becomes prone to cracks and potholes.
Sealers act as a filler to small cracks thereby preventing water and other petrochemicals from seeping through it can cause more serious damage. Regular sealcoating ensures uniformity and prevents uneven wear. This retains the aesthetic property of the pavement.
Does my asphalt driveway need sealer?
Ideally, asphalt pavements should be sealed six months to a year after their installation. New asphalt pavement should be allowed to be set fully for at least six months before sealcoating.
Properly installed and quality sealer can protect for up to three years. So, if your asphalt paving is in good condition without cracks, potholes, or damages and it has been three years since the last sealcoating, then you should consider resealing it. However, if you are unsure of when it was last sealed, you might as well apply sealcoating. It is better to be sure than sorry.
Take note, however, that sealers are best used on surfaces that are in good condition. Sealcoating contractors at ABC Paving emphasized that sealers are intended as preventive maintenance – and not as a repair. It is important to assess the paving’s overall condition first before sealcoating. If the driveway already shows extensive water damage, visible cracks or potholes, or significant wear, sealers are not recommended. Instead, you should consider repairing the driveway and then seal it later. Working with a reliable
Why hire a professional?
DIY sealcoating can be very tempting. Aside from the potential savings, the sealcoating process may seem simple and DIYable. But applying sealer is not that simple. Numerous details need to be considered when sealcoating. For instance, the ratio sealer, sand, water, and additives matter most. Any mistake in the rationing can spoil the mixture and lead to poor outcomes.
Likewise, you need to ensure that the surface is thoroughly clean before sealcoating. Dirt, debris, loose aggregate, and dust can cause the sealer not to adhere to the asphalt properly. It is also equally important to choose the right time for sealcoatingl to achieve the best results.
Working with sealcoating contractors ensures that the project is done properly. It prevents unwanted wastages and guarantees the asphalt will last long. With their expertise, they can evaluate the condition of your asphalt and recommend the most appropriate preventative measure.