Asphalt sealcoating is an extremely effective and economical procedure that can add many years to the life of your pavement and simultaneously enhance your property’s aesthetic appeal. However, if the process is not performed correctly, you could be throwing away your money. Some contractors take shortcuts that could leave your pavement less visually appealing and without any protection from the sources of potential damage. Common shortcuts that reputable contractors avoid include improperly preparing the mix, failing to prepare the surface adequately, applying the sealant under adverse weather conditions, and applying the sealant incorrectly.
Sealcoating Shortcuts A Paving Company Should Never Take
What Is an Improper Sealant Mix?
Sealant manufacturers typically deliver their products in a raw form, and contractors add ingredients to create a liquid. The manufacturers specify the amount of each component that should be added when preparing the liquid mix. One of the necessary ingredients is water. Long ago, unscrupulous contractors learned that increasing the amount of water increased how much area the mix would cover. One way of making room for the additional water is to reduce the amount of sand in the mix. Without the correct amount of water and sand, the pavement’s liquid is an asphalt sealant in name only. It will not form a tough, protective barrier, so it can wear off in as little as two or three months.
How Should a Contractor Prepare an Asphalt Pavement for a Sealant Application?
There are three common preparation shortcuts that contractors may take. They may fail to repair potholes, cracks, or other pavement breaks. Although sealants can sometimes fill a few hairline cracks, they cannot repair anything larger. The liquid sealant will leak into the voids without serving any useful purpose. The second shortcut is to apply a sealant without cleaning the pavement properly. Anything on the pavement’s surface, including oil, dirt, gravel, and vegetation, will prevent the sealant from adhering properly to the pavement. Without a strong bond, the sealant will break up and be blown or washed away. The third shortcut is to skip the application of a primer when it is needed. Stains left by oil, diesel, and other automotive fluids may interfere with the bonding action, so a primer may be required to cover these stains. Occasionally, an older pavement may need to have a primer applied over large areas.
What Are Considered Adverse Weather Conditions for Applying an Asphalt Sealant?
One critical weather condition involves any type of precipitation during the first 24 hours following a sealant application. Even a brief shower can result in a surface with a splotchy, mottled appearance, and a more extended or more intense rain can wash away the sealant completely. Another critical condition is related to the air and ground temperatures. Sealants should never be applied unless both of these temperatures are above 50 degrees and will not drop any lower for the next 24 hours. Sealants applied in cold weather will take a long time to cure and may never cure completely. If temperatures fall below freezing, the job will typically be completely ruined. Other weather conditions that contractors must consider include the wind speed, the hours of available sunlight, and the humidity.
What Application Shortcuts Should Contractors Avoid With an Asphalt Sealant?
One significant shortcut that inexperienced or disreputable contractors commonly take is to apply the sealant in one thick coat instead of two or three thin coats. Sealants cure by evaporating the water in the mix. With a thick coat of sealant, the very top layer will lose its water first and harden. Meanwhile, the sealant trapped below is still fluid and in motion. This movement can crack any sealant that has already dried. Furthermore, the trapped sealant may never cure completely. Another common shortcut is to use the wrong tools for the application. Sprayers can be a very efficient way to apply sealants, but there are situations that require the greater precision of a hand squeegee or brush.
As a commercial and residential paving company with more than a decades of experience, C&C Super Seal has the expertise to mix and apply your asphalt sealant correctly. In addition to commercial sealcoating, our paving services include asphalt crack repair, line striping, pothole repair, pavement markings, asphalt paving, parking lot bollards, and snow removal. We are known for consistently providing exemplary work and exceptional customer service at highly competitive prices. If you want to request a quote, you can complete our online form or call 267-223-9906.