Sealcoating is an extremely effective way to protect asphalt pavement and simultaneously enhance its appearance. This economical treatment can help prevent damage from automotive fluids, UV rays, and deicing agents, and it will also give the pavement a smoother appearance and restore the dark color that the pavement had when it was new. Homeowners and property managers often wonder whether there is a particular season for sealcoating Philadelphia pavements. The weather in the area can vary widely from one year to the next, so it is difficult to define a fixed season for sealcoating. However, in a typical year, sealcoating contractors usually begin work around the first of April and continue through September, but the starting and ending dates can vary by two weeks or more. Sealcoating season is defined more by the weather than by the calendar.
When Is the Asphalt Sealcoating Season?
How Does the Weather Affect Sealcoating for Asphalt Paving?
Although sealcoating is an essential part of an effective asphalt maintenance program, there are times when it is better to delay the work. Sealants can be finicky products that can refuse to cure properly if weather conditions are not within certain tolerances. Experienced asphalt sealcoating contractors can use additives or other techniques to work around one or two issues if conditions are marginal, but there are two things beyond their control that can completely ruin a sealcoating job.
1. Until the sealant is fully cured, freezing temperatures will ruin the job. Although the surface of the sealant may be dry to the touch within a few hours, there is still water trapped underneath. This water can freeze and expand, resulting in cracks in the sealant. The sealcoating will deteriorate and likely be completely gone before spring arrives.
2. If it rains within 24 hours of a sealcoating application, the job can be ruined. A light rain can leave the sealant with a mottled appearance that is both unsightly and an indication of potentially unprotected spots. A heavy rain can wash the sealant into the storm drains or gutters.
Contractors who offer sealcoating as one of their paving services must pay careful attention to the weather forecast. Regardless of the season, they may be able to achieve a successful application if all of the following conditions are met.
1. Ground and air temperatures need to be at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit when work begins, and the temperature should continue to increase throughout the day. The temperature should not drop below 55 degrees for at least the first 24 hours.
2. Asphalt maintenance contractors consider the wind speed on the day of the application. If the wind is too high, the sealant could be blown onto surrounding objects. A high wind also makes it harder to achieve an even application, and it is possible, especially when temperatures are high and humidity is low, that the wind will make the top layer of sealant dry too rapidly. If there is no wind, however, the sealant will have trouble evaporating its moisture, so the curing process will be delayed.
3. As a rule, the lower the humidity level, the better. Once the relative humidity reaches 75%, temperatures and wind speeds become even more critical. Even if other factors are acceptable, most asphalt sealcoating contractors will not apply sealcoating if the humidity is above 90%.
4. The same UV rays that can damage asphalt paving are critical for curing sealcoating. Sealants need to be exposed to several hours of sunlight if they are to cure properly. Depending on other factors, the necessary exposure could be as little as two hours or more than four hours. A day with a heavy, unbroken cloud cover can make it difficult to obtain great results, especially if the other conditions are borderline.
Whether you need your home’s driveway or your company’s parking lot sealed, you can trust C and C Super Seal for high-quality work at affordable prices. We serve customers in Philadelphia, Bucks, and Montgomery counties as well as many locations in the surrounding counties. Our asphalt paving services include pothole and crack repair, asphalt sealcoating, thermoplastic line striping, snow removal, and parking lot line striping and pavement markings. You can call 267-223-9906 or use the online form to request a free quote.