Spring is right around corner and with warmer weather comes maintenance and repairs to driveways and parking lots. After the wear and tear from the winter weather, your asphalt needs some attention. Sealcoating your driveway or parking lot is an easy way to extend the life of the your asphalt and improve the curb appeal of your property - saving you money in the long run.
Sealcoating asphalt driveways, parking lots and other paved areas is the process of applying a liquid product over an existing asphalt pavement in a manner that seals the surface and fills small voids and cracks as protection against the elements. A properly sealcoated driveway or parking lot will protect the asphalt from fuel, oil, sun, weather and traffic wear. If sealcoating is avoided, cracks can begin forming. If these cracks are not filled, they will soon widen and deepen allowing water into the base, damaging the load capacity, which leads to a break down of the asphalt. In order to avoid damage like this, your driveway or parking lot should be sealcoated on a regular basis.
Benefits of Sealcoating
Sealcoating has distinct benefits as preventive maintenance for asphalt paving
Extends the life of the driveway and parking lot by preventing the asphalt from hardening and crumbling.
It creates an attractive, uniform coat over the pavement, especially if crack and holes are properly filled before seal coating is applied.
Sealing protects the driveway from salts, chemicals, and moisture from entering the pavement
Seal coats are easy to apply squeegees or sprayers; homeowners or small businesses may be able to do this themselves rather than hiring a firm.
Seal coating is a cost-effective way of repairing or surfacing the existing pavement, extending the life of the pavement and driveway.
How Often To Sealcoat
New asphalt driveways should be seal coated within 1 year of installation and then every 2-3 years there after. By seal coating within 1 year of the installation of your asphalt driveway and using a preventative maintenance plan you will be able to extend the life of your driveway by 20 + years.
Professional seal coating crews, individual homeowners or businesses follow this general procedure for seal coating:
Check the weather forecast and select a period when dry weather is expected for at least 48 hours.
Barricade the driveway or parking lot to ensure that there is no traffic.
Do a general cleaning of the pavement by sweeping and blowing off debris.
Oil spot prime all oil spots and apply liquid sealer to deep cracks.
Patch deep holes with asphalt patching compound, packing it firmly to ensure a flat, solid surface.
Apply liquid seal coat with a squeegee or sprayer over the entire surface, according to manufacturer's instructions.
Check for spots missed and reapply if necessary.
After the last seal coat has dried (generally about 36 hours), remove barricades.
If striping for parking spaces is required, this can be applied after the surface has cured for at least 24 hours.
Once applied, you will need to protect the area for at least 36 hours, although most manufacturers specify 48 hours for the chemical to set and cure. Depending on the manufacturers' recommendation, the right time of the year to seal coat is when temperatures are expected to drop no lower than 55 degrees, which will ensure that the product cures properly. Watch out for leaves and debris that might degrade the emulsion coating once it has been applied and before it has set.
Is your driveway or parking lot in need of a sealcoat? Contact the experts at Middletown Sealcoating to request a free estimate or for more information.