Asphalt sealcoating is the process of applying a liquid coating on a finished asphalt surface. It’s commonly done on asphalt pavements, roads, and driveways among other asphalt-tarmacked areas.
The practice of polishing asphalt surfaces with a barrier coat goes back a long way. Constructors in America and Europe used asphalt to construct roads as early as the mid 18th century. We have asked Mike from Asphalt Paving Nashville, to provide us with information regarding sealcoating.
Importance of Asphalt Sealcoating
Asphalt maintenance is very important. The main reason for asphalt sealcoating is to ensure there is a protective barrier between the asphalt surface and the elements. Weather elements such as sunlight and water are a huge threat to asphalt surfaces. Water especially makes asphalt-paved areas very susceptible to cracks and other forms of wear and tear.
Asphalt surfaces get oxidized when they come in contact with water, this leaves them brittle and more vulnerable to crackings. A sealcoat is therefore essential as it bars water from oxidizing asphalt components. Sealcoating further protects asphalt surfaces by preventing water from seeping through the particles and slowly by slowly chipping them away.
Aside from serving as a protective barrier, asphalt sealcoating also help in increasing surface friction to enable easy driving on asphalt surfaces. It in addition also helps in adding luster and appeal to pavements and driveways.
Materials Used in Asphalt Sealcoating
There are two main materials used in asphalt sealcoating. These include refined coal tar emulsion and asphalt emulsion.
Coal tar emulsion is the most preferred choice of coating. It comprises of stable chemicals which make it suitable as a surface coating. It’s mainly made up of aromatic compounds, sulfur chains which close together in a ring. Coal tar is very useful as a sealant since it’s stable and not easily affected by weather elements.
Asphalt emulsion on its part is also useful in protecting asphalt surfaces from cracks and wear. It further has the advantage of ease of application and less odor and skin irritation. Asphalt emulsion is however not resistant to oils and chemicals.
Apart from tar and asphalt emulsions, surfaces made of asphalt can also be coated using petroleum based liquid mixtures.
How to Perform Asphalt Sealcoating
To sealcoat an asphalt pavement, first make sure that the pavement is in the right condition. The asphalt should have been laid out in the correct manner and the pavement is having the desired dimensions, level, and so on. You should perform activities like sealing cracks and potholes if necessary. In all honesty contact a professional so you get this done properly.
Once you’ve assessed that the pavement’s condition, the next step is to clean it. You can do this by sweeping, scrubbing, or even pressure cleaning.
After cleaning the asphalt surface, carefully apply a coating of the sealant liquid on it and follow this with a second coating. You should then allow the sealant to cure for 48 hours or more before using the pavement or whichever asphalt surface it is.
In the case of a newly installed asphalt surface, you should allow a curing period of 90 days before performing sealcoating. The surface should be kept at a temperature of 70 degrees F and beyond during the 90-day curing duration. An older asphalt surface should also ideally be primed before being sealcoated. This helps the adhesive to work effectively.
Sealcoating will help protect your asphalt pavement or driveway if it’s done correctly. It will help keep them in a good condition for a long period of time.