Although asphalt pavements are economical to construct, almost no one enjoys paying for an early reconstruction. For your pavement to have a long life, it will need to be maintained. You will need to clean up the fluids that vehicles frequently leak, repair cracks and other breaks quickly, and ensure that your pavement drains properly. However, all of these efforts may not be sufficient if you do not apply asphalt sealcoating on a regular basis.
Why Is Asphalt Sealcoating Important?
Sealcoating forms a hard, tough shell over your pavement that acts as a barrier between the pavement and the forces that can damage asphalt.
- One extremely damaging force is ultraviolet radiation. UV rays steal the pavement’s moisture, turning it brittle and increasing the number and severity of cracks. These rays also turn the pavement’s color from dark black to gray. Sealcoating blocks UV rays so that they cannot dry or bleach the asphalt.
- The vehicles that use your pavement are another source of potential pavement damage. Most vehicle fluids, including oil, diesel, and gasoline, are petroleum distillates. Asphalt is also a petroleum distillate. When petroleum distillates encounter one another, they try to recombine. This interaction can be quite destructive to an asphalt pavement. The asphalt binder breaks down, so the pavement turns soft and begins to crumble. The spot beneath the leaked fluid quickly becomes a pothole, and it will likely spawn a number of serious cracks. Eventually, petroleum distillates can eat their way through the sealcoating to reach the pavement. However, sealcoating gives you a significantly longer time to remove these fluids before they do so.
- Sealcoating improves the aesthetics of your pavement. It can restore faded pavements to their luxurious color, conceal minor surface flaws, and provide an excellent background for painted markings and stripes.
How Often Should You Sealcoat an Asphalt Pavement?
That depends on the type of pavement, its age, and the use it receives. Normally, a new asphalt overlay or pavement should not be sealed before it is at least three months old. However, it should be sealed within its first year. The parking lot for a major retailer or shopping center usually needs to be sealed every two years, but a small lot for employee parking only may not need sealing for three years. Homeowners may only need sealcoating for their driveways every three or four years.
What Should Property Owners or Managers Do Prior to Sealcoating an Asphalt Pavement?
There are a few things you can do to make your job go smoother and faster.
- If your pavement has serious damage, including numerous large cracks, deep potholes, or alligator cracking, you should consider repairing them in advance.
- If you are having your parking lot sealed, you need a plan for providing an alternate parking site for your employees or customers. If your business is closed on holidays or weekends, you may want to have your sealcoating applied on one of those days. You will also need a plan to communicate this information to the people who routinely park in your lot. In addition, you need to decide how you will deal with vehicles that are not removed from your lot by the time your job is scheduled to start.
- If you have a sprinkler system, keep it turned off for 24 hours before your job is schedule to begin until 24 hours after your job is completed.
- Trim away any grass or weeds that may be growing right next to your pavement. Remove the clippings to avoid the possibility that they could blow onto the wet sealcoating.
The experts at RDC Paving will work with you to help you plan the details that your asphalt sealcoating project may entail. We are experienced, well-respected, and dependable professionals serving customers in and around Austin. In addition to sealcoating, we offer parking lot striping, asphalt paving, concrete curbs, asphalt driveway paving, concrete repair, asphalt overlays, ADA concrete, asphalt crack repair, concrete ramp construction, asphalt repairs, concrete driveway construction, asphalt milling, concrete parking lot construction, parking lot maintenance, and concrete sidewalk construction. If you would like to receive a free quote, submit our online request form. If you prefer, you can call us at 512-920-9155.
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