If you have an asphalt pavement, you may already know that periodic seal coat applications can protect its health and appearance. Your contractor likely warned you that sealcoating is sensitive to the weather, so you should not count on having your pavement sealcoated during the winter. However, you might not be aware that sealcoating in the summer can also be problematic, so your contractor must carefully evaluate four factors to ensure high-quality results..
What Are the Four Factors Contractors Must Consider When Sealcoating in the Summer?
Before proceeding, it might be helpful to discuss the way that asphalt sealcoating cures. Sealcoating contractors apply a liquid sealant that contains a high volume of water. As the sealant cures, the water evaporates to allow the particles in the sealant to knit together and form a hard shell that adheres to the pavement. Sealants are supposed to cure from the top layer to the bottom layer so that a strong bond with the pavement can be established. Anything that affects the way that the water evaporates from the sealant has the potential to prevent the establishment of a sufficient bond. Four factors that can affect evaporation are the sun, the temperature, the wind, and the humidity.
How Does the Sun Affect Evaporation When Sealcoating Parking Lot Pavements?
Sunlight emits ultraviolet radiation that helps sealants cure, but the sun also produces heat. When exposed to sunlight, the water molecules in the sealant begin to move at a faster rate, colliding with each other and generating even more heat. Depending on the other three conditions, especially the temperature, this can be a good thing or a bad thing.
How Is Sealcoating Affected by the Temperature?
Heat increases the rate of evaporation. If a liquid sealant is applied to a hot pavement, the bottom layer could evaporate its water almost instantaneously, reversing the way that curing is supposed to occur and preventing the formation of a strong bond. An inadequate bond can shorten the life of the sealcoat significantly. When sealcoating Austin TX pavements in the summer, contractors may need to cool the pavement by spraying it with water, or they may incorporate an additive to slow the curing process.
Why Would an Asphalt Maintenance Contractor Consider the Wind When Applying Sealcoat?
The wind circulates the air that lies immediately above the pavement. High winds expedite the air flow, and this can cause evaporation to occur too quickly; the top layer can dry and trap liquid sealant that is still flowing. However, it is an even worse problem if there is not enough wind. The molecules of water that have managed to escape from the sealant are stuck just above the pavement, saturating the air and preventing more molecules from escaping.
Why Would an Asphalt Contractor Be Concerned About the Humidity?
The humidity level is a measurement of how much moisture is in the air, and the higher the level, the more saturated the air is with water molecules. Thus, when sealcoating parking lot pavements, contractors must pay attention to the humidity levels to ensure that the water in the sealant evaporates at a steady rate. If the temperature is excessively hot, a high humidity level can be somewhat desirable as it will slow down evaporation. However, if there is no wind to circulate the air above the sealant, a high humidity level can cause the evaporation process to grind to a halt.
RDC Paving Is the Sealcoating Company Texans Trust
RDC Paving offers a wide range of asphalt maintenance services, including asphalt sealcoating parking lot and other pavements, parking lot striping and maintenance, asphalt crack repairs, and asphalt milling. We also offer asphalt repairs, concrete ADA services, asphalt overlays, asphalt driveway paving, concrete repairs, asphalt paving, pavement markings, and the installation of concrete sidewalks, ramps, parking lots, curbs, and concrete driveways. We are known for delivering exceptional results and exemplary service. If you would like to request a free quote, you can call 512-920-9155, or you can use our form to submit your request online.