All of Your Questions about Seal Coating Answered

AsphaltWhat is seal coating exactly and why do you need it?

Pavement seal coating is a process for asphalt that is easily comparable to painting a home. The asphalt in your driveway or parking lot can easily deteriorate because of sun exposure, oil spills, and heavy traffic. The seal coating process involves applying a coal-tar emulsion onto the asphalt in the form of a spray. This helps protect the asphalt from the weather and other elements.

What is important is that it is understood that pavement seal coating is a cosmetic process rather than a structural repair process. If the asphalt is in need of patching, then crack sealing is a good way to go about that. If the asphalt needs crack sealing or any other type of patching, it needs to be done before the seal coating process.

Seal Coating Frequency

Seal coating services should be carried out when it is needed, but should not be done too often unless the surface experiences a great deal of traffic or is exposed to harsh weather. What this means is that the property should be seal coated every three or four years or when it begins to look “dry.” Having this type of maintenance schedule will help ensure the health and appearance of your asphalt.

Crack Filling

You may look at your driveway or parking lot and notice that there are a lot of cracks. When that is the case, you can have the cracks crack filled or patched. It is important to keep in mind that asphalt that has been crack filled or patched before being seal coated is going to show signs of crack filling or patching because of the differences in texture between the crack fill material and the asphalt.

What Does the Finished Product Look Like?

The finished product is a more uniform look. The entire surface is the same color of black and it doesn’t look dry and worn. Most people find the appearance to be very attractive. Just keep in mind that if any areas were patched or crack filled, it may be obvious until the surface is used and those areas are smoothed out. Another thing to keep in mind is that asphalt that has been worn and then seal coated is going to have a smoother appearance than newer asphalt that has been seal coated for the first time.

When to Dive on the Surface

It can depend on when driving on the seal coated surface is safe. Your seal coating service will be able to advise you based on the weather. The rule of thumb is to stay off of the surface for two to three days so that the seal coating can have time to cure. You don’t want it to track onto neighboring surfaces or scuff. If there is rain in the forecast, then you can expect it to take longer for the seal coating to cure. Your seal coating professionals will tell you exactly how long it should take for the seal coating to cure so that you know how long the surface can’t be used.

What if Seal Coating is Applied Too Often?

If seal coating is to be applied prematurely, then the seal coating service will most likely advise you of this. For those that like to seal coat on their own, seal coating too often can cause the seal coating to build up. This can cause the surface to get very slippery when it rains, making it a hazard. For a property owner, this is a hazard that can cause car accidents or slip and fall accidents. That creates a liability issue for the property owner. Someone who sustains property or bodily injury could potentially sue the property owner for compensation for the damages that are done. That is just one reason why it is very important to ensure your asphalt is in the best condition possible.

If the asphalt is laid on a hill or on a very steep incline, how slippery the surface is can be a major consideration when determining how often to seal coat the surface. Your seal coating service will be able to tell you how often would be good and whether or not a seal coat could cause the surface to become too slick.