Seal coating asphalt pavement is critical to prolong the life of asphalt
Asphalt pavement does not last as long as concrete. However, proper maintenance can help to prolong the life of residential driveways and commercial parking lots.
Assuming that the asphalt pavement was correctly laid with a solid base, routinely filling cracks and seal coating, the asphalt pavement will prolong the life of the asphalt pavement.
Areas of the country where extreme weather changes, the freezing season is the cause of cracking in asphalt, allowing moisture to enter into the base, which will weaken and begin the process of deterioration.
The best routine maintenance is each spring to fill the cracks to prevent moisture from entering into the base and properly sealing the asphalt to repel moisture.
The deep black appearance of asphalt declines over time as UV deteriorates the surface and discolors the asphalt. This fade is a sign of the asphalt losing its asphalt particles, which will accelerate the deterioration of the pavements’ structural integrity.
Like any product, time is no friend to the structural integrity, but proper maintenance is critical to prolonging the life and aesthetic appearance of the asphalt.
Two asphalt sealers can be used to protect the asphalt (1) asphalt emulsion based sealer and (2) coal tar.
Coal tar is known to be carcinogenic. It is banned in several areas of the country, as it is perceived to be a threat to humans and the environment.
The biggest problem with the seal coating industry is finding service companies or individuals that perform ethical services, and that use the best product for the environment, and that adequately protects asphalt.
Many seal coating providers are seasonal, unprofessional, and do not understand the products that are applied to your property.
Benefits of seal coating asphalt pavement:
- Extends the life of the asphalt.
- Using the proper sealer will restore lost asphalt properties to the pavement.
- Using the appropriate sealer will increase the skid resistance of the pavement protecting people visiting the property.
- Provides UV protection.
- Beautifies the property giving it that “new look.”
The one exception that coal tar might make sense is using it around petroleum-based products like gas stations, and truck stops. Coal tar has a high resistance to petroleum-based products than asphalt-based sealers.
Some additives that can be used in asphalt emulsion based sealers to enhance the resistance to gasoline, but expert advice can help guide you towards the best alternatives.
When hiring a contractor to seal coat your asphalt, these questions should be asked about the type of product used. There are many supporting blog posts and articles by various government agencies and commissions that explain the risk of coal tar-based sealers.
Common mistakes made by asphalt seal coating contractors:
- Using the wrong products for the job.
- Adding an excessive amount of water to extend the product, which will create a peeling or reduced life of the sealer.
- Not properly preparing the surface for sealer, which will reduce the adhesion. It needs to be properly cleaned and cracks filled.
- Not properly filling the cracks. Keep in mind, the purpose of seal coating asphalt is to prevent moisture from reaching the base. Therefore, if cracks are not filled, the only benefit will be the appearance.
- Failing to use an aggregate based sealer. Adding aggregate to the base will help prolong the life of the sealer and enhance the skid resistance.
- Seal coating products and services are critical to the asphalt maintenance industry. However, it is a small profession that has been primarily controlled by asphalt paving companies. However, there is a conflict in this relationship. Most paving companies will not properly educate customers because the faster the asphalt deteriorates and needs to be replaced or over-laid, the more money they make.
A great source of information for entrepreneurs that want to produce an asphalt-based sealer or to locate asphalt maintenance providers in the St. Louis region can be found here.
Smith Brothers Sealcoating offers professional asphalt maintenance services to the St. Louis region using a top-rated, locally produced asphalt emulsion based sealer designed to protect your asphalt, family, and environment. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (314) 800-1740. Visit Smith Brothers Sealcoating Google website.