How Does Sealcoating work?

How Does Sealcoating work?

How Does Sealcoating work?

Driveway or parking lot asphalt can become damaged due to snowstorms, heavy rains, and the daily wear and tear of traffic. You can protect your driveway and your investment by adding a sealcoat to your asphalt. But you might ask, “What can seal coating do to help?” To answer that question, it is essential first to understand how asphalt works.

Asphalt is used for road construction and paving because it is waterproof, flexible, and has adhesive properties that bind and hold aggregates into the pavement. It has come to replace old methods of building roads, which involved spreading graded stone aggregate. This system often required extensive repairs and only worked when material stayed completely dry and in place.

What's the use of asphalt?

 The aggregates are more robust with improved load-bearing abilities when prevented from absorbing water. Modern asphalt is a mix of asphalt, cement, and stone aggregate. The pavement surface you can see is essentially the roof of the road and covers a bed of stone that carries the traffic load. Therefore, it must be elastic to contract and expand but remain intact.

What can sealcoating do for asphalt?

Asphalt has some downsides in chemical makeup that make it easier for water, salt, and other chemicals to degrade its molecular structure despite its superior waterproofing and adhesive capabilities. Asphalt pavement loses its binding and waterproofing properties when asphalt molecules break down.

You might notice this phenomenon in action when you see that roadways have turned from black to gray. Also, because asphalt is the result of distilling petroleum, it is easily dissolved by other petroleum products, like fat, grease, and oils. This means that when gas or oil leak onto the asphalt, they can dissolve the similar chemicals found within. For roadways with continuous traffic, this isn't as much of an issue because the weight of the traffic essentially forces the oxidized surface back into the pavement.

However, surfaces such as driveways and parking lots with less traffic have a bigger problem with asphalt degradation.

How does sealcoating work?

Sealcoating in Dallas/ Fort Worth, TX, is designed to keep asphalt looking great and functioning properly when used as a preventative measure. The process of sealcoating works like this:

  1. Overhanging grass on the edge of your pavement is power-trimmed away by workers.
  2. Dust, dirt, stone, and debris are cleaned off of the entire pavement surface. This is because proper sealcoating requires a surface to be clean.
  3. Gas and oil marks are heat flashed to clear any surface solvents from the asphalt. This flashing is before a single coat of oil spot primer is added to ensure a strong cohesion between the marked areas and the newly applied sealant.
  4. Workers clear dirt and debris from any cracks 3/8 of an inch or larger and fill them with rubberized hot tar crack sealant. Then, contractors can often use a coat of black beauty sand to promote adhesion to the sealing material.
  5. Hot rubberized crack sealant is used to cover any spots showing chicken wire cracks. If requested by a property owner, potholes can also be repaired.
  6. A blended polymer pavement sealer that has been mixed with a rubberized polymer epoxy latex is often applied by brush. This adds more flexibility to the seal coat and a rich black color after drying. Sealants also contain silica and sand to help with traction and long-term durability.
  7. The sealcoat needs to remain untouched for 48 hours once the seal coating is applied. It is still important to be gentle after that, as sharp turns can mark your sealcoated surface, so be sure not to turn the wheel of your car while it is stationary.

If you think it's time to give your driveway or parking lot a new look, contact a sealcoating professional to help keep your parking lot or driveway looking its best.
M. Carroll Blacktop Services has over 45 years of experience with paving and sealcoating in Dallas/ Fort Worth, TX. Contact us today for more information and a free estimate for your paving needs.

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