SEAL COAT: Key Benefits
A good quality seal coat, properly applied, can extend the life of asphalt pavement for several years. The sealant replaces the surface fines that have been lost due to raveling. It seals the pavement so water cannot enter the structure, slows the deterioration process of the pavement, protects against wear and tear, and improves the appearance.
Specific to the Western United States, a seal coat is an asphalt emulsion that is applied to an existing paved asphalt surface. The base material of seal coat is oil, and is actually the same oil that is used in the manufacturing of asphalt. This material is fortified with materials such as clay, slate, sand, emulsifying agents and/or latex, and is generally applied by squeegee onto the existing pavement surface. Seal coat is the consistency of cake batter and may be a brownish color when wet but dries to a dark, charcoal black luster. Once applied, it is recommended that it be allowed to cure 24 hours before being exposed to traffic.
As outlined in ASPHALT 101, pavement ages because it is exposed to excessive water, oxidation, petroleum products, and wear and tear. Unprotected asphalt is in a state of perpetual raveling and cracking. If this is not curtailed, raveling continues, aggregates become dislodged, cracks grow larger, water enters the cracks, sub-base erodes, and the entire asphalt structure is severely compromised.
Once applied, the seal coat will actually restore the asphalt to its original state. Seal coat fills the small hairline cracks and seals them from water. The seal also fills the small voids created from the raveling and provides a new binder for the aggregate. This restores the smooth texture of the original surface. Because the seal coat base material is much like the original asphalt, it rejuvenates the asphalt and restores its original integrity. Now that asphalt has been restored, the seal coat will also provide a wearable surface that is impervious to the numerous elements that destroy the asphalt. Much like painted wood, asphalt needs the same type of protection to extend its service life.
Seal coat is a wearable surface that takes the abuse rather than the asphalt. For this, properly mixed and applied seal coat can be expected to provide protection for two to three years on an average parking lot or driveway.
It is just as important to seal new asphalt as it is to seal asphalt that is already showing signs of wear and raveling. By sealing new asphalt, you are able to prevent the damage from occurring. It is recommended to allow 30 days of cure time before sealing new asphalt. Ideally, new pavement should be sealed 30 to 90 days from time of installation.
Another benefit of seal coating is the improved aesthetics of the pavement by providing a rich, uniform, black color to the surface minimizing differences in the pavement surface texture. Though seal coat is often utilized for its aesthetic improvement to the surface, this is merely a side benefit.
Advantage Asphalt, Inc. provides comprehensive pavement services and asphalt maintenance in Sacramento to residential, commercial, and industrial clients. We are a 100 percent quality driven company. We specialize in jobs that require quality and attention to detail. Contact our asphalt maintenance Sacramento experts for more information and a free estimate.
STRIPING: Key Benefits
Once a pavement surface has been treated with seal coat or an overlay, the surface markings must be reapplied quickly to return the pavement to an operational condition. A high quality, traffic line paint should be used for best results. Contact us for a free striping estimate to finish your surface treatment.
CRACK SEAL: Key Benefits
Cracks can be caused by many factors. See “Cracking” under ASPHALT 101 for a detailed explanation of the factors that cause cracking. Cracks can be caused by an ill-prepared sub-base, poor grade, earth movement, tree roots, extremely heavy vehicles, as well as freeze-thaw cycles. Other situations requiring crack seal may include longitudinal, transverse and diagonal cracks, edge cracks, reflective cracks, construction joint cracks, widening cracks, and edge or lane joint cracks. It is important to fill all cracks that arise and maintain an ongoing crack filling maintenance program. Once water is allowed to enter the sub-base, the sub-base will begin to erode resulting in extensive and costly damage. Crack filling is a fast and easy process with little inconvenience.
There are basically two types of crack filling: 1. hot pour rubberized asphalt, and 2. cold pour. Hot pour rubberized asphalt crack filler is the most effective type of asphalt crack filler. It comes in blocks and is melted down in a burner. It is then poured or pumped into a crack and dries within 20 – 30 minutes. It dries to the consistency of bubble gum that doesn’t track giving it the ability to expand and contract with the asphalt while maintaining continuity. Generally, cracks 1/4 inch or greater are filled. It is not recommended to fill cracks less than 1/4 inch because the crack filler cannot get down into the crack where it can seal. The filler will have a tendency to remain at the surface and not do any good. Hot pour crack filler will do well in temperature extremes and will far out last any other type of crack sealers.
Cold pour crack filler works well on smaller jobs with small cracks. Cold pour comes in buckets and is applied by hand squeegee. Cold pour has a tendency to split when used in wider cracks. Though the crack filler is still sealing the crack, aesthetically it looks as though it has failed. It is not the preferred method though sometimes budget restrictions may dictate its use.
It is imperative that the cracks be thoroughly cleaned and dried. Advantage Asphalt, Inc. provides expert service for Sacramento asphalt maintenance and crack seals that ensures this procedure is done correctly the first time. Contact us for more information and a free estimate.