I just paved a new parking lot. Should I seal it?
We recommend that newly paved asphalt is sealed within 12 months. It is appropriate to seal after paving because the sealer will fill in any areas that remain porous, and will establish the beginning of a regular maintenance cycle. Unfortunately, most people are reactionary, rather than preventative with regard to asphalt maintenance and wait to seal until after damage has already occurred.
Why should I seal?
The proper application of a quality pavement sealer by a qualified contractor will extend the service life and reduce maintenance costs of asphalt pavements. Sealing protects pavements from the destructive effects of water, sunlight, oxidation, gasoline, motor oils and many other chemical and solvents. In addition, it provides a distinctive new-looking surface that is easy to clean. By properly sealing your pavement, you can significantly slow down the aging process, and at a fraction of the cost of re-paving.
What weather requirements are there to complete an asphalt sealing project?
The typical season for asphalt sealing in the Puget Sound area runs from late March or April through early October. High temperatures for the day are preferred to be above 60 degrees and it cannot rain.
How long does it take for sealer to dry?
Drying times can vary quite widely based on a few factors (in decreasing order of importance). (1) Air temperature (2) Direct sunlight (3) Asphalt temperature (4) Wind. The sealer is a water-based product and, just like paint, will dry when all the water evaporates out. Sealer applied in direct sunlight on a 90-degree day can dry almost instantly. Sealer applied in the shade when temperatures are less than 60 degrees can take 48 hours or more to dry. Under most circumstances, if applied in the morning, sealer will take 2-4 hours to dry.
How often should asphalt be sealed?
A typical, two-coat application will last roughly 3-7 years. Much depends on the customer preference regarding how fresh they want it to look. Factors that will affect how quickly the sealer wears are traffic volume, the “elements” and the original asphalt condition. Well-maintained asphalt that is sealed frequently will hold the seal longer
What type of prep work is required prior to sealing?
To ensure the best coverage, the asphalt surface must be clean of dirt, oil spots, moss, and any other debris prior to sealing. Most surfaces can be cleaned with wire brooms and with a device called a Powerbroom, which is similar to a weed eater with circulating bristle heads. Once the necessary debris is dislodged from the asphalt surface it will be blown clean with high-powered backpack blowers and/or Billy Goat parking lot cleaning equipment. A pressure washer will be used on rare occasion when moss is particularly heavy. Pressure washing must be done in advance of the seal coating process to allow time for the water to dry
How is the asphalt sealer applied?
The perimeter and any hard-to-reach areas will be applied by hand using a broom and then smoothened to achieve a desirable appearance. The remainder of the surface area will be applied with a combination of spray and/or squeegee application. Any imperfections in the “wet” appearance of the sealer, such as brush strokes will be scarcely noticeable once it has dried.
What is the water dilution ratio of asphalt sealer? Why is this important?
Asphalt sealer is a water-based product that must be dilution before it was be spread properly. The material is diluted to a ratio of between 4-5 parts sealer to 1 part water. We keep detailed daily logs of our mixing ratios to ensure a quality finished product for the customer. Please ask our Project Manager if you would like to see the logs associated with your job. If the product is too heavily diluted, it will not provide a quality, long-lasting seal. Putting water on your pavement will not protect it.
How much does it cost?
Factors that will affect our prices are: units (i.e. square feet, lineal feet, etc.), condition of the asphalt, how much prep work may be required, and obstacles that will affect workflow, such as carports, curb stops, etc. When seal coating, asphalt in relatively good condition does not require nearly as much material and can be completed at a much lower cost, while older, “thirstier” asphalt, can require much more material.
I’ve heard that my pavement shouldn’t be sealed. Does the pavement need to “breathe?”
For the same reason wood is painted, asphalt should be sealed. Without protection, the elements of rain, sun and snow will penetrate, oxidize and deteriorate asphalt. When your pavement is new, it is flexible. That is one of the reasons asphalt is used in cold weather climates–it has the ability to flex when the ground freezes. Over time, an unprotected surface becomes more brittle due to the harmful effects of nature, and when it has lost its flexibility, it cracks. Once cracking begins, water can penetrate to the sub-base, leading to wider deterioration of the pavement surface. Water penetration is the number one reason for pavement failure.