I have answered a list of the most common questions I Hear.
When Should You Apply Asphalt Sealer?
The most cost effective timing for application of sealcoat is one where sealer is applied between 30 and 90 days after a parking lot is initially paved, or repaved with new asphalt. This is very important because the closer you apply your initial sealcoat to the date the parking lot was paved or repaved, the more asphalt binder and asphalt cement is present on the asphalt surface. The more asphalt cement there is on the pavement surface or near the surface, the more asphalt there is for the pavement sealer to strongly adhere.
Shouldn't I Wait Longer To Sealcoat My Asphalt?
Ten years is a long time In asphalt years. Unfortunately, the vast majority of property managers and owners wait until their driveways and parking lots are eight, ten, or even twelve years old (or older) before they think about an asphalt pavement maintenance program, which includes crack filling, sealcoating, and restriping. This is when their parking lots and driveways look bleached out, or very light gray from the sun and elements. At this point, the asphalt cement that holds the rock and aggregate in the asphalt together has been completely oxidized to the point that only the aggregate remains on the asphalt, often smoothly polished from years of traffic and weathering.
Under these conditions, sealcoating asphalt that is bleached and dried out leaves very little to no asphalt cement near the surface for the pavement sealer to bond. The pavement sealcoat is applied and initially looks great to the property manager and owner. However, after a seasons pass it is not surprising that the sealcoat has already excessively worn off the tops of the asphalt aggregate disappointing the property owner who invested the money to improve the appearance of their asphalt for better curb appeal as well as extending the life of the asphalt pavement itself.
What is the Best Sealcoating and Maintenance Schedule To Follow?
When a property manager or owner sealcoats their driveway or parking lot within 30 to 90 days after it has been repaved with new asphalt, it should be sealcoated one year later, and then every 1 to 2 years thereafter. This sealcoating maintenance schedule will give the property owner an attractive black parking lot at all times in comparison to the drab and faded parking lots where the parking lines are barely visible.
If you have an aged lot, it may not be too late to make it look good and push back the expense when it will eventually have to be overlayed with new asphalt pavement. Apply two coats of pavement sealer over the entire surface, and three coats on the drive lanes, intersections, and busy entrances to the parking lot. The next year, it will likely be obvious by the premature wear on the drive lanes. At that point, you can apply a new coat of sealer over the drive lanes again to bring back the deep color. The re-application will last since there will be enough pavement sealer remaining on the asphalt surface for it to bond.
For best long-term results, apply asphalt sealcoat within the first 30 to 90 days of the paving installation and repeat every 1 to 2 years to give the property owner the best looking and longest lasting parking lot or driveway for the least amount of money over the life of their asphalt pavement.
What Determines How Often I Need To Maintain My Asphalt?
There are several variables that determine how well sealcoat will last, here are a few of the most common:
The most common wear of sealer is traffic, the more traffic, the faster your sealer will wear.
Winter can be brutal on sealer; Plows, Salt, Chains, Snow/Ice are very damaging and will play a very vital role in how long your sealcoat holds up. Some states are lucky and do not have this problem.
How Long Before I Can Drive On My Newly Sealcoated Asphalt?
Typically 24 hours is all it takes before you can drive on newly sealed asphalt. Advanced Asphalt does offer a fast drying additive that can reduce that to as little as 4 hours (please ask us about faster drying times). Unfortunately weather plays a very important role in the drying and curing of sealer, and can enhance or delay this by several hours and sometimes even days.
If you have a question that is not listed above please contact us, there is no such thing as a dumb question, and we want to make sure that you are well informed about protecting your asphalt investment!
Let’s answer some of the most common questions asked about pavement cracks:
How Much Does It Cost To Crack Seal An Asphalt Parking Lot:
The average cost to crack seal an asphalt parking lot ranges from $0.60 lineal foot to $1.10 lineal foot.
The cost depends on the total quantity of footage, preparation work, width & depth of the crack and the
specification of materials used.
When should pavement be crack sealed?
Crack sealing should be done throughout the life of your pavement and at
least once per year to keep your pavement in its best possible condition.
How often should pavement be crack sealed?
Since this is part of routine maintenance, it can be done as often as needed
but should ideally be done at least once per year.
Can all types of cracks be filled?
No. Only straight line cracks should be filled. Alligator cracks cannot be filled.
Why can’t alligator cracks be filled?
When alligator crack areas appear in a parking lot it means that water has penetrated
the subgrade layer and that pavement can no longer support the weight of the traffic.
It’s a sign of extreme pavement deterioration that requires complete pavement reconstruction to fix.
How long does it take the crack filling material to dry?
The crack filling material is applied at over 300° F but cools to the touch in minutes.
In some cases we use black silica sand over fresh crack filler to prevent tracking.
Will the crack filling material track into my buildings?
It can if it is walked on prior to drying. Black silica sand over fresh
crack filler will help prevent tracking, but any pavement area being repaired should be made
off-limits before any repair work is started. During hot months crack filler softens.
The black silica sand will also help at this stage to prevent tracking.
Will sealcoat material stick to crack sealing material?
Yes, it will. The two materials will bond but since the crack sealing material is designed
to expand and contract through a wide temperature range, sealcoat can chip away from the crack sealant.
We had our pavement crack sealed and some of the cracks re-opened?
Cracks may re-open due to excessive expansion and contraction.
The filler is designed to adjust to moderate temperature fluctuations, but it will not always work
during extreme weather conditions. This is why crack sealing is a yearly maintenance procedure.
How is crack filler applied and how does it work?
Crack filler is applied hot (over 300° F) and is squeegeed tightly into crack.
When crack filler cools off it expands. It’s designed to be flexible and moves with changes
in temperature as pavement expands and contracts.
Can pavement that has cracks be resurfaced or will it require complete reconstruction?
Linear cracks in pavement are fine for resurfacing and do not require complete subgrade reconstruction.
A good paving company will use a paving fabric and sealant under the new asphalt overlay which keeps cracks
from causing any problems. If pavement has alligator cracks, it will need to be completely reconstructed.
Does sealcoat hide cracks and crack filler, making pavement look like new?
No, it does not. You will see crack filler through sealcoat, as the crack filler is designed to
expand and contract with temperature changes. Pavement takes on a dark, vibrant color after sealcoating,
but you will still see repaired crack areas through the sealcoat.
What is the best thing I can do to prevent cracks in my pavement?
Two things: commit to yearly pavement inspection and maintenance to fix minor cracks and
problems before they turn into bigger problems. Crack sealing and sealcoating is the best way
to prevent more cracks from forming in pavement. Second, be diligent about inspecting your pavement
so you find small cracks before they turn into bigger ones.