What causes asphalt to fail?
Asphalt failure often begins with the oxidation of an untreated pavement surface which causes the asphalt to become dry and brittle. The top layer of fine particles erodes, exposing the larger aggregate and leading to small cracks on the surface. These cracks will grow if left untreated, allowing water to penetrate to the base of the pavement.
When is the best time to seal?
The optimum time to sealcoat a parking lot is within the first 2-3 years of new asphalt being applied. This time frame will allow the previously new asphalt to “dry out”, without loosening its binding properties. The fine sandy material and rocks seen in parking lots is the material coming out of the asphalt, this is a signal that the parking lot needs sealcoating immediately, because further delays can cause further degradation that can’t be fixed without replacing some or all of the asphalt.
If you were to have a car waxed, would you wait until the paint is completely faded out or would you have the maintenance done prior to loosing the paint? Of course not. When maintaining your parking lot, you are spending the same amount of money (or often even less) to have the maintenance done early in the asphalt’s life cycle. When done early, the protection begins immediately and massively increases the life expectancy of the asphalt. If you are going to spend X dollars on the lot, why not spend the money in years 2-3 and prolong the life vs. spending the money in year 4-5 and the asphalt has already lost many properties that are not replaceable. Below are examples of asphalt that has been unprotected and now needs major attention and costs.
What time of the year should I seal?
We recommend sealing when the nighttime temperatures are above 50. Sealer has to “bond” to the current asphalt. This “bonding” and curing only can happen with heat. For best applications, sunny daytime temperatures above 70 and nights above 50 will work.
What about winter applications?
We will not seal in the winter. However, this is a great time to start preparing for the summer time. We recommend replacing any asphalt in the winter time and doing all your crack repairs. This way, when the temperatures are right, you can immediately seal and stripe your lot.
How soon can traffic be on a newly sealed lot?
Although it may be dry enough to walk on, traffic should stay off a lot for 24 hours. The temperature an applications also dictate. A properly squeegeed and 2nd spray application will require a longer drying time than a quick single spray application. However, the prior will last 2x as long, so the extra 8-16 hours of drying time is worth it in the long run.
What do I (as a property manager) need to do?
- Make sure all traffic is notified of lot closing- we will provide barriers but people get upset when they don’t know ahead of time.
- Have all irrigation turned off the day prior and until the job is complete- not responsible for sealer issues if the irrigation comes on 30 minutes after work is complete
- Trash truck and other deliveries- need to schedule them to come prior or after work is complete
How long do we have to wait?
The longer the better. Sealer cures and the more heat and less traffic the better. We can use additives to promote the curing, but time is always the best way to make sure the job lasts the maximum time.
What about rain?
As long as the temperatures are above 60, it can rain within 2 hours of the sealer being installed and nothing will happen. If it is a cloudy day and high chance of rain, we will re-schedule the work.
What type of guarantees do you offer?
We can only guarantee that our product will stick and if follow our recommended applications and time for opening up we will stand behind our work. The areas that wear the most are the entry areas. When allowed to properly seal a parking lot, we will add a primer to this area to promote best sealer adhesion and we will do an extra hand squeegee/brush application. The last thing we want is the first part of the lot to look the worst.