It’s no mystery that proper and regular seal coating protects asphalt and extends the life of driveways, roads and parking lots all around us.
Asphalt paving is an economical way of creating a hard surface for your driveway, but it is also a surface that demands proper attention to its maintenance. A paving contractor who lays down your pavement might suggest that you periodically, at least once every two years, redo the seal coating on whichever paved surface you own.
Pavement can deteriorate over a period of time due to the sun beams, oxygen in the air and outdoor elements. The ultraviolet rays of the sun will cause asphalt to deteriorate. The oxygen in the air can result in oxidation that hardens the tar. It then becomes brittle and cracks, leaving its surface vulnerable to rainwater, a process that can lead to the weakening of the sub-base. Sealcoating can prevent both oxidation and the ill effects of UV rays.
Sealcoating is the final process in the laying of any asphalt paving and provides the asphalted surface with a protective shell. This coat prevents water getting into the body of the paving. Once water enters, it can form ice during cold weather, and the expansion of this ice can cause cracks in the pavement. Sealcoating can also act as a resistance to oil and gas spills, which are quite common on surfaces where vehicles are parked. The tar sealer used in the mix has additives that make it resistant to these spills.
“Most paving contractors will gladly take up any job which requires fresh sealcoating to be done whether a residential or commercial work, they are very similar, except for the size of course.” said Shane Small with Asphalt Paving & Sealing of Virginia Beach, a Virginia Beach based paving company. They also operate in cities like Leesburg, VA and Sterling, VA both of which are located in Northern Virginia. Shane also mentioned that sealant has to be properly mixed as per the specifications of the manufacturer in order to work correctly. Sealants are always applied in two coats, after completely cleaning the asphalt surface. Any damaged portions need to be properly repaired before the entire surface is coated. The application of the first coat is done with the help of a squeegee, as this helps to push in the sealing material into any cracks that may be there on the pavement. The second coat may then be sprayed on so that the entire asphalt surface is uniformly covered. Sealcoating materials have a drying time, and during this time, there must be no traffic on the driveway. It is more than likely that the contractor will ask you to leave the surface unused for an entire day so that there is sufficient time to prepare the surface, apply the first cat, allow it to dry and then finish the work with the second coat.
Sealcoating can help to minimize the repair work on asphalt paving surfaces. It gives the asphalt protection form the weather and the effects of sun, by preventing oxidation and reducing the effect of UV rays. It will also allow the surface to withstand any cleaning or damage from oil spills. Finally, a surface that has been newly seal coated will appear fresh and appealing and point to the pride that homeowner takes in his property and its surroundings. This process must be undertaken every two years and is best carried out by professional paving contractors who will have all the right equipment and expertise to carry out the necessary work.