The Basics and Benefits of SealcoatingJanuary 13, 2021
Is your pavement as protected as it can be?
Sealcoating is a vital part of protective pavement maintenance. From pavements to a parking lot sealcoating plays a big part in keeping these areas up and running. But if you’ve never bothered with it before, you might not know what all the fuss is about.
Read on for the basics of sealcoating and why you need it.
What is Sealcoat — The Basics
Sealcoat has two usual forms: asphalt emulsion coatings and coal tar sealers. Both are:
- black in color
- brushed or sprayed on with sealcoating equipment
- take 1-2 days to set completely
Apart from that though, that’s all they have in common.
As the name suggests, the main ingredient in coal tar sealers is coal tar. This is a byproduct produced from coal power production. The tar is thick and must mix with other minerals to get the right consistency.
Asphalt emulsion sealers make use of asphalt cement. It’s closer in make-up to the pavement you’re applying it to. When added with polymers and emulsifiers, it’s a brilliant sealant for pavement.
Whatever type of sealcoat you use, it will protect your pavement from chemicals, wear & tear, and UV rays. It’s that added layer of protection to give you peace of mind, your surface will stand the test of time.
Benefits of Sealcoating
Sealcoating has many great benefits for your asphalt driveway or surface. Below are a few of the reasons to use it.
Protection Against Long-Term Damage
When you use a pavement or driveway sealcoating, you’re adding a layer of protection. It’s not going to stop all damage, but it can slow down the damage that’s done over time. It’s a way to extend the lifespan of your surface.
Protection Against Chemical Damage
By its nature, asphalt is petroleum-based. This means it has little protection against chemicals or other petroleum-based products. Gases and oils can start to deteriorate your asphalt binder. These stones release from the asphalt, leading to the surface breaking up.
If you want to prevent premature breaking of your driveway, parking lot, or pavement, it’s worth it. It protects your surface from oils & gas spills and any other outdoor chemical spills.
Protection Against the Weather
All types of weather can have an impact on the condition of your surface. This includes:
Over time, exposure to these elements will weaken and crack your paving or driveway. But with a good sealcoat like Belgard paver sealer, you can protect against this.
Helps Snow & Ice Melt Faster
As with material, darker colors draw in and keep heat better. Think of wearing a black jacket on a warm day, you get hot very fast.
Black asphalt sealcoat holds heat from the sun in the same way. This means that in icy and snowy conditions, it can help it to melt faster.
Protection Against Cracking
Over time, you may start to notice your pavement or surface start to crack. Water can seep into the material and erode it. In time, these start to form small cracks. If ignored, they can become larger, or destroy large parts of the surface.
Pavement or driveway sealcoating can protect against that. You can fill and smooth out any little cracks or rough areas. Any dirt that builds up can wash away with a squirt of the hosepipe. Sealcoating is non-porous and smooth, so water struggles to do damage.
Sealcoating is practical, and it’ll improve the appearance of your asphalt surface. Over time, exposure to our oxygenated air can cause fading or greying. Your surface can end up looking dull and lifeless.
A sealcoating can restore that color and breathe a new lease of life into whatever surface you lay it on. That clean, black, shiny finish is sure to boost the curb appeal of your home or business too.
Brings Long-Term Money Savings
While that initial investment in sealcoating can feel like a lot, it’s exactly that. An investment. You’re protecting yourself against the future cost of repairs.
A quality sealcoating will increase the lifespan and durability of your surface. The longer it’s protected, the less damage there will be. And the less damage there is, the more you will save.
How to Do It Right
To be at its most effective, you need to lay down the sealcoating in the correct way. It’s always better to call in a professional to get the job done if you’re not sure how to do it. Especially as you’ll need sealcoating equipment. But here are the steps on how to lay sealcoating, and do it well.
- Patch up cracks that are longer or wider than a quarter of an inch. Sealcoating will fill smaller cracks, but anything larger than this needs filling first.
- Do it in the summer. The temperature needs to reach at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit and there can’t be any rain for 48 hours. This is to make sure it dries right.
- Sweep and clear away any dirt and debris from the surface. It needs to be free of things like leaves, gravel, dust, and stones.
- Use a water spray and detergent to scrub down any existing oil spots. If left, they won’t allow the sealcoat to seep in cover those areas.
- After cleaning, let your surface dry out. An hour or so of summer sunshine should be enough, but make sure it’s dry before proceeding.
- While waiting, mix your sealcoating. Before you apply it, you must make sure it’s mixed well as per the instructions.
- Pour and spread the sealant in strokes that overlap for even distribution. You want as thin a layer as you can get, that’s even for faster drying.
- Do not use the surface for at least 24 hours (48 hours is better). This includes walking, avoid treated areas completely for this set amount of time.
If you follow these tips when doing it yourself, you’ll have a surface that’s protected. It should stand up to life’s accidents and serve you well long into the future.
Sealcoating — The Love and Care Your Surfaces Need
So, there you have it! Now you know the sealcoating basics and it’s benefits, don’t delay.
Sealcoating can provide an extra layer of protection to help your surface last you. You know you’ve done what you can to keep your surface functional for as long as possible.
If you found this article useful, check out our other blog posts today!