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"Understanding Seal Coating & Asphalt Maintenance"


*What Seal Coating Does:

Seal coating provides a protective weatherproof barrier against oxidation and deterioration. Rather than your actual pavement taking the abuse of the deterioration, the seal coat is put in place and wears away instead. Sealer applied to asphalt pavement also provides protection from spills/ leaks such as oils, gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, ect. Which those substances would deteriorate and destroy the unsealed asphalt. Seal coating is affordable and an easy process. On the other hand, asphalt replacement is an extremely time consuming, expensive and labor intensive process. Studies have shown that properly maintaining  your asphalt surfaces, with regular  seal coating maintenance done every 2-3 years, can more than double the life of your pavement/ investment and save you substantial costs. When weighing the small cost of seal coating vs. pavement replacement, it is clear that a proper pavement maintenance routine is the best solution to preserve your investment, and maximize your parking lot, driveway, or road-ways life span. Over time, asphalt loses its black color and takes on a gray, faded, oxidized look. Seal coating helps give your driveway or parking lot a deep, rich, black look to restore it and boost your curb appeal. Sealing also makes it easier to remove snow and ice from your pavement. It fills the voids and pores and helps prevent snow and ice from anchoring to your pavement. The black color also helps attract  more of the suns energy to melt snow faster. 

*Cracks and Crack Sealing:

Cracks in your asphalt can result from a number of factors including tree roots, poor drainage, freeze-thaw cycles, oxidation from the sun or excessive weight. Asphalt cracks allow moisture to penetrate the pavement. In the winter this moisture can freeze causing a multitude of more serious problems. In the warmer months weeds or grass can take root in the cracks causing extensive damage.

Your best defense against pavement deterioration is crack sealing. By sealing cracks you can extend the life of your pavement considerably and prevent more costly repairs.

*Crack Filler Types:

*Hot Tar Crack Sealer:  We only use DOT approved hot rubberized crack sealer. Which is subject to having its own pricing which is competitive. A fast curing, premium quality, hot applied single component crack and joint sealant that will seal larger cracks up to 1 1/2" in width. Some cracks may not be able to fill due to the size and nature of them. First we remove dirt and vegetation from the cracks using any required combination from crack grazers, hand tools, power blowers, and heat lances. The crack sealer is heated to approximately 350 degrees in a melting unit, called an "MA-10" or a pull behind unit called a "Crack Pro" and applied directly to the cracks. The excess material is banded over the crack to form a tight seal. While no crack filler is 100% permanent due to normal wear, the hot tar crack sealant last longer and is more flexible and durable.

*Cold Pour Crack Sealer:   A pourable asphalt emulsion based premium liquid. Available in one gallon jugs, this material enables a quick, easy application and penetration in cracks up to 1/4" in width. Cold pour is a lot cheaper in price compared to hot tar. We only use cold pour on residential which is typically included in the price of sealing. We always give the home owner there options.

*When to Seal Coat:

*New Pavement:

New pavement should be seal coated generally 6 months to 1 year of being laid. It is extremely important not to seal coat to early or right after it is laid because the oils in the asphalt need to cure and "bake off". You will know cause the asphalt will turn from black to gray. If the oils are not given a chance to properly cure and evaporate, the seal coat will trap these oils in your pavement, causing permanent soft conditions that could lead to premature cracking and less resistance to abuse.  Always allow 24 to 48 hours to allow the sealer to cure.

*Existing Pavement: 

Seal coating every 2-3 years is the average, but visual observation of the asphalt's  current condition plays a role as well, the amount of traffic the pavement receives, the climate/ winter, the type of chemicals that may assault your pavement and the abuse it is subjected too. After about 3 years, you should definitely seal coat. But if your driveway has or starts cracking over that time, make sure you call and at least get the cracks filled to protect them from freeze thaw and to help hold the asphalt together.

*Asphalt Composition:  

Asphalt is a mixture of natural and organic components bonded together with a petroleum by-product asphalt tar. Essentially, asphalt is a simple mixture of various sized stone and sand particles referred to as an aggregate. It is then held together and bonded by a hot- applied liquid asphalt that dries after cooling to hold the sand and stone particles together.

*What is Pavement Deterioration:

Pavement deterioration is an inevitable process in the life of an asphalt surface. From day on, rain, snow, frost, traffic, and the sun's harmful UV rays all play a part to destroy your asphalt surfaces, wearing them thinner and thinner over time. Fuel and oils also play a part in dissolving the liquid asphalt binders and holding the larger aggregate and sand particles together. When all these factors are combined, overtime, they destroy your pavement. Left un-maintained, your pavement will completely fail much sooner than it would have, if proper maintenance  was provided.