Asphalt Sealcoating: Do We Need An Aggregate?
Asphalt sealcoating is a remarkably effective way to protect asphalt pavement against premature deterioration. A properly applied sealant can block UV rays, restore the color of a faded pavement and help prevent softening of the pavement caused by the penetration of petroleum-based products. However, if the sealcoating mix is of poor quality, the job will not last very long. One method that disreputable contractors employ to dupe their customers is the exclusion of aggregates in the sealant mix.
Asphalt Sealcoating: Do We Need An Aggregate? -The Purpose
Aggregates are particles that are added to sealants for a variety of reasons.
• Cured sealcoating can be slippery, especially when wet. Aggregates enhance traction for both vehicles and pedestrians. If there are no aggregates in the sealant, someone suffering an injury or a damaged vehicle on your property could look to you for compensation.
• Without aggregates, the water content of the mix will normally be substantially higher. This reduces the strength of the bond between the pavement and the sealant, but it can also lead to an application that is too thin to form a properly tough shell.
• When aggregates are suspended throughout the mix, they become incorporated into the end product. This makes the sealcoating better able to withstand routine wear, increasing the sealant’s life.
• Because the aggregates are fine particles, they can settle into hairline cracks or other tiny imperfections that may be invisible to the naked eye. However, even if the flaws cannot be easily seen, the smoother appearance of the surface is often surprisingly obvious.
Why Do Some Contractors Neglect Aggregates?
To be blunt, the issue is usually money. First of all, the types of aggregates suitable for use in a sealcoating mix are not cheap. They also reduce the amount of pavement that can be coated per gallon. Shady contractors realize that most customers will not know that the mix contains no aggregates, and since they plan to be far away before the sealcoating fails prematurely, they opt to maximize their profits.
Another issue related to money is the cost of a suitable sealcoating machine. These machines have a pump to agitate the mix and keep the aggregates properly distributed. At a cost of $20,000 or more, most gypsy contractors cannot afford one of these machines. However, if they think that the customer might know that an aggregate should be added to the mix, they may haul out a large drum, dump in a bag of sand and stir the mix a time or two by hand. Within minutes, whatever aggregate they added is going to fall out of the mix and accumulate on the bottom of the drum. This is not going to help the quality of the work, but the contractor may use it to justify an additional charge for his work.
Occasionally, unscrupulous contractors may boast that their mix contains aggregates — and there may indeed be some particulate matter included. However, it is not likely to be silica sand or boiler slag. They will choose the cheapest material that will convince customers that aggregates are in the mix. Unfortunately, the materials they choose are usually dirty, contaminated, improperly sized or otherwise completely unsuitable for sealcoating.
Driveway Sealing Call Frank Is Committed to Quality, Service and Integrity
Driveway Sealing Call Frank is a commercial and driveway paving contractor. Since 1998, we have a reputation for superior quality commercial sealcoating and driveway sealcoating. We also offer asphalt repair, infrared asphalt repair, crack filling, pavement striping, concrete work and asphalt curbing. We have earned a reputation for integrity, customer service and quality work. We offer free quotes by phone at 1-800-DRIVEWAY or (203) 378-0080. You can also use our request form to submit your details online.