Asphalt Sealing & Windy Conditions
Many people know that the weather can play a major role in a contractor’s decision to apply a sealant or postpone the work. For example, they may understand that sealcoating should not be applied at night or during cold weather. They may also understand that the sealant will cure more slowly in shaded areas or when the humidity level is high. However, fewer people understand the impact that wind speed can have on the sealant’s curing time and the overall quality of the job.
Asphalt Sealing & Windy Conditions – The Importance of Wind
If there is no wind, the sealant will take longer to dry. Sealants must evaporate the water that they contain if they are to cure properly. As the water molecules escape from the sealant, they linger just above the surface. If the air is moving, these molecules are dispersed, allowing additional molecules to escape, but without wind, the water molecules remaining in the sealant are trapped.
The help provided by wind may lead you to believe that higher wind speeds are more desirable. However, this is not the case.
• When winds are strong, the surface of the sealcoating will dry too quickly. A hard crust will form that traps the liquid sealant that lies underneath. As a result, the top layer of sealant will crack and flake, requiring the job to be repeated much sooner than should be necessary.
• Sealcoating a parking lot or other large expanse of pavement is impractical to do by hand. Therefore, contractors use sprayers to apply the sealant. If the wind is too strong, the sealant leaving the sprayer can be disrupted, leading to areas that have too much or too little sealant. Without an even application, the sealant can fail prematurely, fail to cure properly or leave bald spots that are unprotected.
• Overspray is a major issue when applying sealant in windy conditions. Cars driving by the site or parked nearby, grass, fences, walls, shrubs, buildings, sidewalks and other items can have liquid sealant blown onto them. Depending on the finish and material, the removal of the sealant can cause additional damage to the item on which it drifted.
• Even if the contractor manages to confine the sealant to the desired area, he cannot control what the wind may blow onto the uncured sealant. Dirt, grass clippings, plastic straws, food wrappers and other debris could become stuck to the wet sealant. In many cases, there is no way to remove this debris without affecting the appearance and perhaps functionality of the sealcoating.
• Attempts to prevent overspray typically present their own problems. For example, a contractor might use a blocker board to create a movable barrier between the area to be sealed and curbs, sidewalks or other structures. When the board is moved, the sealant that has accumulated on the board often drips on the area that the contractor was trying to protect.
• As a rule, as winds increase, manual work also increases. Instead of being able to use a sprayer for the pavement edges, the contractor will probably use a brush or squeegee to create a perimeter. The higher the wind, the wider the perimeter must be. This means that the job will take longer, but it can also mean that the surface appearance may be affected or that the perimeter application may be too thick or too thin.
If you need asphalt sealcoating applied, contact the professionals at Driveway Sealing Call Frank. We have been serving commercial and residential customers in Connecticut since 1998. In addition to driveway sealcoating and commercial sealcoating, we offer parking lot striping, asphalt repairs, infrared pothole repairs, snow removal and asphalt paving as well as concrete installation, maintenance and repair. We have an outstanding reputation for delivering high-quality work and exemplary service at competitive prices. If you would like to receive a free estimate, you can complete our quote request form online or call us at (203) 378-0080 or 1-800-DRIVEWAY.