Can It Be Too Hot For Sealcoating?
Guidelines issued by sealant manufacturers recommend that sealcoating not be applied if the temperature is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. However, this does not mean that professional sealcoating contractors cannot apply sealant successfully when the temperature is much higher than the manufacturer’s recommendation. There are adjustments that your sealcoating contractor can make to ensure quality results, but there are definitely a few challenges involved. Since the ideal temperature for sealcoating is 70 degrees Fahrenheit, once the temperature rises above that point, asphalt sealcoating contractors must carefully evaluate the other critical factors for success.
When Is It Too Hot for Sealcoating? The Temperature Is Only Part of the Equation
As you probably know, sealcoating is applied as a liquid. To cure properly and create a hard, protective shell, the water contained in the liquid sealant must evaporate. The four factors critical to the evaporative process are the relative humidity, the hours of exposure to direct sunlight, the wind speed and the temperature.
• Temperature: When heat is applied to water, the individual molecules move faster and bump into each other. The molecules are bounced free and can enter the air. This is why a pan of boiling water on the stove will evaporate faster than an equally sized bowl of water left on the counter at room temperature.
• Humidity: The escaping water molecules must have a place to go. As humidity levels increase, the air becomes saturated with water, leaving less room for the would-be escapees. The process of evaporation can be slowed or halted.
• Wind: Circulating air can help remove the saturated air that is hovering just above the surface of the sealcoating. Even a light wind can help move the moisture-laden air away, replacing it with drier air that allows evaporation to continue.
• Sunlight: The sun’s rays renew the heat and help keep the water molecules moving. In turn, this helps evaporate the water contained in the sealant. This explains why densely shaded areas are slower to dry as well as why sealcoating contractors try to avoid sealcoating at night.
Why Excess Heat Impacts Sealcoating Efforts
Based on the four factors that play a role in the sealcoating process, it might seem that it could never be too hot to apply sealant. However, extreme heat can play havoc with sealant applications unless your sealcoating contractor knows how to compensate for the heat.
• When sealant is applied to extremely hot pavement, the sealant can dry virtually on contact. Unless the liquid sealant has time to penetrate into the pavement’s pores, a strong bond cannot form.
• The surface layer can also dry too quickly. If it does, it can trap wet sealant beneath. The trapped sealant will find it difficult or impossible to evaporate its moisture.
Whether the top or bottom layer dries too quickly, the sealcoating will not last as it should. Its surface will be too weak to withstand traffic, so the sealant may crack, tires on vehicles may scar the finish, tracking may occur or the sealant could literally be stripped completely from the pavement.
Sealcoating in Connecticut
At Driveway Sealing Call Frank, we know that the biggest challenge we face during hot weather is typically the humidity rather than the temperature. We have been providing quality work since 1998, so we have learned how to apply sealcoating when temperatures rise and humidity levels soar. We are based in Stratford, CT but serve most locations in Connecticut with a variety of services besides sealcoating, including asphalt crack sealing and pothole repairs, parking lot striping, concrete installation and infrared asphalt repair. We provide services to homeowners as well as commercial clients, so no job is too big or too small. Our reputation is outstanding, and we are known for our skill, our dedication to our customers and our reasonable prices. If you would like to request a free quote, you can use the online form or call 1-800-DRIVEWAY or (203) 378-0080.