Driveway Sealcoating: Failures & Causes
When applied to asphalt pavement, asphalt sealcoating helps prolong the pavement’s life while improving its appearance. Sealcoating blocks the UV rays that leave asphalt dry and brittle, slows the penetration of petroleum-based automotive fluids that can soften the pavement, helps protect the pavement’s foundation from damage caused by water penetration and restores the color of faded asphalt pavement. If all other factors are the same, a pavement on which the sealcoating has been properly maintained can last more than twice as long as one that has not been sealed. When you have sealcoating applied, you want to ensure that it will not deteriorate prematurely, leaving your pavement without adequate protection.
Driveway Sealcoating: Failures & Causes – Common Reasons
Sealcoating works by forming a strong bond with the pavement to create a tough, durable barrier. Most sealcoating failures are the result of a bonding failure.
• Untreated Oil Spots: One frequently overlooked step is the cleaning and priming of oil spots. Sealcoating simply cannot bond to oil. While cleaning the oil spots, the contractor should also ensure that the underlying pavement has not been damaged by the oil; if it has, the damages will need to be repaired before a sealant is applied.
• Inadequate Cleaning: Dirt, tree sap, vegetation clippings and debris must be removed prior to sealcoating if a bond is to be established. The cleaning method will depend on the condition of the pavement. For example, a driveway with a great deal of tree sap on its surface may need to be power washed, but one with just a little dirt may only require an air blower. A parking lot on which thick, dried mud is present may need scraping or cleaning with a wire brush.
• Damaged Pavement: Sealants preserve and protect; they do not repair. Cracks in the pavement must be repaired before the pavement is sealed. If alligator cracking has occurred, it will be necessary to ascertain whether the foundation has been compromised, make any foundation repairs needed and repair the pavement.
• Premature Sealcoating: Asphalt pavement needs time to rid itself of any excess oil before a sealant is applied. Although you want to have newly built pavement sealed no later than 12 months following installation, sealing it before it is at least 90 days of age is usually a bad idea.
• No Primer Applied: Under certain conditions, it is essential to apply primer or tack coat to ensure that proper bonding occurs. For example, an old pavement may be powdery or oxidized, it may have slick spots where the aggregate has been highly polished or it may have rust spots from iron contained in the aggregate. In all of these scenarios, a primer — although not necessarily the same primer — may need to be applied before sealcoating.
Sealcoating is a vital part of an effective maintenance plan to extend the life of asphalt pavement. As such, you need to choose a reputable, experienced professional to avoid the premature failure of your sealcoating. At Driveway Sealing Call Frank, we have been sealcoating asphalt pavement since 1998. We also offer asphalt repairs, infrared pothole repair, asphalt curbing, parking lot striping and the installation and repair of concrete. We handle large and small jobs for residential and commercial asphalt sealcoating clients throughout much of Connecticut. We are known for providing high-quality work and professional service at affordable rates. If you have more questions about Driveway Sealcoating: Failures & Causes, or would like a free quote; you can call (203) 378-0080 or 1-800-DRIVEWAY.
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