Many customers wonder why sealcoating professionals pay so much attention to the weather before scheduling a job. The reason is that there are four weather-related factors that play an important part in the outcome of the job. These factors influence the sealant’s drying time as well as its curing time. Sealcoating & Houston Weather is unique!
Sealcoating & Houston Weather – The Temperature
When planning a sealcoating job, contractors are concerned with two temperatures. The air temperature, also called the ambient temperature, is one measurement. The other is the ground temperature, which is the temperature of the surface on which the sealant is to be applied. Early in the morning, the ground temperature may be significantly lower than the air temperature, but during evening hours, the reverse may be true.
Temperatures play a role in evaporation, so the warmer it is, the faster sealants will dry. However, if the temperatures are too high, the sealant will dry before it has time to bond to the surface of the pavement.
Sealcoating & Houston Weather -The Humidity
If you live in the Houston area, you are probably very familiar with the concept of humidity, which is simply how much moisture the air is holding. Humidity slows the rate of evaporation, and if the humidity is high, liquids take much longer to evaporate because the air is too saturated to hold any more moisture. This is why evaporative coolers work so well in desert towns such as Tucson and so poorly in areas that are near the coast. Sealcoating manufacturers warn against applying their products if the humidity is 90 percent or above.
Sealcoating & Houston Weather – The Wind
Wind speed can be a factor in how quickly sealants will dry. Air flow creates room for water molecules to go from the sealant into the air. If there is no wind, the moisture in the sealant will be trapped next to the pavement, reducing the rate of evaporation and extending the drying time. If the air is circulating, the moisture-rich air gets blown away, leaving air that has room to absorb the moisture next to the surface. Most sealcoating professionals prefer wind speeds of at least 5 mph, and under most conditions, it is even better if the wind speed is higher.
Sealcoating & Houston Weather – The Sunlight
Sunlight is the most complex and misunderstood factors involved in a successful sealcoating job in Houston. Sunlight warms up the surface when the asphalt pavement absorbs heat from the sun, and throughout the day, sunlight will continue to renew this warmth. At night or on a cloudy day, the surface temperatures will not increase as much as they would on a sunny day. The reduced temperatures slow the evaporative rate, which means that drying times are extended.
Sunlight also plays an important role in how quickly sealants cure. Although many people use drying and curing interchangeably, the two terms are not quite the same. Sealants dry from the top down, which means that the surface may feel dry to the touch and ready for pedestrian traffic, but it may not have completed the curing process that establishes a strong bond with the pavement. Once the sealant has dried thoroughly and formed the bond, it is cured and ready for vehicle traffic. UV rays from the sun speed up the curing process, so areas that are in heavy shade may not cure as quickly as areas that receive several hours of direct sunlight.
To Learn More
If you would like to learn more about sealcoating or have questions about other asphalt-related services, contact the professionals at LDC Paving. We are a asphalt sealcoating and asphalt contractor that offer a wide range of services to customers in Houston and throughout Harris County. Our services include asphalt paving and overlays, crack repair, parking lot striping, sealcoating, pavement markings, bollards and concrete repair. We deliver quality results at affordable rates. If you would like to request a free quote, you can submit our online form or call (832) 640-7296.
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