Asphalt sealcoating is an excellent way to extend the life of asphalt pavement and enhance its appearance at an economical cost. Sealants guard against premature deterioration caused by UV radiation and automotive fluids while simultaneously restoring color to faded asphalt. Because most property owners want to ensure that their pavements have a long life, many people are proactive about having sealants professionally applied, but they sometimes wonder whether there is a perfect time for sealcoating.
Sealcoating: Now Is The Perfect Time
All sealcoating manufacturers define the perfect time identically. They all state a set of ideal conditions that are rather narrow.
• Air and pavement temperatures of between 50 degrees and 70 degrees
• Wind speeds between 3 mph and 5 mph
• Overnight lows above 50 degrees
• No rain forecast for at least 24 hours following application
• Plenty of sunlight, i.e., cloudy days are not ideal
• Relative humidity of 50 percent or less
If you have spent much time in the Houston area, you are probably aware that the final condition rarely occurs. Historical weather data shows that the relative humidity in this area consistently averages more than 72 percent every month of the year. Furthermore, there are very few months with average highs below 70 degrees and overnight lows above 50 degrees.
Obviously, if sealcoating could only be applied when conditions were perfect, there would be very few asphalt pavements in the area protected by sealants. Sealcoating professionals know how to adjust to conditions that are not perfect. However, there are definitely some months that are better for applying sealcoating than others.
Which Months Are Best for Sealcoating?
In the Houston area, the best months for applying sealcoating are March, April, May, October and November. These are the months during which temperatures are closest to the ideals recommended by manufacturers. Naturally, this does not mean that sealcoating can only be applied during these months. There are occasional days in December, January and February with overnight temperatures that are sufficient.
From June through September, the opposite deviation from ideal can occur — daytime highs can soar well beyond the 70 degrees recommended by manufacturers. Of course, experienced contractors continue to apply sealcoating throughout the summer months and obtain excellent results. However, this does not mean that summer is the perfect time to apply sealcoating. It simply means that it is possible.
Why Weather Matters
The simple explanation is that sealants contain water that needs to evaporate during the drying process. Water evaporates slower as temperatures decrease, extending the curing time. If temperatures are too high, however, the evaporation process may occur too quickly.
Sunlight speeds the evaporation process. High levels of humidity slow evaporation, but a gentle breeze helps move the humid air away from the surface of the pavement to give evaporation a boost.
Proper evaporation is essential if the sealant is to look and perform as it should. The longer it takes for curing to occur, the longer you will need to restrict traffic on your pavement. In addition, the longer that the sealant remains in liquid form, the greater the chances are that the sand in the mix will fall out of suspension.
Trust LDC Paving for Your Sealcoating Needs
At LDC Paving, we understand the unique challenges faced when sealcoating in the greater Houston area — and we know how to overcome those challenges. LDC Paving is a full-service asphalt contractor offering a wide variety of asphalt and concrete services, including asphalt overlays, asphalt maintenance, crack repair, asphalt paving, parking lot striping, sealcoating and concrete repairs. We are known for the high quality of our work, our dedication to customer satisfaction and our affordable prices. If you would like a free quote, complete the online form or call (832) 640-7296.