If you have asphalt pavement, having asphalt sealcoating professionally applied is a wise decision. Properly maintained sealcoating can often double the life of asphalt pavement. In addition, your pavement will look more attractive; seal coat covers minor imperfections in the surface of the pavement and restores faded asphalt to a rich, dark color. However, sealcoating can be a tricky material to work with, and if it is not applied correctly, the benefits can be lost.
Sealcoating: Thick or Thin
Since the earliest days of television, marketers have connected the word “thick” with product traits such as performance, luxury, durability, quality, protection and superiority. It is no wonder that many people believe that a thick layer of sealcoating would provide superior, long-lasting protection after paving asphalt. Thicker may be better when related to many products, but with sealcoating, thinner is actually superior.
Why Thinner Is Superior
The primary reason that thinner is superior when it comes to sealcoating has to do with evaporation. Sealants contain water, and this water needs to evaporate for the sealcoating to cure. Evaporation is often a problem in humid climates; the air can become so saturated with water molecules that it is difficult for additional molecules to force their way into the air. Furthermore, evaporation occurs at the surface of the liquid, so the deeper the water is beneath the surface, the longer it will take for evaporation to occur. With a thick coat of sealant, the surface may seem completely dry, but underneath, the sealcoating is still in its liquid state. This makes it prone to tracking, but it also allows the solid particles to fall out of the mix, degrading the quality of the sealcoating.
As the surface of the sealant dries, it forms a hard shell. However, under the shell, the sealant remains liquid. This allows cracks to form on the surface, and as the sealcoating continues to dry, the cracks will continue throughout the sealant. Furthermore, the sealcoating at the bottom of the layer will have difficulty bonding to the pavement. As a result, the sealcoating will be easily disturbed by rain and traffic, leaving numerous patches of pavement without any sealant. This is unsightly, but it also means that you will need to have more sealcoating applied much sooner than you should have needed a fresh application.
Sprayer or Squeegee?
The debate over whether a sprayer or squeegee allows better control of the sealant’s thickness has been raging for decades. The simple truth is that a professional can apply a thin coat with either, while an amateur can lay down an extremely thick coat with either. There are times when sealcoating professionals find that both tools are required on certain jobs to provide the best results.
Given the tricky nature of sealcoating, it is always wise to hire an experienced, reputable contractor. We have the expertise to provide our customers with quality services at affordable prices. At LDC Paving, our services include sealcoating, asphalt paving, crack repair, asphalt overlays, parking lot striping and pavement markings, speed bumps, bollard posts and pothole repair. We also maintain and repair concrete driveways, sidewalks, ramps, parking lots and curbs. Our customers include subdivisions, municipalities, apartment complexes, restaurants, retail strips, hotels and shopping centers. To receive a free quote, submit the online form or call (832) 640-7296.
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