If you have new asphalt laid then it is important to maintain the asphalt with sealcoating. Sealcoating helps to protect your new asphalt pavement and will help to ensure that it lasts for years to come. Sealcoats can be applied with a broom, spray or squeegee.
While asphalt driveways are usually able to be driven on within 24 hours of being laid, it is best to wait to get your asphalt pavement sealcoated in order to ensure that it is fully cured prior to sealcoating. In hot and dry areas it could take as little time as 1 month for the asphalt to be cured and in moist and colder areas it could take up to 6 or even 12 months before it is ready. You can tell it’s not ready yet if you spray some water on the ground and the water beads up or has a rainbow tint to it from all the oil.
Sealcoating is important because it helps to protect your asphalt from the elements. Asphalt is made from aggregates and has an oil based binder. The sealcoating helps to keep the oil base from drying out, allowing it to remain flexible rather than brittle. The reason asphalt dries out is due to the process of oxidation. Oxidation starts happening as soon as the asphalt is laid. Some oxidation is necessary in order for the asphalt to cure as the excess oil is being removed. However, too much oxidation will cause the asphalt to become too brittle, which allows for cracks.
Water is a big enemy of asphalt. Once the asphalt begins to oxidize and the binder loses its grip then water is able to get into the pavement. As it settles in the pavement it helps to create larger cracks. Sealcoating helps to keep water from penetrating inside the asphalt pavement.
The sun’s UV rays also helps to accelerate the process of oxidation. As the sun’s UV rays shine on the asphalt it distresses the asphalt pavement. Sealcoating helps to protect the asphalt from the intense UV rays so that it does not make the asphalt brittle.
Sealcoating helps to protect the asphalt from the elements, but it also fills in small cracks. Once the small cracks have become large cracks sealcoating will no longer be a solution for maintaining your asphalt and you will need to consider getting your asphalt repaired or repaved.
Sealcoating should be done every 3-5 years in order to help maintain your property and make sure that your asphalt pavement will last. It is best to be proactive and protect your asphalt in order to avoid cracks and other structural damages to your asphalt. It is best to monitor your pavement, as in parking lots with heavy traffic may need to have sealcoating done more frequently.
Turn to trusted asphalt paving contractors for your pavement maintenance. Give us a call today!