Seal coating is a protective layer applied on asphalt surfaces like pavement, tarmac, parking lots, and driveways to protect them from water intrusion, excess dryness, and the environment. Seal coats come in coal-tar and asphalt-based types and are ideal for asphalt and blacktop surfaces as their petroleum bases bind well with the pavement.
The coats are applied after the pavement has been allowed a period of rest. The curing allows the asphalt to lose any excess oils in the aggregate and ensures binding. Applying the coat then restores the asphalt’s color, gloss and offers a skid-free surface, bringing the appeal back to your property.
Like all things asphalt, maintenance and repair are a given, but cheaper if you plan for it. Here are the signs that may mean your asphalt requires a seal coat.
1. Let It Cure
The first sign that your pavement is ready for a seal coat is after the first 6 – 12 months have passed after paving. Then is the ideal time frame for asphalt to lose excess oil and seal in any other kinds of oils that may have seeped into the asphalt. If you seal too early, there will still be oil present at the seal coat surface, affecting binding capability.
2. Seal by Season
Jacksonville, FL, receives much rain and humidity due to its proximity to the Atlantic. Seal coats are better done in the fall or spring when the showers have halted and temperatures are stable. The seal coat settles better on cured and dry asphalt, making for a more practical application.
3. Go Sunny, Not Shade
Sealcoating needs warm temperatures to dry, so the best sign for a seal coat is that the sun is highest in the sky, and no shade obscures the pavement for the next couple of hours. It’s sweaty work, but it’s honest!
4. Check for Cracks
Like the weathered pavement beneath it, seal coats can also exhibit alligatoring, which signifies that your asphalt may need a re-paving. This is a major overhaul and happens to the best-paved roads and driveways over time. For more minor cracks, a sealant can be applied to fill them, left to dry, then you may proceed with your seal coat.
5. Elderly Asphalt
Old roads deserve some love too. If your unsealed pavement has survived a good 3 – 5 years without incident, the sign is to apply a double seal coat. Old pavement tends to get dry and brittle so doubling the seal coat adds a few more years to its life and brings back that blacktop look we all so love!
6. You Messed It Up, Didn’t You?
Many homeowners like to take the bull by the horns and make a mess of it. Of course, we mean a DIY seal coat project that turned out like a turbulent cake glaze. This is a sign from God that you need professional services to re-do the seal coating on your asphalt. Be humble; call in the pros!
If you feel secure in sensing any of these signs, be sure to drop in on our website for a free quote. At CAM Services & Repairs, we have quite the number of notches under our paving belts. We provide concrete and asphalt services across Jacksonville, FL, especially when the weather agrees with us (and asphalt!). Feel free to ask us for a solution tailored just for you!