Asphalt pavement, to keep in simple terms, is primarily rock and/or stone & gravel, along with a binder. The rock, or aggregate, is held together with this binder also known as asphalt cement. The binder is created from the distillation process of certain crude oils. Maintaining this binder is essential in prolonging the deterioration of asphalt surfaces. Rain, U.V. rays, and chemicals, as they are introduced into the asphalt, will degrade the binder and thus begin the degradation process of the asphalt. This will continue, and create a surface that turns brittle. To reduce the effects of these elements, it is important to implement a maintenance program that utilizes sealcoating to extend the life of your parking lot or driveway.Sealcoating will provide a layer of protection blocking out the following elements; water, oils, and U.V. damage. In addition, when applied to manufacturers’ specifications, sealcoating provides a slip resistant surface with a deep black finish that greatly enhances the overall appearance of a parking lot or driveway. Sealcoats are typically bituminous based products or acrylics. The sealcoat is in a liquid formulation of one of the above emulsions, mixed with water, silica sand, polymer additives, and other proprietary fillers and solids. These products can be applied by brush, spray or squeegee.
A regularly scheduled sealcoating program will more than double the life of the asphalt, saving you significant dollars down the line. Instead of having to pay thousands of dollars for new pavement, it is more cost effective to spend only pennies on the dollar per square foot to maintain.
To summarize, sealcoating every two to three years will certainly extend the life of your asphalt pavement- for minimal cost. When applied appropriately, and at the right time, sealcoating; prevents oxidation, stops weather damage, and beautifies pavement.
There are primarily three types of asphalt sealers. They are commonly known as; coal-tar, asphalt emulsions, and acrylics. All three have their advantages but are typically chosen by the contractors’ preference unless otherwise specified. Some States in North America have banned the use of coal tar based sealants primarily based on United States Geological Survey studies
– Acrylic sealers are typically produced in multiple colors, and are a niche product for sealing and beautifying properties such as driveways & golf cart paths, or as identifiers to specific parking areas & entrances.
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