FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Asphalt sealers are designed to protect and beautify your asphalt driveway or parking lot by protecting from the natural aging process caused by sunlight, water, and debris. Regular seal coating reduces maintenance costs, and adds years of life to the asphalt. An added benefit is that seal coating adds to
the curb appeal of your property giving it a clean, uniform look.

We are the premier provider of Enviro-Kote, an eco-friendly commercial grade asphalt pavement sealer specifically designed for the Midwest climate. Enviro-Kote is composed of specifically selected filler, fibers and fortified with polymers to ensure the longest lasting protection and deepest black color all
while keeping the environment in mind. You can rest assured that knowing that not only is your pavement protected but your children and pets are safe to play on it.

Seal coat should only be applied to fully cured asphalt, we suggest twelve months so that it has been exposed to all seasons, or at least over one winter.

Industry standards recommend seal coating every 2-3 years, depending on the surface integrity of the asphalt. We recommend allowing the sealer to wear away before resealing. Please ask your Estimator or Seal Coat Team to add you to our maintenance schedule.

To get a longer life out of the seal coat, ask that your snowplowing service provider uses “shoes” or rubber cutting edge on the snowplow to avoid scraping off the seal coat.

The best times for seal coating an asphalt driveway or parking lot is spring, summer, and fall, as long as the ground and air temperature is consistently at or above 50+ degrees, both day and night.

Our Estimators will discuss your concerns with you and make recommendations about the need for crack filling or repairs prior to seal coating.

We strive to make your driveway look its best; however, the crack repair service is not intended to make
these cracks disappear. Crack repair is intended to provide a watertight seal between the foundation of your driveway and the weather. After we apply the crack repair, it may settle; this does not affect the watertight seal. The repair may also be visible under the seal coat.

Surface cracks (spider cracks) will not be eliminated. They do not affect the overall structure and condition of the driveway.

Plan to have all vehicles moved so that they will not need to drive on fresh seal coat for a few days, and the Seal Coat Team can begin work immediately.

Plan to keep pets, children, garden hoses, and sprinklers off of fresh seal coat for a few days.

Apply vegetation control product to any cracks at least 1 week prior to seal coating. Do not dig out soil from cracks, as this will increase the amount of crack filler needed.

Any washing or pressure washing should be done at least 1 week prior to the seal coat appointment, to allow for thorough drying. Asphalt should be swept free of leaves, pine needles, debris, dirt and dust.

Our Seal Coat Team will prepare the area prior to sealing by removing vegetation from cracks and edges, sweeping/blowing away any sand and vegetation, as well as cleaning and priming any oil spots.

Oil and grease spots, and any sidewalk chalk should be cleaned with a degreasing soap, and rinsed thoroughly at least 1 week prior to the seal coating to allow for proper drying.

Our Seal Coat Team will clean and prime any oil spots prior to seal coating. Unfortunately, not all stains can be completely removed so some stained areas may still be visible upon completion of seal coating.

A majority of the drying and hardening of sealer will take place over the first few days. The longer that you can keep the area closed from heavy traffic, the better. We recommend waiting a minimum of 24 hours before walking on and a minimum of 48 hours before driving on.

We also recommend letting the sealer have additional drying time if:

  • The driveway is exposed to direct sunlight or high humidity in summer. In high heat and humidity, temperatures on the asphalt can reach over 140 degrees, and the sealer will have a tacky feel.
  • In the early spring or fall if temperatures go below 50 degrees.
  • The driveway is in a shaded area.

Seal coat requires about six months or so to cure where the sealer bonds to form a solid film.

Sealing requires about six months or so to cure, so during the first few months some superficial scuff or tire marks may likely be noticeable. These marks are normal and temporary.

The amount of scuffing and tire marks can be affected by temperature and humidity, the age of the asphalt, the sharpness of any turns, maneuvering vehicles into garages, aggressive treads on tires, and the weight of vehicles driving on your asphalt. On newly seal coated driveways, drivers may want to be a bit more careful. Sudden stops, tight turns or turning wheels while not in motion should be avoided if at all possible.

The good news is that you received a good coat of sealer. A product with a high amount of water won’t leave tire marks but a sealer with high solids content for traction and durability may be prone to them. Tire marks cannot be repaired, applying more sealer in an attempt to cover them will only aggravate the
situation.

Although some scuffs or tire marks can be severe, the condition is usually temporary and will fade with time. As the seal coat continues to cure, it becomes much more resistant to scuffing. With some planning and consideration you can keep the nuisance of scuff and tire marks to a minimum.

After new seal coat is applied, any leaves that fall onto the new wet surface may stick for a day or two, but will bow off or disintegrate shortly thereafter. This will not harm the new sealer in any way.

Our Seal Coat Team pays special attention to the edges of your driveway, especially around your garage, stone walls, concrete, and other areas adjacent to the blacktop. These areas often are cut in by hand and squeegee, causing them to appear darker in color and take longer to dry. The edges may cure more slowly and the appearance will become uniform.

Please see our Asphalt Paving FAQ’s for more information about our paving process and recommendations.

For any unanswered questions:
Please contact us at (218) 626-1822 or send your questions via email at info@sinnottblacktop.com.

Your Project Estimator is also available anytime to answer your questions.

Frost Action and Frost Heaving

Frost action or heaving is something that occurs every winter here in the Northland. This can mean big problems for an asphalt surface if the initial installation was not done properly. Frost action is a two-step process. The freezing of soil water, and the thawing of the soil water. For pavement, frost action can become a major concern when either A) the freezing phase is accompanied by noticeable heaving in the pavement surface, or B) the thawing phase is accompanied by noticeable softening of the sub-base.

Heaving of the pavement from frost action is termed frost heave. Frost heave induces uneven support of the pavement structure. When loads (such as cars) pass over the area, cracks may form on the surface. The heaving is caused by the formation of ice lenses in the soil below the pavement. The size of the ice lens depends on the quantity of water available in the water table around the area at the time. The ice lens will continue to grow as long as a source of water is available. Water will migrate to the lens from all directions, above, below, and from the sides. The water migration can occur as far as 20 feet away from the initial ice lens. Eliminating the supply of water from the soil is virtually impossible. Good drainage can partially reduce the quantity of water available to feed an ice lens and cause frost heave. Some soils are more susceptible to the formation of an ice lens than others. Silts or silty clay soils are considered among the most frost susceptible. Silt, due to the small size of its particles, or gradation, permits the flow of water by capillary action through its pores. Other soils considered frost susceptible include fine sands, clayey gravel and rock flour, dirty sands and gravels, and glacial tills.

Soils that can be considered to be non-frost susceptible are very clean mixtures of sand and gravel. These soils drain freely by gravity and do not create capillary moisture movement. Frost heave can be found most often in the following locations; Transitions from cut to fill, where ditches are inadequate or non-existent, over culvert pipes, adjacent to driveways that dam roadside ditches and collect water, and wherever there is an abrupt change in sub-grade material. Not all frost heaving is detrimental to pavement. Uniform heaving will most likely be noticeable to the eye or to vehicles. There is typically no bumps or rolls, as the whole surface has heaved uniformly and presents no maintenance problem. Heave is destructive only during the freezing or frozen phase, when it varies sharply, causing uneven support to the pavement. To prevent frost heave problems, highly susceptible soils should be replaced or stabilized. Frost heave spots should be drained with tile drains, and ditches should be kept clean and free of clutter that prevents the flow of water away from the pavement.