An asphalt parking lot or driveway can turn into a large budget item if proper maintenance isn’t taken care of. Let us help you protect your investment to stop the natural erosion that takes place with asphalt.
If you are a homeowner or a commercial property manager, you probably have had some questions as to how to care for your asphalt surface. Such as, why should I seal coat? How often should I seal coat? What can I do about those cracks in my pavement? Or what to do with a stain on the surface that can be caused by oils and other chemicals. Sinnott Blacktop will advise on how to maintain an asphalt surface.
Seal coat is a thin asphalt surface treatment used to waterproof and improve the texture of the asphalt wearing surface. It helps block the harmful chemicals and elements away from the surface of the asphalt.
Asphalt pavements are made up of stone aggregates or sand and asphalt cement. The asphalt cement is what gives the pavement its black appearance and is the glue that holds everything together.
Over time the black appearance can begin to fade. The sun, rain, and snow have an oxidizing effect on the asphalt cement in the pavement. This will cause the asphalt to become brittle and less resistant to loads that may be placed on it.
Being that asphalt is a petroleum based product, any other petroleum derivatives that come into contact with it will dissolve into the asphalt. This can weaken or dissolve the glue like properties of the asphalt cement. Common substances can include: motor oil, brake fluids, gasoline; even household cleaners can damage an asphalt surface.
The list is endless as to where these products can come from such as cars, bike chains, lawn mowers, etc. A quality seal coating job will protect the asphalt surface from these damaging factors, as well as providing the curb appeal of a new driveway.
Cracks are another issue that should be considered when thinking about asphalt maintenance. Seal coating is for sealing the asphalt surface. It does nothing as far as sealing cracks in the surface. When left alone, cracks allow moisture to penetrate the surface, if not down to the sub base. Water expands as it freezes, so winter months will incur the most damage. Water will also do extensive damage in the warmer months if left unchecked.
All cracks are not the same. They can range from small spider web-type cracks, to open fissure like cracks in the surface.
Small series of cracks in the same area, forming what looks like a spider web, is a pothole waiting to happen. If left alone, the patch will start to sink and eventually pieces of asphalt will come away. When this occurs, the only thing to do is remove the affected area, and patch with new asphalt.
Longer fissure type cracks can be just as damaging. The main issue when crack filling, is to have them clean, dry, and with no vegetation present when applying the filler. The filler will have a high amount of rubber content, so as to expand and contract with the asphalt.
Another problem that can occur is getting a stain on your asphalt surface. One way to prevent stains is to seal coat.
Depending on the type of stain, the cleaning can be just as damaging as the stain. If removing the stain yourself, be sure to read the label of any driveway cleaning product. Many contain solvents. Any solvent will harm an asphalt surface. Use a household detergent with degreaser, and a brush with non-metallic bristles to thoroughly scrub the spill area and re-rinse with water.
If the stain has already set in and damaged the surface, a professional (such as Sinnott Blacktop, LLC) should be called. Contractors have a variety of primers that can be applied to stains prior to seal coating.
On a newly seal coated surface, we recommend a 24-hour cure time before opening up for traffic.