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Asphalt, Curing, and Sealcoating

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

You have paid to have your parking lot re-paved with asphalt. So everything is perfect, right? Well, not quite. Replacing or repairing your asphalt parking lot is just the first step in the process.

It can take up to 12 months for liquid asphalt to fully cure. Until this time is up, you should use caution and avoid the following situations:

•     When driving on your new asphalt, be conscious that your car should remain in motion as you turn the steering wheel. Turning your wheel while the car is stopped will cause your tires to skid across and grab your new asphalt, causing the surface to scar.

•     You should also avoid parking in the same spot every day, as it could cause depressions where the tires sit.

•     Anything parked on the pavement with kickstands or trailer jacks can sink into the asphalt. Make sure the surface is protected with a board to displace the weight.

•     Gasoline, oil, transmission and power steering fluids can all penetrate into asphalt, softening it and causing structural damage.

Once the asphalt has been sealcoated a few times, the chances of penetration will be diminished.

Sealcoating is a widely used and accepted preventative measure that helps safeguard your parking lot against the harsh effects of gas, oil, salt, weather conditions and oxidation. This coating will significantly reduce the impact of these harsh effects. When applied properly, a sealcoat cures on your parking lot leaving a fresh black finish. There are many ways that sealer may be applied and material mixes may vary as well.

There are several different options available depending on the condition of the lot, previous maintenance schedules and budgets. The cost of sealcoating is only pennies a square yard versus repairs and rehabilitation, which can be as much as twenty times higher. The different types of sealer include:

1. Asphalt Based Sealer
This is the most common type of sealer. This is a tried and true method that has been around forever and is the most economical option. Asphalt based sealer is made from tar emulsion and clay and is applied at approximately 40% – 43% solids. Once applied to the parking lot it cures to a hardened, almost petrified state, and prevents water, oils, etc. from penetrating into the asphalt and deteriorating it. This type of material is best used for two reasons. If the lot has been sealed with coal tar in the past, there are advantages to staying with the same material. Secondly, asphalt based sealer is the least expensive material of the three. The material dries to a flat black and the client can expect a life cycle of 24-48 months depending on the current condition of pavement, volume of traffic and weather.

2. Polymer Modified Asphalt Sealer
Relatively new, this is an asphalt emulsion material that has distinct and ideal applications. It is blended with polymers and special surfactants for superior adhesion, flexibility and durability. Unlike conventional sealer, Polymer Modified Sealer is applied at 58-62% solids. The higher solids count produces several tangible advantages: it will last longer than standard sealers, and it dries faster with exceptional skid resistance in both wet and dry conditions.

3. Rejuvenator Sealer
This is a petroleum based penetrating material designed to absorb into the asphalt. It is best used when the asphalt has never been sealed. Pavement Rejuvenator/Sealer is applied in a one coat application. As pavement ages, essential oils are lost as they volatilize from the pavement leading to cracks and pavement failure. Rejuvenator penetrates the asphalt, restores essential oils, rejuvenates the asphaltic binder and repairs damage within the asphalt matrix.

Regardless of the material that is chosen, the property manager or owner can expect instant curb appeal. A fresh sealcoat will restore a fresh-black color to your lot and fresh paint will make it look new again.

If you have any questions, contact PTG Enterprises aka My Pavement Guy by calling 410-636-8777 or click here

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