One of the most important asphalt maintenance tasks you can undertake is sealcoating. A sealcoat protects against all sorts of damage, from excessive weathering and heavy use to chemical spills. The frequency of the sealcoat application can vary, but you can make sure your fresh application lasts as long as possible with the following advice.
1. Block It Off
It's best to stay off a newly sealcoated driveway or parking area for at least a day, and sometimes longer as determined by your maintenance technician. This gives the newly applied coating time to properly cure without being instantly worn away or weakened by traffic. Block off the entrance to the drive or lot so that cars can't enter it until your technician determines it is appropriate to do so.
2. Clean It Well
Sealcoating over dirty asphalt results in one of two things -- either the dirt gets trapped permanently in the coating or the coating doesn't adhere properly to the asphalt. Professional sweeping and cleaning are ideal, but even sweeping and scrubbing down with a deck brush manually will ensure a better sealcoat application. It's especially important to make sure there is no organic debris like leaves and moss on the lot.
3. Prime Problem Spots
Oil spills and other types of greasy stains on the paving can pose an issue because the sealcoating can't adhere properly to the area. This can leave discolored spots on the asphalt, as well as spots that aren't properly protected against weathering and wear. Fortunately, these areas can be primed with a special solution prior to sealcoating. The primer ensures that the sealcoat adheres to the asphalt properly.
4. Patch It Up
Small cracks and holes in the asphalt can compromise sealcoating. This is because the coating may not cover these damages well, so moisture can still seep into the asphalt and later lead to large cracks and potholes. All small damages should be filled and patched with a hot asphalt mix prior to having the paving sealcoated. This may need to be done a week or two in advance of the coating to ensure the patches cure properly.
5. Give It Time
It can take a few days for sealcoating to fully cure. During this time, avoid driving and walking on the paving. You should also avoid sweeping or hosing down the lot. Ideally, the application should be scheduled for a period of expected clear and dry weather so that weather-related issues won't delay the curing of the sealcoat layer.
Contact an asphalt paving service for more assistance with paving care.