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Keep These Important Sealcoating Tips In Mind

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Asphalt sealcoating is a highly popular option for both homeowners and business owners looking to inject new life into their asphalt driveways and parking lots. When done right, it can make older asphalt surfaces look brand new while, at the same time, protecting them against most forms of wear and tear. When sealcoating, it's important to keep the following tips in mind for the best results:

A Clean Surface Equals Success

Keep in mind that ordinary dirt and debris can get in the way of a successful sealcoating job. Stray leaves and loose vegetation, gravel, dirt, mud and other debris can wind up embedded within the surface once the asphalt coat is applied. In many cases, the debris can actually cause the dried asphalt to come apart, rendering the sealcoat ineffective.

For this reason, it's always a good idea to wash the entire surface of water before applying any sealant. You can use an ordinary garden hose with a spray gun attachment, but a pressure washer usually offers better results. Not only will it take less time to pressure wash the surface, but you'll be able to blast away stubborn stains and debris.

One Corner at a Time...

When dealing with a large parking lot or long driveway, it's usually best to start from one corner and slowly work your way to the other end of the lot or driveway in small sections. Sealcoating in long strips not only takes more effort than it's worth, but it can also lead to drying and appearance issues.

Mind Those Coats

When applying sealcoating, it's important to keep an eye on how many coats you use. Most applications call for two coats for the best overall performance and appearance. Areas known for heavy traffic may need three coats for added durability and longevity, while some residential applications require only a single coat.

Coat thickness is also an important consideration. As Girish Dubey explains, most sealcoating solutions are water-based, meaning that they tend to shed water via evaporation as they dry. As the sealcoating dries, it sheds water from top to bottom. When multiple layers are added, the top-most layer tends to dry faster than the bottom-most layer.

A thick coat holds water longer, causing the layer to remain softer for longer than expected. Pedestrians and vehicles that use the surface before it's completely dry can leave behind footprints and tire tracks. For this reason, you'll want to use the proper number of thin coats called for by your current application.

Give Plenty of Time for Drying

After the final coat has been laid down, you'll want to focus on giving your finished work plenty of time to dry. In most cases, you'll need at least 24 hours of drying time before allowing traffic onto the surface. Keep in mind that the drying time can vary depending on humidity levels, coat thickness and even the quality of the sealcoat itself.

It's also important to keep both pedestrian and vehicle traffic off the surface as the sealcoat dries. To block vehicular traffic, you can place a post on each side of the entrance and string the area in between with yellow caution tape. Traffic cones and barrels can also be used to block foot traffic, just as long as they're not placed on the sealcoated surface itself.

You'll also need the weather to cooperate as the sealcoat dries. For this reason, it's always a good idea to expect dry weather for the next three days before starting on any sealcoating project. This way, you won't have inclement weather raining on your project when you can least afford the potential damage and delays.

If you have specific questions about sealcoating or don't feel experienced enough to sealcoat asphalt yourself, contact a company like LSC Construction Services, Inc.

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1 September 2015