Pavement doesn’t necessarily fail and tell you that it is time for replacement. It may very well have been paved on an excellent base and paved with excellent materials and workmanship. Now that time has passed, the surface of the pavement has aged due to the effects of normal weather and while it may function well, it may not be in cosmetically great condition.
Asphalt, like any pavement, wears over time. The more wear a pavement experiences, the more of the finer particles that make up the pavement deteriorate. This leaves larger aggregates behind, which wear at a much slower rate. In areas with a significant amount of traffic, like a gas station for instance, the surface of the pavement wears to a condition where it becomes “polished”. The finer particles in the pavement have worn away, and the larger aggregates get so much traffic that the surface of the pavement can get a polished look to it, with cavities between the aggregate pieces. This can happen to asphalt or concrete, and is a normal factor of wear.
Sealcoating an asphalt surface that has a polished, or worn out, look to it can prove tricky as the deteriorated aggregates maynot allow the same amount of adhesion of the sealcoat. Minimized adhesion results in sealcoating that does not last as long as a non-polished surface.
Here are a few factors to be aware of as you consider sealcoating your asphalt pavement:
Asphalt is not a completely smooth and closed surface, like a slab of polished granite, for instance. There are pores in asphalt and sealcoating begins to close those pores. Sealcoating too often may close pores completely, but the completely closed pores are not a requirement for the pavement to be long lasting. If done too frequently and not when the previous sealcoat has worn off sufficiently, it can cause a buildup of sealer that can crack from the top down as opposed to most cracks which form from the bottom upand look like a piece of glazed pottery. There is no way to reverse that condition.
When in doubt, have a sealcoat estimator take a look at the pavement and see if a special heavy-bodied sealcoat, a sealcoat that has a larger amount of suspended fines in it could be applied, perhaps in 2 coats,to remedy the cracked and worn out condition to a very large extent. Similar products are tinted and used to do the colored surface on tennis courts to make them completely smooth.
Sealcoating is meant to protect and prolong the life of asphalt pavement. It is important to follow the guidelines of sealcoating and Wolf Paving’s recommendation of sealcoating every few years.
Is your asphalt driveway or parking lot worn and in need of attention? Contact Wolf Paving with questions and to see if sealcoating is the right option for you!
Download the benefits of sealcoating or crack-filling asphalt pavement for more information.