Your asphalt has seen its glory days, and you can’t help reminiscing about the time when it was newly paved and boasted a stunning finish. Now, the color has lost its luster, and other signs of aging, such as cracks and small holes, have emerged.
Both homeowners looking to save on regular maintenance for paved surfaces around their homes and commercial business owners managing vast parking lots and access driveways may be tempted to opt for a DIY approach to asphalt seal coating. However, this could lead to more problems than it solves.
The truth is, driveway sealing and applying seal coat to asphalt in your parking lots can cause numerous headaches and squander your precious time and money if done incorrectly. Many non-professionals commit significant errors when attempting to restore their paved surfaces, and we want to help you avoid making the same mistakes.
At Lyons & Hohl, we have witnessed many seal coat disasters that necessitated repaving to rectify them. We understand the importance of consulting a paving professional before deciding on the best method to repair your asphalt. Don’t let overconfidence in seal coating end up costing you more than necessary. Speak with professionals today to explore your options for asphalt repairs and avoid these common seal coating issues!
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1. APPLYING EXCESSIVE SEALER OR THE INCORRECT TYPE OF SEALER
While it may be tempting to slather a thick layer of seal coat on asphalt, adopting a “more is better” mentality can damage the pavement underneath. Excessive sealer can lead to premature cracking, reducing your driveway’s lifespan. So, should you dilute your sealant before applying it, as some unscrupulous paving contractors do to increase their profit margins on certain sealcoating jobs?
The answer is an emphatic no; never attempt this on your own. Also, make sure to inquire about the application process with any professional contractor you hire for sealcoat application. You have the right to ask about every aspect of their process, including the specific driveway or parking lot sealer they intend to use and their supplier.
Three main types of sealer are used on asphalt: coal tar-based sealer, asphalt sealer, and acrylic polymer sealer. Your contractor should be able to explain which type they are using and why it’s best for the job at hand. If you are environmentally conscious, discuss this with your contractor, as each sealer has its own set of pros and cons in terms of eco-friendliness.
2. UTILIZING THE WRONG APPLICATION TOOLS
Another compelling reason to hire professionals for asphalt sealcoating your business’s parking lot or your residential driveway is their access to the appropriate specialized tools—like pressurized spray equipment—for a swift and efficient seal coat application. They are also more likely to be familiar with a product manufacturer’s specific instructions for applying their brand of sealer.
If you’re considering purchasing squeegees online to spread seal coat on your driveway, think twice! Hiring a professional to do the job with their superior tools will likely save you money and headaches, resulting in a more even, professional finish.
3.USING SEALCOAT PRODUCTS AS A GAP OR CRACK FILLER
Inexperienced sealcoating technicians often mistakenly believe that applying a thick layer of sealer will fill cracks and gaps in asphalt surfaces, eliminating the need for patching. However, this approach is ineffective in filling gaps, and if you want to prolong your asphalt’s life, avoid using sealer to fill holes or cracks.
Before applying a seal coat, you must address any issues properly. This process may involve filling potholes, patching with new asphalt, and using specialized crack repair products to create a more uniform surface for asphalt sealing.
4.INADEQUATELY CLEANING YOUR ASPHALT BEFORE SEAL COAT APPLICATION
To ensure proper adhesion of sealcoating solutions, your asphalt must be clean and dry. Effective cleaning techniques include blowing or sweeping away debris such as fallen leaves, loose dirt, and trash.
You may also need to use a power washer to remove stubborn dirt and grime that can’t be easily swept away. However, if your asphalt isn’t fully dry, you’ll need to wait before applying a seal coat. Drying times can vary depending on the pavement’s thickness and weather conditions.
5. NOT ALLOWING THE SEALER TO DRY ADEQUATELY
As mentioned earlier, your asphalt must be thoroughly dry before sealing can commence. Another common mistake made by DIY-seal coating enthusiasts is not allowing the finished product to dry for an appropriate amount of time before reopening the driveway or parking lot to vehicle traffic.
While some resources suggest that the seal coat is fully dry in just four to eight hours, you should avoid driving or parking on a freshly coated surface for at least 24 hours.
6. NOT WAITING FOR IDEAL WEATHER CONDITIONS TO APPLY SEALER
You might feel inclined to seal coat your driveway just before a big family gathering at the year-end holidays or wait for a slow period in your business to work on your parking lot. However, the weather conditions and temperatures must be optimal for the job, or the sealer will not dry properly.
Late spring, summer, and early fall, when temperatures remain at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit and above for 24 hours, are the best times for asphalt sealcoating. Unfortunately, sealcoating materials will not set correctly in lower or extremely high temperatures. Dry weather is also essential, as rain can easily damage freshly applied sealcoating.
AVOID WASTING TIME AND MONEY ON DIY SEALCOATING PROJECTS
Whether you own or manage a large commercial or industrial complex with acres of paved surfaces, or you are a homeowner with a single driveway to maintain, your best bet for applying sealcoat is a reliable, professional asphalt paving contractor. As we’ve discussed, purchasing subpar sealcoating materials from your local home improvement store and spending valuable time applying these messy substances yourself is not a wise choice.
While Lyons & Hohl does not currently offer asphalt sealcoating services, we encourage you to contact us for advice on enhancing your asphalt surfaces. Repaving is often more effective in reviving cracked and pothole-ridden driveways and parking lots than sealcoating. We provide repaving services for residential and commercial asphalt requirements.
In conclusion, preserving the longevity and appearance of your asphalt surfaces is crucial, but attempting DIY sealcoating projects can lead to costly mistakes and unnecessary headaches. By partnering with professional asphalt paving contractors, you can avoid these common pitfalls and ensure that your driveway or parking lot receives the proper care it deserves. Professionals have the expertise, equipment, and knowledge to select the right sealer, apply it correctly, and maintain optimal conditions for its application and drying. While the idea of saving money with a DIY approach may be tempting, the potential risks and long-term costs far outweigh any perceived benefits. Reach out to a reliable asphalt paving contractor like Marini Paving and Masonry for a free estimate on your asphalt installation or maintenance project, and invest in the expertise that will help protect and prolong the life of your asphalt surfaces.
Contact Marini Paving and Masonry today for a free estimate on your asphalt installation or maintenance project.