Four Factors to Consider Before Sealcoating in the Summer
Sealcoating is highly effective at protecting asphalt pavements from damaging forces, including vehicle fluids and UV rays. However, most pavements need fresh applications about every two years. If it is time to have your pavement sealcoated this summer, there are four weather-related factors that your contractor must consider before starting the application. These are the temperature, the humidity, the wind speed, and the available sunlight, and they all have to do with the way that sealcoating dries and cures by evaporating the water it contains.
How Does the Temperature Affect the Drying and Curing?
When sealcoating asphalt pavements, contractors must look at both the temperature of the pavement and the temperature of the air. Normally, these temperatures are within a few degrees of each other, but, under certain circumstances, there can be a significant difference. Asphalt sealcoating should never be applied unless both temperatures are above 50 degrees and rising. In the summer, a Treasure Coast sealcoating contractor is unlikely to encounter temperatures that are too low, but what many people do not realize is that it can actually be too hot to apply seal coating. You probably know that heat increases the rate of evaporation, so you might think that rapid evaporation would be a good thing. However, once temperatures go beyond 90 degrees Fahrenheit, seal coating can dry almost as soon as it touches the pavement. The sealant never has a chance to establish a strong bond with the pavement, so the job will have an extremely short life.
Why Does a Sealcoating Contractor Care About the Humidity?
The humidity level represents the amount of moisture that the air contains. Since evaporation requires water to escape into the air, the rate of evaporation is highly dependent on the humidity. The general rule is that the lower the humidity, the faster the rate of evaporation, and the higher the humidity, the slower the rate of evaporation. Typically, a sealcoating company will not apply a sealant if the humidity is more than 90%; the humidity can never be too low, however.
Why Is the Wind Speed Important for Sealcoating Parking Lots and Other Pavements?
The wind speed also plays a vital role in the process of evaporation. If there is a little breeze, it will move away the saturated air that collects just above the sealcoat. This gives the water remaining in the sealant somewhere to go. However, if the wind is too strong, parking lot maintenance companies face a different set of challenges. Strong winds can blow the parking lot sealcoating onto buildings, shrubs, sidewalks, or nearby cars. High winds can also affect the sealant as it leaves the sprayer, making it difficult or impossible to achieve an even coating. Most contractors prefer a wind speed of between 5 mph and 10 mph when sealcoating parking lots.
Why Is Sunlight Important for Drying and Curing Sealcoating?
Sunlight creates heat, but it also renews it, so drying and curing can take place faster. This is one reason that many parking lot maintenance companies do not like to sealcoat on cloudy days or at night.
Trust Asphalt Care Services for Superior Results
Asphalt Care Services is an asphalt maintenance company serving the Treasure Coast area, including the cities of Vero Beach, Indian River, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, and Hobe Sound. Our services include driveway asphalt paving, parking lot striping, asphalt sealcoating, thermoplastic line striping, parking lot maintenance, asphalt repairs, traffic signage, speed bumps, and concrete bumpers. We have a reputation for exceptional craftsmanship, exemplary service, reliability, and professionalism. For a free quote, call 772-888-2840, submit the online form, or email [email protected].