Asphalt sealant can help pavements of all types last longer and look better. A sealant, also known as a sealcoat, blocks ultraviolet radiation, which leaves asphalt dry, faded, and brittle. Sealants also help protect asphalt pavements from automotive fluids, oxidation, and water penetration. Because sealant applications are very economical and highly effective, contractors recommend them as an integral part of a preventive asphalt maintenance program. However, unless sealants are applied under the proper weather conditions, the job can be a complete failure. The temperature, humidity, and wind are all factors that must be evaluated, but the hours of sunlight to which the newly sealed pavement will be exposed and the chances of rain falling within 24 hours of the sealant application must also be considered. Before explaining how each of these impacts an asphalt sealing project, it might be helpful to discuss what sealant manufacturers consider ideal conditions.
What Is the Best Weather for Sealcoating in Atlanta?
What Are Ideal Conditions for Asphalt Sealing?
An ideal day for asphalt sealing has a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit, a relative humidity of less than 50 percent, and a wind speed of about 5 mph. There will be no rain in the forecast for at least 24 hours after the end of the application, and the sealant would receive at least four hours of direct sunlight immediately after application. If you have lived in the Atlanta area for more than a few months, you probably realize that days matching all of these conditions are quite rare. Therefore, local asphalt paving companies rely on finding days with conditions within the range of tolerances specified by the manufacturer.
What Are Acceptable Temperatures for Asphalt Sealing?
There are actually two temperatures that your contractor must evaluate before starting to apply a sealant. These are the temperature of the air, called the ambient temperature, and the temperature of the ground, called the surface temperature. Both of these temperatures must be at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit at the time the application begins. If the day is cloudy, the wind is exceptionally calm, or the humidity is high, the minimum air temperature may increase by five degrees or more.
What Are Acceptable Humidity Levels for Asphalt Sealing?
An asphalt company will rarely attempt to apply a sealant if the relative humidity is above 90 percent. In the Atlanta area, parking lot maintenance contractors routinely apply sealants successfully when humidity levels are above 75 percent. However, if temperatures are hovering near the minimum, humidity levels can be the deciding factor behind a postponement, especially if there is no wind. The water in the sealant must be able to evaporate, and this process slows down as temperatures fall, humidity levels rise, and wind speeds fall.
How Does Wind Affect Asphalt Sealing Applications?
If there is no breeze, the air above the sealant will become saturated and stay where it is. With a slight breeze, the water molecules that escape from the sealant will be moved away so that more water can escape. However, if the wind is too strong, it can be difficult to apply an even thickness of sealant to the pavement, and the wind could blow the sealant onto sidewalks, vehicles, buildings, or landscaping.
How Do Rain and Sunlight Affect Asphalt Sealing Applications?
If rain falls on wet sealant, the quality of the job will be affected. Depending on how much curing has already occurred, the sealant can be washed away completely, or the sealant may have a mottled or cracked appearance. Sunlight is critical because sealants need it to cure properly. Areas in heavy shade that are never exposed to sunlight may require the use of an additive in the sealant mix to ensure curing.
The Surface Masters Will Help You Achieve Your Pavement Goals
The Surface Masters is a leading concrete and asphalt company with offices in Marietta, GA. Our paving services include sealcoating, asphalt paving, asphalt repairs, pavement markings, crack sealing, parking lot striping, concrete repairs, and concrete installation. We have earned an exemplary reputation by providing clients with superior customer service and remarkable workmanship on every job. Contact us for a free quote by completing the online request form, calling 770-250-6392, or emailing info@TheSurfaceMasters.com.