Sealcoating – Why The Proper Additive & Mix Design Is Crucial

Sealcoating - Why the Proper Additive & Mix Design Is CrucialWhen you have an asphalt pavement constructed, you expect it to have a long life without requiring costly repairs. One of the best ways to realize your expectations is to have an experienced contractor sealcoat your pavement as part of your routine maintenance program. Sealants help prevent asphalt from becoming dry, brittle, and faded, and they help shield the pavement from automotive fluids, water infiltration, tire damage, and chemicals. Sealants also improve traction, especially on wet pavements. However, sealcoating cannot provide all of these benefits if the additive and mix design is incorrect.

Sealcoating – Why The Proper Additive & Mix Design Is Crucial

What Is a Sealcoating Mix Design?

Sealcoating contractors typically receive sealants from manufacturers as a concentrate. To create a liquid for application, the contractor adds the precise amount of sealant, water, and sand specified by the manufacturer. This is the basic mix design. An enhanced mix design will include the specifications for incorporating an additive.

What Is a Sealcoating Additive?

Over the years, seal coating manufacturers have developed numerous additives to be used with their sealants. Different additives may offer different enhancements or benefits. For example, there are additives that shorten the time needed for the sealant to dry, which can be important when parking lot maintenance contractors need to stripe and mark the lot after applying two coats of sealant. There are additives that allow the sealant to be applied when temperatures are hovering near the acceptable minimum for application, which is usually around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Other sealants help keep the sand suspended in the mix, which helps ensure that the entire pavement receives the same percentage of sand. There are additives that darken the color of the sealant, give the surface a more even appearance, or enhance the sealant’s resistance to power steering marks, chemicals, water, or automotive fluids. Your asphalt sealcoating contractor should ask you about any specific benefits that you would like to enhance. Seal coating contractors should also advise you whether they recommend an additive to compensate for shaded areas, the pavement’s age, or marginal weather conditions.

If the Asphalt Sealant Mix Design or Additive Is Incorrect, What Might Happen?

The consequences of an incorrect mix design or improper additive depend on the specific error. For example, too much water in the mix can result in a thin product that will quickly wear away, but too little water can produce a thick product that will have an unattractive appearance, may never cure properly, and will likely be easily tracked. Too much sand can interfere with effective bonding, make the sealant brittle, or cause the sealant to flake or peel. Contractors should only use an additive produced by the manufacturer of the specific sealant chosen. If an additive from one manufacturer is mixed with a sealant from a different manufacturer, this will typically produce a destabilized, gelatinous product that is unsuitable for use. Furthermore, unless the manufacturer specifically approves otherwise, contractors should limit themselves to one additive per sealant mix. This is not to say that contractors cannot produce different batches that each contain a different additive, but this is seldom necessary, and it could increase your cost substantially.

How Often Should I Need Asphalt Sealcoating?

Virtually every asphalt paving company recommends an initial sealcoating application before the new pavement is a year old. The schedule for repeated applications will depend on the pavement’s use. Parking lot paving companies typically recommend a schedule of every two years for lots receiving an average amount of traffic. However, your particular pavement could need to be sealed less often or more frequently.

The Surface Masters Can Provide You With Superior Parking Lot Maintenance Services

The Surface Masters serves customers in the greater Atlanta area with a variety of paving services, including asphalt sealcoating, parking lot striping, asphalt paving, concrete construction and repair, asphalt crack sealing, and pavement markings. We have an impeccable reputation that is based on our exceptional craftsmanship, exemplary service, and professional project management. If you would like for us to prepare a free quote for you, use our online form, call 770-250-6392, or email Info@TheSurfaceMasters.com.