24 Jun Asphalt Sealcoating for Parking Lots: Insights from a Jacksonville Asphalt Paving Contractor
There’s no denying the fact that a parking lot takes a beating repeatedly. And, in the subtropical climate of Jacksonville, Florida, the humidity and high temperatures are enough to trigger accelerated deterioration. The result? A higher risk of cracking and more water infiltration. Not to mention the harsh impact of frequent traffic, as well as chemical spills and leaks from vehicles and machinery that can end up making the asphalt dry and brittle over time.
All of these factors combined make it an absolute nightmare to maintain commercial parking spaces properly.
To ensure that the parking lot surface continues to hold up, while still meeting the demands for many years to come, sealcoating is a key component to any parking lot maintenance program. As the name implies, sealcoating refers to sealing the topcoat of the asphalt pavement in order to reinforce its “shielding ability.”
Though every sealcoating project will vary depending on several factors, such as area, condition, and location, the general process is outlined in more detail below.
The Pre-application Process
Assess the Asphalt Quality
Assessing the quality of your asphalt is critical because it helps to decide which preparation measures need to be undertaken before applying the sealcoating. The key factors in that determination are:
- Well drained and stable
- Frequency and size of cracks
- Oil-free surface
The level of these three factors can significantly increase or decrease the quality of the sealing application.
In the case of new asphalt sealcoating, it’s typically only a matter of the surface having had enough time to cure and the surface oils to dissolve.
The Asphalt Sealcoat Manufacturers Association (ASMA) recommends a 6-12-month cure time. An easy way to tell whether the oils are dissolved is to pour a gallon of water to the surface and watch it move. The water moving in a uniform sheet is a clear indication that the oils are dissolved. However, if you see ‘rings’ or ‘breaks,’ the surface may not be fully cured, or there may be an isolated problem spot that would require a spot primer.
During the inspection, note any problem areas, including those that may need patching and/or crack sealing. Depending on the age and actual surface condition, the asphalt may need to be primed before the application of the protective surface treatment.
Step 1: Cleaning the Surface
Whether the surface can go straight to sealcoating, or if priming is required, the surface must be cleaned thoroughly to remove all loose aggregate, powder, dirt, gravel, silt, etc. In most cases, you can use blowers, pressure washers, steel bristle brooms, or a combination to get the best cleaning results.
Step 2: Prepping the Surface
After the surface is well cleaned, then repairs, crack sealing, oil spot priming, and any other special treatments will be performed. Make sure you only use products that are compatible with the sealcoat product to be used.
Step 3: Preparing the Material
Different sealcoat mix designs may provide different benefits, so determine what product is right for your application. We recommend following the specific manufacturer’s recommendations for material preparation, including additives, mixing, etc.
Step 4: Applying the Material
In most cases, sealcoat products can be applied either by hand, with squeegees, brushes, or machines. Determine the most beneficial method depending on coverage area, obstacles, or any other considerations impacting maneuverability.
Because of the amount of traffic parking lots receive, it’s best to apply two coats for added protection and durability.
Consider A Long-term Parking Lot Management Plan
Now that you have a newly sealed and protected parking lot, it is time to consider a long-term parking lot management plan. After all, just by completing the sealcoating process, the life of the parking lot has been substantially lengthened. And that life can be extended even longer with proper maintenance.
As with any piece of equipment, structure, roof, etc., a well-thought out and properly executed maintenance plan for a parking lot will continue to add life to the surface.
Looking for Professional Asphalt Paving and Sealcoating in Jacksonville, Florida?
If you want to ensure that one of your greatest assets (your parking lot) is properly maintained and continues to provide convenient access to the property you manage in Jacksonville, then get in touch with us today. We have the expertise, experience, and resources to deliver a quality project with minimal disruption to your staff, customers, or tenants.