Raymond Wolk is the owner and operator of County Asphalt and Trucking LLC in Davisburg, Michigan. Raymond Wolk is a 3rd generation paver, and in the article below, he discusses the importance of sealing newly laid asphalt, and why seal-coating is a crucial step in the paving process.
While major cities will differ in many ways, there is one thing that they will all have in common: asphalt. Asphalt is used to create roads, driveways, parking lots, and freeways. The material has been around since 625 BC when ancient Babylon used it to build roads. The Greeks also recorded using asphalt for bathhouses and reservoirs.
Raymond Wolk of County Asphalt and Trucking LLC says that asphalt is by far one of the most useful materials to grace civilization, but as time has passed, the realization that asphalt needs to be preserved to last is a more modern advancement. The most common way to preserve an asphalt project is to utilize a seal-coating.
What is Asphalt Sealing
Raymond Wolk of County Asphalt and Trucking LLC says that when asphalt is used for things such as driveways and roads, it is going to experience a lot of wear and tear. Moisture can get into the cracks that can naturally occur in unsealed asphalt, which can end up settling at the base of the application and compromise the strength of the material.
This is especially critical in areas where the weather hits freezing, or below freezing temperatures, because water can seep into the cracks, freeze, and creating divots and potholes. Raymond Wolk of County Asphalt and Trucking LLC says that even in warmer climates, grasses and weeds can cause havoc within the cracks, as well as damage from oil spills. The sun can also create weaknesses in the asphalt, especially in areas that reach temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Raymond Wolk of County Asphalt and Trucking LLC says that this is where asphalt sealing becomes beneficial. Asphalt sealant is a special liquid that is applied to the paved surface within 6 months of the original application. It “seals” up any cracks or holes and protects asphalt from water, sun, and any other chemicals that can cause adverse effects.
Why is Asphalt Sealing Important
Raymond Wolk of County Asphalt and Trucking LLC reports that asphalt sealing is vital to keeping driveways, roads, and parking lots safer for driving, keeps car damage at bay, and protects businesses and city governments from legal action.
Keeps Drivers and Passengers Safe
Raymond Wolk of County Asphalt and Trucking LLC says that asphalt sealing makes roads smoother and reduces holes that can appear in unsealed asphalt. Potholes and cracks can cause tire blowouts or punctures. Potholes are usually a problem highlighted on unsealed city roads come spring, after a winter of salted or brined asphalt creates cracks and splits.
In addition, hitting a large hole in the road can cause damage to a person’s back or neck because of whiplash due to bouncing. In a worst-case scenario, a person’s head can also be hit, causing a concussion.
Less Chance of Car Damage
Raymond Wolk of County Asphalt and Trucking LLC says that vehicle damage can also occur with roads that are not sealed. When driving on unsealed roads, or parking lots, and the driver hits a pothole or crack hard enough, the steering system can become misaligned. Misalignment in a vehicle is something that needs to be fixed by a licensed mechanic and is critical for proper vehicle performance.
The exhaust system can also take a hit. If the pothole is deep enough, the broken asphalt could scrape the exhaust, which could potentially result in carbon monoxide inhalation.
Raymond Wolk of County Asphalt and Trucking LLC says that city, county, and state governments are liable for unsafe roads, and businesses are liable for their parking lots and garage structures, so it is in their best interests to keep roadways safe by applying asphalt sealing. Getting sued is costly and timely; by ensuring roads and lots are properly sealed will prevent a costly financial burden from being taken to court.
Tips for Applying Asphalt Sealing
Raymond Wolk of County Asphalt and Trucking LLC says that applying asphalt sealant is very straightforward, and best practices for paving companies should be as follows to ensure an easy, professional application that will last for many years:
- Proper Prep – Removal of any dirt, grasses, or stains that could affect the sealant getting into small areas of the project. If this isn’t done, the sealant could end up being bumpy or applied unevenly.
- Weather – Raymond Wolk of County Asphalt and Trucking LLC says that asphalt sealant will not work if the asphalt product reaches less than 45 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature will be too cold, and the sealant will take too long to settle. In addition, rain can also affect the application. It’s best to wait until there is no forecasted rain for three days before application. Wet weather can also affect how the sealant settles.
- Timeline – Sealants should be applied within six months of putting asphalt down. Afterward, a new sealant should be applied every one to three years onward to guarantee a smooth, undamaged surface for years to come.