Make Sure It’s Not Too Hot When You Sealcoat Your Asphalt

March 21, 2020

Most manufacturer instructions on asphalt sealants will state the ideal temperature for sealcoating is around 70 degrees, with low humidity and at least several hours of exposure of sunshine remaining once the fresh sealant is laid down. In addition, you’ll need to avoid any chance of rain for at least the first 24 hours after application, which can be easier said than done in some parts of the country.

So, while you know what the ideal conditions are, is there any circumstance in which it can be too hot for sealcoating? Here’s some information about the relationship between temperature and sealcoating in Nashville, TN.

Excess heat can be problematic

The hotter the air temperature gets, the faster the water inside the sealant will evaporate. While you do want the sealant to dry, you don’t want it to dry too quickly—flash drying can result in the sealant drying out before it has penetrated the pores of the pavement, meaning it will not properly adhere to the surface to which you’ve applied it.

In addition, if the top layer dries quickly, that means you’ll have uncured, moist sealant still stuck underneath that never got the chance to properly dry out itself. This can be a big problem. Seeing that the surface is dry, you might believe the area is ready to receive traffic. But with the moist layer underneath the top layer, the sealcoating has not become strong or durable enough to bear the full weight of vehicles or equipment, which makes it much more likely that you’ll experience tire tracks, scuffing and power steering marks. In some circumstances, the tires might completely peel the sealant away, leaving exposed, unprotected pavement.

It’s also important to consider the humidity levels in the area. As you probably know, the sealant you apply to asphalt surfaces includes a lot of water, which will need to evaporate for the sealcoating to properly cure. If the air is already saturated due to a high humidity level, then the rate of evaporation will be significantly slowed down, extending the time you need to keep the pavement closed off for the sealcoating to properly cure. This delay can, at the very least, be an inconvenience, but it also could make it more difficult to allow the area to cure before rain arrives.

Any contractor that does a lot of sealcoating work will understand all of these intricacies, and understand that the sealant should be applied in a couple (or more) thin coats rather than a single thick coat to ensure proper curing. This becomes especially important during hot weather. They may find ways to cool down a hot pavement before applying a sealcoat, or find the proper aggregate to control the rate of evaporation. Even during hot, humid days, they’ll find ways to get the job done—just know it’s much easier to get the job done properly during the right weather conditions.

For more information about temperature and sealcoating in Nashville, TN, contact the team at RoadBuilders today to arrange a consultation.

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