Questions to Ask Before You Start Your Seal Coating Project

Seal Coating – Slowing Down The Aging Process

As soon as the hot freshly laid asphalt on your parking lot begins to cool down, the aging process begins. From this point on, the elements and use begin to wear the parking lot down. The sun’s rays begin the oxidation process, water starts penetrating the tiniest cracks, oil seeps further down, and temperature variations essentially wear the surface bit by bit. The secret to extending the life of any paved surface is to seal the pavement.  And the success of the seal coating project is how it is planned, prepared, sealed, and finalized.

If you are considering seal coating your parking lot, there are a number of vital questions you must ask your contractor to ensure that the job is done right the first time and to maximize the longevity of the coated surface.

Step 1: What Planning Is Needed Before The Seal Coating Project?

There is a popular saying among professional seal coating contractors: “Effective seal coating is 95 percent preparation and 5% actual sealing.” It is important to find an experienced seal coating contractor because of the variables that have an impact on the longevity of the lot. Here are some questions to ask:

When will be the best time to seal coat the lot?

When is the lot busiest and when is it less used?

What are the best materials to use based on lot traffic, my budget and seasonal weather?

It is vital that you choose a seal coating contractor who is meticulous about planning the ‘whens’ and ‘hows’ of seal coating and involves you in the planning process.

Step 2: What Is Needed To Prepare for The Seal Coating Project?

Asphalt must be cured and solid for at least 30 to 60 days after installation before sealing. A seal coating professional can use simple tests such as pouring clean water on the surface to see whether a thin oil film forms on the surface to determine if the parking lot is sufficiently cured.

What cracks need to be filled (seal coating should not take the place of crack filling)?

Which holes need to be filled and compacted?

Is there damage to the pavement that must be repaired?

Should you repave a damaged section of your lot? Here’s an article we published titled, “5 Clear Signs That You Should Invest In Paving Services”. The article will help you determine if you should repair or repave.

While you compare various contractors, ask them about types of materials and application methods they will use before making your mind up. The right contractor should answer these questions to your satisfaction as well as explain their approach to setting up barriers and barricades and why.

To finalize your preparation, the lot surface needs to be thoroughly cleaned, debris removed, and professionally swept by an experienced parking lot sweeping team.

Step 3: How Should the Seal Coating Project Be Managed During The Application?

When it comes to ensuring that your parking lot is properly sealed, take some time to evaluate the different approaches that your chosen seal coating contractor uses, the seal coating material, and the number of coats.

We recommend that your contractor applies two coats and apply the material according to manufacturer recommendations.

Step 4: What Should Be Done After The Lot Is Sealed?

After sealing, the time needed to dry depends on the weather and having a contractor that can properly coordinate your property to minimize the inconvenience to residents or tenants.

Sweeping Corp. of America (Operating as C & L Services) is particularly skilled with seal coat coordination and can arrange for an accessible surface in a little as three hours. Also, ensure that you choose a contractor that can provide line striping for the parking lot after the seal has dried.

Finally, ask your chosen contractor for a meeting to follow-up and appraise the job shortly after the project is finished.

Still have questions? Call Sweeping Corp. of America (Operating as C & L Services) at 732-886-1940.  We’ll be glad to answer your questions for your parking lot seal coating project.

Pavement Maintenance: How to Ready Your Pavement for the Spring

pavement maintencnae as an investment -
pavement maintencnae as an investment -

Pavement Maintenance – More Than Just Hosing and Sweeping

pavement maintenance - sweeping.comToo many property managers and business people believe that pavement maintenance is all about cleaning.

However, proper paved surface maintenance goes beyond an occasional hosing and regular sweeping.

To ensure that a high traffic pavement is durable and can provide many years of smooth service, it is a good idea to schedule a complete inspection and restoration of even the tiniest defects, especially before the spring season.

As the weather begins to warm and the snow melts, natural expansion of the elements will have an impact on a pavement, especially just below the surface.

The simple truth is that every business hopes to extend the life of their asphalt driveway, parking lot, or pavement, and while these surfaces need maintenance throughout their lives, here are a few crucial maintenance steps that can be carried out for the transition from winter to spring.

Pavement Maintenance – Step 1

Conduct a thorough inspection of the paved surface.

The problems that occur and can cause very expensive damage on a paved surface are often hidden just below the surface.

There may be tiny cracks that are easy to overlook and obvious signs such as sunken areas that retain tiny pools of water.

Before the spring season sets in, it is important to get an expert to examine the pavement for signs of damage to prevent these issues from getting worse and costing you even more money to repair later.

Pavement Maintenance – Step 2

Hire a professional street cleaning company to do a full cleanup of the surface.

The inspection process often goes hand-in-hand with a thorough cleanup of the pavement or parking lot.

A professional cleaning crew with the right tools will be able to get rid of all the dirt and debris that ordinary sweeping does not even touch.

Therefore, to preserve the smoothness and durability of the surface, get the pavement fully cleaned right before the spring season.  This prevents the unwanted elements from getting stuck in tiny cracks and under the asphalt.

Pavement Maintenance – Step 3

Fill all the cracks and repair the damaged areas before they get worse.

If the company that inspects and cleans the pavement finds any areas that need to be repaired or cracks to be sealed, make sure that they get fixed as soon as possible.

A paved surface is much easier to repair and restore right before the spring season.  If you wait longer, the cracks will grow and blemishes on the surface will turn into eyesores that could cost you much more to repair in the future.

Pavement Maintenance – Step 4

If the paved surface looks gray or worn, conduct a seal coating project.

Seal Coating will make the parking lot look brand new. In fact, we recommended that asphalt is seal coated every three years. This will more than double the life of the pavement.

Seal Coating regularly optimizes safety and allows the pavement to remain structurally sound.

Pavement Maintenance – Step 5

Refresh or replace parking lot line striping.

Fixing your paved surface just before spring will not only give you a peace of mind for the rest of the year, your clients will have confidence in how much care you afford your property and by extension, to them.

To make the newly cleaned and retouched parking lot or driveway look like new, replace any damaged stripping and markings and refresh all essential markings. The winter season is particularly hard on striping, so be sure to include them in your paved surface inspection, cleanup, and repair plans.

Looking for pavement maintenance experts? Call C & L General Services at 732-886-1940.  We’ll be glad to answer your questions and recommend an optimal strategy for your pavement maintenance.

Parking Lot Seal Coating – If You Read One Article About Parking Lot Seal Coating, Read This One

parking lot seal coating - sweeping.comParking Lot Seal Coating – Making A Good First Impression

As a property owner you understand the need for keeping your property looking presentable, including your parking lot.

The parking lot is one of the most visual elements of the property, in some cases representing two to five times the area of the structures on the property. If this area is worn, gray and filled with cracks, it makes a poor first impression.

Certainly, taking care of the parking lot is not always easy, however parking lot seal coating can be a worthwhile investment, improving both the visual appeal and preserving the life of the parking lot.

Chemicals, sun, and general use can speed up the aging of asphalt surfaces. This is why parking lot seal coating is an important step to protecting your investment in an asphalt parking lot.

Parking Lot Seal Coating – Bringing Back The “New”

Parking lot seal coating improves the look and curb appeal of asphalt parking lot. Unfortunately, you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression, so a professional seal coating improves curb appeal and perception of value.

Asphalt is mostly made up of a variety of materials (sand, gravel, ground rubber and sometimes crushed glass) which held together by a sticky, glue like substance called bitumen.

Bitumen is a naturally occurring by product of petroleum distillation and gives asphalt pavement its black appearance. Bitumen does deteriorate over time and loses that “new” dark appearance by turning grey. A rich finish of sealcoat brings back the “new” appearance and accentuates the overall look of the parking lot.

Parking Lot Seal Coating – Protection As Well As Looks

Parking lot seal coating also protects the asphalt from deterioration due to sunlight UV rays, chemicals and water penetration.

When harmful elements like snow, sun and rain come in contact with your parking lot, the pavement begins to fade, deteriorate and become brittle. This in turn causes the pavement to be overly brittle in cold weather or too soft in warm weather.

Unavoidable contaminants such as brake or transmission fluids, grease and motor oil drip onto the asphalt, causing weak spots and stains. To minimize this type of damage to your asphalt parking lot, think about scheduling a parking lot seal coating into your parking lot maintenance program.

Parking Lot Seal Coating – Extending The Life of Your Investment

Parking lot seal coating extends the average life of pavement by 50 to 100%, potentially doubling the life and reducing the need for costly repair. A regular seal coating can actually double the life of the asphalt pavement.

Proper installation of the parking lot pavement requires these basic standards:

  • subgrade is compacted and sound
  • appropriate base material is compacted and placed correctly
  • appropriate thickness of hot material is compacted and placed correctly

Assuming the asphalt pavement was designed and installed properly, seal coating will certainly extend the parking lot pavement life by safeguarding the asphalt binder from oxidation and slowing the unavoidable deterioration.

Parking Lot Seal Coating – Protection from Water Intrusion

Water intrusion is considered to be one of the main reasons for asphalt failure (especially in “freeze/thaw” regions) Since asphalt is porous, water can penetrate through cracks and because of the freeze/thaw cycle, enlarge cracks leading to asphalt failure. Seal coat has water repelling agents that minimize this type of damage.

All in all, regular seal coating is indispensable to extending your parking lot life, preventing premature failure, and making your parking lot look more attractive and appealing.

Need to breath some “life” into your parking lot?  Time to spruce up the look of your parking lot?  Call C & L General Services at 732-886-1940 and let us discuss your parking lot seal coating needs.

Crack Filling, Line Striping, & Seal Coating: Why are they so important?

Crack Filling, Line Striping, & Seal Coating are important parts of pavement protection. Asphalt will deteriorate over time, causing it to be in need of repairs. In fact, pavement starts to wear down as soon as it is laid. After a year, the dark black color will begin to lighten and the pavement will start to lose its plasticity, causing minor cracks to form. After 5 years of non-maintenance, the asphalt becomes brittle. Crack Filling, Line Striping, & Seal Coating will increase the life of the asphalt. Now, your challenge becomes deciding which service is the best method.

Crack Filling

Cracks form when the pavement begins to oxidize. Asphalt will crack under the following conditions: 

Crack Filling, Line Striping, & Seal Coating
Crack Filling is a part of pavement protection.
  • Tree Roots
  • Installation of drains & sewers
  • Utility Cuts (installation of fiber optics)
  • Extreme Differences in temperature
  • Heavy construction vehicles driving on the surface
  • Fuel & Lubricants
  • Improper Design

Extreme differences in temperature is the most common cause of crack filling. Water seeps underneath the pavement. During the winter, water will freeze and then expand, causing cracks to form. Cracks that are left unfilled, allow even more rain and moisture to seep through. Therefore the pavement erodes and potholes form. Filling cracks on a regular basis will help prevent those problems. It is important to note that sealing is not a crack filling agent. Crack filling should be done prior to seal coating. Also, it is not a final solution. It is merely a temporary solution and will help extend the life of the pavement and prevent major repairs. Out of all three services: Crack Filling, Line Striping, & Seal Coating, crack filling is usually the first step in the process.

Line Striping

Line striping will alleviate chaos by clearly defining the following: parking spots, fire lanes, turning lanes, vehicle lanes, and handicap parking. Furthermore, line striping is aesthetically pleasing and helps provide a positive first impression.While Crack Filling, Line Striping, & Seal Coating are all similar, they are not completely the same. It is important to decide which service you need completed. For example, line striping should be done after the seal coating process has been completed.

Seal Coating

Property Maintenance: line striping
A Parking Lot After Seal Coating & Line Striping

Seal coating is recommended for pavement that is aging and losing its color. Seal Coating has the following benefits:

  • Fills small, hairline cracks
  • Replenishes asphalt binder
  • Protects against fuels and leaks (acts as a barrier)

The above benefits will in turn reduce maintenance costs, optimize safety, and allow the asphalt to remain structurally sound. Prior to seal coating, the surface must be completely clean. After the process is couple, and both coats of sealant are applied, vehicles must remain off the asphalt in order for the sealant to harden.

Seal coating should be done every three years. This will help maintain the pavement and will more than double the life of the asphalt.

Crack Filling, Line Striping, & Seal Coating: Wrap Up

As stated before, Crack Filling, Line Striping, & Seal Coating are important steps to protecting your pavement. These services increase the life of the asphalt and save you money on more costly, in-depth repairs. Remember, the first impression is formed in the parking lot. Crack Filling, Line Striping, and Seal Coating help provide that coveted first impression.

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