How Does Seal Coating Prolong the Life of your Pavement?

by | Mar 15, 2012 | Business And Finance

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A preventative maintenance program is more effective than one time renovation or overhauling. In many instances a constant and comprehensive maintenance program can be less expensive than one time extensive repairs and renovation. Pavements and other surfaces are subject to constant use and downtime can result in inconvenience and monetary loss. Specialty surfaces like airport strips and highways need scrupulous maintenance so that they remain largely functional and can endure heavy traffic and wear and tear. Seal coating can extend the life of a pavement by up to 100%.

Seal coating is a method that can reduce the effects of weathering, water intrusion and other adverse conditions. Airstrips and highways are constantly subject to leakage of jet fuel or gasoline – that contribute to the deterioration of the surface. The constant exposure to the UV rays of the sun, oxidation and exposure to the elements are the key elements to deterioration. Water intrusion from precipitation can cause damage to the sub-layers under the surface of the pavement and lead to its ultimate demise. When cracks develop, the pavement becomes vulnerable to water intrusion. Sealcoat asphalt is often applied to the surface and can double the life of the pavement by protecting the surface from multiple hazards of weathering and other destructive elements. The application of seal coating also makes the surface easier to clean and leaves it looking attractive and with a dark finish. The addition of silica sand to the coal tar makes the surface more skid resistant.

Cracks can form as a result of thermal changes that cause the pavement to contract and expand. The deeper and wider cracks compromise the structural integrity of the paving material. The distressed surface allows water to infiltrate and damage the base below the pavement. This ultimately leads to structural failures and require heavy repairs.

When the cracks are less than a quarter of an inch wide, seal coating can be used to fill them up. The preferred sealant used is an elastomeric material that can contract and expand at the same rate as the paving material. The crack should be suitably prepared in order that the sealant should adhere to the surface properly. Cracks that are narrower than 1/4th inch should be routed. Any vegetation, debris and other dirt is removed to prepare the surface.

Crack sealing of highways and other busy traffic areas can be performed by fully automated equipment. In less busy areas, manual operators can provide a satisfactory application of seal coating. Worcester, MA residents can approach local contractors in the area for pavement maintenance.


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