Sealcoating is an engineered product. While it is used extensively, it's important to understand the performance properties of sealcoating in order to use it effectively. There are four main components of sealcoating.
The binder is the most important part of a sealcoating composition. It plays a major role in preserving, protecting, and beautifying the asphalt pavement. The binder is also known as asphalt cement. It is created through a distillation process that uses certain crude oils. The binder needs to be preserved to prevent the deterioration of the asphalt surfaces. Various forces can degrade the binder, such as UV rays, rain, and chemicals.
Water is found in the sealcoating, and it makes sure that all of the ingredients remain dispersed. Water also makes it easier to handle and store sealcoating. However, once applied, the water evaporates, and the sealcoating protects the asphalt from water penetration. Sealcoating fills any voids in the asphalt and reduces exposure to oxygen and UV rays. Otherwise, water could cause damage to your asphalt through the freeze/thaw cycle.
Clay and Fillers
Clay and fillers change the properties of sealcoating. In particular, it changes the hardness, abrasion resistance, and tensile strength. It's important that there is a balance between the toughness and flexibility of the sealcoating. The mix design for your sealcoating must be altered depending on the conditions that your asphalt is placed under. The sealcoatings originally come in a concentrated form and can later be mixed with sand, aggregate, and optional additives.
Specialty chemicals are added to the sealcoating to provide it with special functions. This includes better water repellency, more flexibility, and resistance to whatever hazards are found in the environment, such as salts.
For the additives to be effective, the sealcoating must be applied above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, the particles won't soften, and the sealcoating won't form a continuous film. You will know it is too cold when the sealer is grey and blotchy. The ingredients will not fuse together properly because the binder particles can't flow and cover the filler and clay particles. However, if you apply an additive that causes the sealer to dry faster, you might be able to avoid these problems.
Because of the complexity that is involved in sealcoating, it is important to hire sealcoating services to apply this product to your asphalt. That way, your asphalt property will last much longer.