Top reasons to do road sealing
Despite their superior adhesive and waterproofing qualities, bitumen and asphalt pavements have some significant flaws related to their chemical composition. The asphalt in the pavement loses much of its original qualities, including binding and waterproofing, when its molecules break down.
Proper pavement maintenance is essential in maximising the lifespan of bitumen and asphalt pavement. A comprehensive pavement maintenance program can include sweeping, line stripping, pothole repairs, crack fillings, and surface applications such as road sealing.
What is Road Sealing?
Road sealing refers to putting a protective coating on asphalt- and bitumen-based pavements. This protective layer protects against the elements, including water, oils, and sunlight. It is performed in car parks, driveways, roads, and sporting centres.
Since they are exposed to natural elements and subjected to constant shock and pressure from vehicles, bitumen and asphalt pavements suffer wear and tear. It can lead to the pavement breaking down; if nothing is done, the damage can be too costly to repair.
What are the Common Bitumen and Asphalt Pavement Issues?
Here are some common bitumen and asphalt pavement problems that property owners must look out for:
- Alligator Cracks
- Slippage Cracks
- Edge Cracking
How Road Sealing Reduces Risks of Pavement Damage and Repairs
So, how can road sealing help prevent the need for costly pavement repairs? Here are ways road sealing helps reduce the likelihood of needing expensive road damage and repairs.
Road sealing adds a protective layer over the pavement.
As mentioned above, road sealing is the process of adding a protective layer over the pavement. This protection helps reduce the risk of damages that may need expensive repairs.
The protective layer reduces the damage to the asphalt, absorbing most of the wear and tear. It prevents bitumen and asphalt pavements from cracking due to constant pressure.
It also protects the pavement from the harsh rays of the sun. Constant UV exposure can hasten the pavement deterioration, making road sealing a must for exposed asphalt.
Road sealing hides road imperfections.
With daily use and exposure to the harsh environment, bitumen and asphalt pavements will develop holes and cracks. If not remedied immediately, these problems can become more serious and expensive to correct.
Once these holes and cracks are filled, road sealing provides a uniform coat over the pavement, effectively hiding the imperfections. This is beneficial for driveways in residential and commercial properties. The driveway is one of the first parts of a property that visitors and customers will see. Filled cracks and holes can look unattractive and can be detrimental to the business image. Sealing the pavement can make it look new, giving the business or the facility a positive image or curb appeal.
Road sealing protects the pavement from moisture damage.
Moisture is damaging to the pavement. While bitumen and asphalt are generally waterproof, they aren’t immune to moisture damage.
Bitumen and asphalt pavements are known to be durable. However, moisture damage can affect and reduce their durability. Moisture affects the adhesion between the bitumen aggregates and the cohesion in its membrane. Moisture also weakens the adhesion of asphalt and aggregates. The loss of bonding between the bitumen, asphalt, and aggregates reduces the life span of the pavement.
Another problem with water infiltration is that water expands and contracts with changing temperatures. This can lead to cracks and deterioration from the inner levels of the pavement.
Applying a sealant over bitumen and asphalt pavements protects them from water infiltration and moisture damage.
Road sealing protects the pavement from gasoline and engine oil spills.
Gasoline or motor oil leaking from the vehicle’s engine happens. As they seep deeper into the pavement, they affect the asphalt binder. They soften the pavement, making it more vulnerable to damage. A softened pavement is weak. Car tyres can easily strip away asphalt aggregates if not remedied immediately. It can lead to ravelling, resulting in unsightly pits and potholes.
Ravelling also makes the pavement more vulnerable to water and subsequent moisture damage.
Sealcoats can help slow down the penetration process of gasoline and oils and prevent asphalt softening.
The sealed pavement is easier to maintain and clean.
Road sealing can cover minor gaps when applied to an asphalt surface. It results in a considerably smoother and more level surface, which makes it much simpler to maintain year-round. Sweeping a sealed pavement requires less effort. Cleaning away oil spills on a sealed pavement using water is also easier.
Property owners also do not need to worry about how power washing can affect their pavements. Proper road sealing protects the pavement from high volumes of water and even detergents. They can clean their pavements through power washing, making them look clean and fresh.
Since the pavement is easily cleaned and maintained, it will always be in its best form and shape, reducing the risks of damage.
The sealed pavement has a longer lifespan.
The sealed and well-maintained bitumen and asphalt pavement will have a longer lifespan, serving its purpose for many years. It saves the property owner money from having to replace the existing driveway and construct a new one.
Road sealing increases the cost-effectiveness of the driveway. Doing it every two to three years on an asphalt driveway increases its lifespan by an average of 20 years.
The Drawbacks of Road Sealing
While road sealing brings many benefits, here are some of the cons of this process of road maintenance.
Road sealing is not possible on fresh asphalt.
A pavement can only be sealed once it is cured. That means three to six months after it is laid.
The pavement needs to be repaired first.
Cracks and holes must be fixed first before road sealing.
A sealed pavement still needs maintenance.
A seal coat can last for two to three years, so it is vital to consider it as part of the maintenance budget of the property.