Maintaining your sealcoating is one of the nicest things you can do for your asphalt pavement. Sealants can double the pavement’s life, and as an added bonus, they can drastically improve its appearance. Many customers are aware of the protective properties that sealcoating provides, so they want to make sure that their pavements are fully protected before the first snowflake falls. However, as soon as the leaves begin to change color every year, most contractors receive a flurry of frantic calls from customers who were unable to have their pavements sealcoated before the end of summer. They all want to know whether it is still possible to have sealcoating applied so late in the year. The good news is that it may be possible.
Why End-Season Sealcoating Can Be Problematic – The Reasons
Sealcoating professionals always need to exercise caution when deciding whether conditions are suitable for a job to be successful. However, when sealcoating at times outside the peak season, they must be especially careful.
• Sealcoating goes on as a liquid, so it must have time to dry completely. The UV radiation from the sun speeds up drying, so the more hours of direct sunlight the pavement receives, the shorter the drying time. Temperature also plays a role in drying time; the warmer it is, the faster the sealant will dry. In late autumn, cooler temperatures and fewer hours of daylight mean that the sealant will take longer to dry than it would during the summer months. Depending on the scope of the project and weather conditions, your area will likely need to be closed to traffic for at least one additional day if you are having a second coat applied.
• Because of the role that temperature plays in drying time, sealcoating manufacturers specify that their products should not be applied unless the temperature is at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit and will remain above that level until the sealant is completely dry. Both the ground and ambient temperatures must meet the minimum standard.
• Even a light rain can ruin a sealcoating job if the sealant is not completely dry. During the summer months, contractors often do not need to consider the possibility of rain for more than one day at a time. With most end-of-season sealcoating jobs stretching to two or more days, the contractor must consider the extended weather forecast — and hope that it proves to be accurate.
Should You Sealcoat After the Peak Season Ends?
Whether you should sealcoat in the late fall or early winter is a question best answered by a reliable contractor with extensive sealcoating experience. In some cases, it may be better to have cracks and potholes repaired, clean your pavement, ensure that storm drains are clear and wait until winter ends to have the sealcoating applied. However, the only way to be sure is to consult a reputable sealcoating professional who can evaluate current conditions as well as the scope of your project.
At Asphalt Pavement Solutions, we have been applying sealcoating since 1983. We have the experience to advise you on the feasibility of end-of-season sealcoating for your specific property. We also provide asphalt paving and repairs, pavement markings, inlet repair and many other services to customers throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. Our highly skilled crews deliver superior work at reasonable rates. To receive a free quote, submit the online form or call 1-800-559-SEAL or 1-856-461-1710.
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