Sealcoating is one of the simplest and most effective ways of shielding an existing road base from having direct contact with moving traffic. This, in addition to serving as a cover against the damaging effects of moisture, usually serves to prolong the life of any given road.
But this is not all there is when it comes to sealcoating and its advantages. It turns out that adding a fresh coat to an aging road usually aids in not only increasing the tire grip of vehicles, and hence preventing skidding, but also boosting the anti-glare qualities of the road. This makes sealcoating a good way of increasing road safety.
However, one cannot enjoy all these advantages if the coating layer and the road base don't bond properly. Here are some of the things that can affect this process.
Cleaning a driveway before sealing it is a must if you want proper bonds to form between the fresh coat and the road surface. This is because any part of the road that is covered by leaves, sticks or lose gravel represents a lost bonding opportunity. What this means is that the coat ends up binding with the dirt or loose gravel instead of binding with the firm stable surface of the road. This usually leads to formation of areas of weaknesses, something that eventually accelerates the rate at which the sealcoat peels or cracks.
Simply taking the time to sweep, scrape, air brush or pressure wash the surface before starting the sealcoating process will therefore go a long way in helping to ensure durable sealcoating results.
When embarking on a sealcoating project, it is important to remember that the coating isn't designed to fix road surface defects. The coating only serves as a protective layer. How effective it is at protecting the road's surface usually relies heavily on the strength of the surface that it bonds with.
Since the strength of the coat - its ability not to crack, peel or flake – is dependent on the integrity of the surface on which it's applied, applying it on an already-cracked road will lead to premature cracking. This will prematurely expose the road surface to moisture and other external elements that the seal is supposed to protect it from. It will also cause the newly-sealed road to prematurely lose its anti-glare and anti-skid qualities.
Getting rid of surface defects by filling and sealing any cracks is therefore important before any seal coating can begin. And in cases where the surface has alligator cracks, it is important that you check for any structural defects of the base before beginning the sealcoating process.