Asphalt pavement requires a great deal of maintenance to stay in tiptop shape and retain its structural integrity, functionality, and smooth appearance for as long as possible. Sealcoating is an important aspect of the maintenance process. But there are specific times of the year and climates during which seal coating is most effective. In Ontario, the window for commercial asphalt seal coating is fairly short. Most seal coating manufacturers recommend that property managers perform this type of asphalt maintenance in mild temperatures. Hence, the best time of year to do it is sometime between May and August when temperatures vary from mild to extremely hot.
Unfortunately, this also happens to be the peak working season for asphalt seal coating contractors. Since seal coating projects are scheduled based on availability during the spring and summer months, you may have to have it done on a hot day. This begs the question…
Is it Possible to Do Commercial Asphalt Sealcoating in Hot Weather?
The ideal temperature for seal coating during the summer in Ontario is somewhere between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius. Cooler temperatures present the best working conditions for seal coating contractors and allow the seal coat to properly penetrate the surface of the pavement and cure completely. For that reason, seal coating contractors tend to start their jobs early in the morning and end the workday as the sun is setting. Temperatures during these times of day are mild enough to allow for seal coating to be maximally effective.
However, that’s not to say that sealcoating can’t be done in extremely hot temperatures. Although it’s not ideal for the project or the contractors, sometimes there’s no getting around working in hot conditions. Sealcoating during peak sunshine and heat hours can be challenging for professional contractors, but it’s not entirely impossible. If they’re experienced enough, they should be able to work around and overcome these challenges by making a few simple modifications to their techniques and practices. Proper equipment maintenance is also very important.
How to Sealcoat Your Commercial Property in Hot Weather
Scorching heat isn’t an ideal working condition for anyone. But when the majority of your job requires you to work outside in the summer, sometimes you really don’t have a choice. Professional asphalt contractors are well aware of this and that’s why they always come prepared to deliver a job well done, regardless of temperature and weather conditions. Here are a few important tips for properly seal coating your commercial property in hot weather.
Apply Two Coats of Sealer
Flash curing is one of the biggest challenges commercial asphalt contractors face when applying sealcoat in extreme heat. Asphalt pavement tends to quickly absorb copious amounts of heat from the sun. This causes the first coat of sealer to dry too quickly—usually within seconds—on the surface before it has the chance to fully penetrate the pavement, rendering it practically useless.
When working in extreme heat conditions, it’s best to apply a light preliminary layer of sealcoat that acts like a primer to lower or stabilize the temperature of the asphalt and prepare it for the second layer, which should be a little thicker. Priming the pavement in this way ensures that there’s something for the second coat to adhere to and gives the surface a beautiful, smooth finish.
Fogging the Pavement
Another effective method of cooling down hot asphalt pavement before sealcoating is to spray it with a light mist of water. Asphalt contractors refer to this as fogging. To avoid creating puddles, make sure that the mist is evenly distributed in an extremely thin layer across the pavement. Larger properties may require multiple foggers working simultaneously to prevent the pavement from drying too quickly. For maximum efficacy, it’s important to move quickly from fogging to sealcoating.
The water will slightly thin out the sealcoat, making it slightly runny. This is a good thing because it allows the sealcoat to penetrate the surface of the asphalt and adhere to the binders within more easily.
Use a 50/50 Sealer to Water Ratio
Alternatively, you could also skip the fogging process altogether and just create a mixture that contains equal parts water and sealer. Diluting the sealer in this manner thins it out to the point where it can effectively penetrate several layers of asphalt pavement and adhere more easily to the existing subbase. However, you’ll still have to apply two layers of sealer. The first layer is the diluted one containing 50% water and 50% sealer.
The second layer should just be straight sealer on its own, omitting the water component. Due to its thickness, it won’t penetrate as deep as the diluted sealer mixture, but it’ll still establish a strong external barrier for your pavement once it’s fully cured.
This technique requires the use of two mixing tanks. Unfortunately, most contractors only use one tank onsite, which is why this technique isn’t as common as fogging.
What Are the Challenges of Commercial Asphalt Sealcoating in Extreme Heat?
Working in extreme heat presents a unique set of challenges that asphalt contractors must overcome in order to perform their jobs successfully. Some of those challenges pertain to their personal safety and well-being, while others have to do with the quality of the work itself.
Protection and Safety Measures
Heat exhaustion is a serious concern for asphalt contractors working during the summer under the grueling sun. To protect themselves from overexposure to harmful UV rays and dehydration, asphalt contractors should take the following precautions on particularly hot days:
- Wear eye protection
- Wear respirators
- Wear gloves
- Wear long-sleeve breathable work shirts and pants
- Stay hydrated throughout the day
Flash Surface Curing and Tracking Marks
Flash surface curing occurs when extremely hot temperatures cause the sealant to prematurely dry on the surface of the pavement without allowing it to properly penetrate to the subbase. This renders the application ineffective, and it has to be redone. Vehicles that drive on flash cured asphalt surfaces will inevitably leave behind tracking and steering marks because the sealant is only dry on the surface and still wet underneath.
Hire Professional Asphalt Pavement Contractors in the GTA to Sealcoat Your Commercial Property
Your search for a “commercial asphalt sealcoating contractor near me” ends here. Sure-Seal Pavement Maintenance Inc. has been one of the top go-to asphalt pavement maintenance companies in the GTA for over 25 years. We offer professional high-quality sealcoating services that are guaranteed to extend the lifecycle of your pavement for at least 20-30 years. Contact us today to learn about our seven-year warranty and get a free quote.