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All You Need To Know About Asphalt and Sealcoating

In Uncategorized on January 3, 2020 at 8:47 am

Hargrove SealcoatingIf you have an asphalt driveway or own a business or apartment community with a parking lot in Franklin, sealcoating is a service you can not afford to forgo. According to Hargrove Sealcoating, this simple and inexpensive maintenance task can save you thousands of dollars in repairs and replacement costs as well as enhancing the look of your exterior.

So what, exactly, is sealcoating? The Franklin-based company explains that this is the process of protecting asphalt pavement. It is done by applying a thick coat of coal tar or a resin-based mixture to the top of an existing asphalt structure. Its purpose is to form a protective coating for the driveway’s top layer. 

How asphalt is installed 

To better understand how sealcoating works, you should first know how an asphalt surface is laid onto the ground. Even though it is flush with the surrounding terrain, the black driveable area you see is supported by multiple layers. First, the natural subgrade is smoothed out. This is followed by adding a layer of thick granular material, usually compacted gravel 4-6 inches thick. Finally, the surface layer is poured on top. This is a mixture of aggregate (usually small gravel and sand) blended with crude oils and other filler materials. These layers are compacted and smoothed out by a rolling machine.

When to apply sealcoat

It is best to wait six months to one year before sealcoating a new surface. Because Franklin and the surrounding area get heavy rain and snow during the fall, it is usually advised to postpone until spring before sealcoating for the first time. This is because the emulsion, which seeps into the surface and strengthens the bond of the aggregate top layer, must have time to dry. Rain and ice wash away the binding agent, leaving the surface vulnerable to the elements. Sealcoating is recommended every two to three years after the initial application.

If you are unsure of the maintenance history of your asphalt surface, there are a few signs that it is time for attention. First, look at its condition. Small cracks, an uneven plane, and dull color (old asphalt turns grey when it needs to be sealcoated) are all good indications of neglect. If you are not comfortable assessing this on your own, and you live in Franklin, Spring Hill, Murfreesboro, Brentwood, or Nashville, Hargrove Sealcoating can help you make the determination and provide a quote.

Keep in mind, however, that sealcoating cannot be applied when temperatures are below 50° and when rain is on the horizon.

Before and after

There are things you can do to ensure the sealcoating process goes smoothly. Start by removing all vehicles, equipment, and toys from the driveway or parking lot. Because the surface must not be driven on for at least 24 hours, make other arrangements for these items, and park in another location. If you typically fertilize the grass, do not do this for at least seven days before your sealcoating crew arrives. Turn off your sprinkler system, even if it does not typically spray toward the asphalt. Do not clean the driveway or parking lot with water. Hargrove Sealcoating’s team will prep the surface. 

After the sealcoat is applied, do not mow or turn the sprinklers on until the next day.

Tips on choosing a sealcoating contractor

  • Avoid door-to-door solicitors. A reputable sealcoating contractor will not show up on your doorstep with a bucket of blacktop and a push-broom asking if you need your driveway resurfaced. (An exception to this is if they are already at your neighbor’s home.)
  • Check their rating and reputation. Look at your preferred company’s website for testimonials and check their rating with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Ask to see their license and insurance. Hargrove Sealcoating is fully licensed and insured for customer protection. Any business claiming that neither of these is necessary is not someone you want to do business with.
  • Request a written estimate and contract. While sealcoating in Franklin is affordable, make sure your contractor provides a written estimate that includes information on their warranty.

When applied correctly and at the right time, sealcoating every few years can double the life of your asphalt surface. The hundreds of dollars spent on this process can save thousands (possibly tens of thousands) in repairs and replacement costs associated with asphalt neglect.

For more information on sealcoating in Franklin, Nashville, Murfreesboro, Spring Hill, Brentwood, Thompson’s Station, and Lewisburg, visit HargroveSealcoating.com.