frequently asked questions
Not all sealcoating is created equal
A sealcoat can go a long way towards protecting your investment in your pavement. In addition to looking cleaner, sealed pavement also stands up better to traffic and environmental wear-and-tear. However, not all sealcoats are created equally, and not all applications are done properly.
You can rest assured that Wyo Pavement Maintenance uses only the highest-quality sealcoats, and we follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure the longest-lasting black color for your job.
Most of the following Frequently Asked Questions are rare on sealcoat job sites, but it is important to understand what may cause a sealcoat to deteriorate early.
Q: Why do seacoast sometimes turn grey rather than staying a rich black color?
A: There are a few reasons this might happen. If the job was done in cold weather, the seal likely did not cure properly. Prolonged exposure to nearby irrigation can also cause fading. Sometimes the sealcoat itself is the problem — if it was not manufactured properly, is low on emulsion content, or is used with a light-colored aggregate, fading can occur. Similarly, diluting the sealcoat with too much water will result in a lighter color. Finally, an improperly cleaned surface prior to application will cause premature fading.
Q: What causes peeling or flaking from the surface?
A: Many of the same factors can cause flaking or peeling. Sealcoats should not be applied during periods with freezing overnight temperatures, and the surface must be properly cleaned prior to sealing. If the pavement was previously sealed with coal tar or contaminated with car was soap, wax solutions, fertilizer, salt, deicer or other chemicals, the seal will not adhere properly. Lastly, too many prior sealcoats will cause new applications to flake or peel.
Q: What causes white spots to appear on a new sealcoat?
A: If the dilution water added to a sealcoat has a high mineral content, or if nearby irrigation run-off is carrying fertilizer or minerals onto the pavement, spots can appear. They can also be the result of a clay component in the sealer that contains salt or other minerals.
Q: Why is the sealcoat wearing off the surface so quickly?
A: Water from nearby irrigation can be the culprit, but excessive traffic is another leading cause. This is especially true if the sealer is over-diluted during application, or if an inadequate quantity of aggregate is added to the sealcoat. Occasionally, an inadequate sealer application rate or an inadequate number of coats of sealer can shorten the life of the sealcoat.
Q: What causes cracking of the sealcoat?
A: Applying the sealcoat in extremely hot or cold weather causes cracking, as does improperly applying new sealcoat over an existing coat. Cracking can also occur if the sealcoat is too thick, doesn’t have enough fiber in the mix, or is applied over a coal tar sealcoat.
Q: Why can I see rock (aggregate) showing through a newly coated surface?
A: As one might expect, high points in pavement will wear first, and sealcoat does not adhere well to flat, smooth rocks. But other causes may be an inadequate quantity of sealer or an inadequate number of coats being applied to the pavement.
Q: Should I see tire scuffing or tearing of the sealcoat so soon after application?
A: This is actually a normal occurrence that may take up to 90 days to cease. Typically, traffic will iron out most tearing-related imperfections. However, scuffing can also be the result of an excessive use of power-steering on fresh sealer or heavy truck or equipment traffic. Sealer that is applied to fresh skin patches with excessive tack oil present on the pavement may also cause scuffing.
Q: I’ve noticed tracking of the sealcoat.
A: This is normal in the first few days after application, and it generally ceases. However, if traffic is allowed on the sealcoat too early, or the weather is excessively hot, it can increase the amount of tracking. Other causes may be that the sealcoat is not diluted properly, hasn’t fully cured, or contains high emulsion and/or carbon black content.
Q: Why isn’t the color of the sealcoat uniform?
A: The problem may lie with the sealcoat, such as if it is not adequately mixed after adding water and/or aggregate, if it is not diluted properly, or if it has not yet fully cured. Occasionally, the problem may stem from the application, particularly if the application squeegee is moved in multiple directions.
Q: Is there anything I can do to eliminate oil spots prior to applying a new sealcoat?
A: This depends on the amount of spotting. If there are only a few spots that are barely showing, a sealcoat can be applied without primer. If the pavement is starting to become saturated with motor oil but isn’t soft yet, the spot can be cleaned with a degreaser and then covered with a latex oil sealer before applying the sealcoat. If the pavement is soft and completely saturated with motor oil, the only long-term solution is to remove the deteriorated pavement and replace it with new asphalt.