An important part of protecting your asphalt pavement is restoring its moisture and water-proof barrier with an application of sealcoating. Sealcoating is a liquid tar emulsion that is spread over the top of the asphalt, restoring its moisture and flexibility, and sealing in cracks. But before you can apply a sealcoat layer, here are some steps you need to take to prepare it for application:
Clean Off Fluid Spills
As you use your asphalt pavement for driving and parking your vehicles, it is common to expect some dripping of vehicle fluids, such as brake fluid, gas, and oil. Unfortunately, because these fluids are often petroleum-based, they will deteriorate the asphalt's emulsion binders, which hold the aggregate together to create a solid surface. As the fluids are left to remain on the asphalt, they eat away at the surface, softening it and causing pitting.
Clean any surface fluid spills by using an asphalt cleaner, which is formulated to remove greases and oils. Use a scrub brush, water, and the cleaner to remove the stain from the asphalt, then rinse it fully from the surface of your asphalt. If there are any fluids still wet upon the surface of your asphalt, sprinkle them with kitty litter to soak up any excess liquids before cleaning the surface with an asphalt cleaner.
Remove Fluid-Damaged Asphalt
Older fluid stains can result in a hole or crater forming within the asphalt's surface. These will require you to cut them from the surrounding asphalt, as the fluids will continue to degrade down through the asphalt until it reaches the soil beneath.
Cut the section of damage with a circular saw installed with a masonry blade, making the cut several inches around the visible damage. This ensures you don't miss any underlying damage that is not visible. Allowing any damage to remain in the asphalt will cause the deterioration to continue even after you have patched the area. Make sure you don't place any of the fluid-damaged asphalt onto a nearby undamaged surface, as the fluids can transfer onto the undamaged area and begin to cause damage. Dispose of the damaged asphalt into a trash bin.
Repair the Damage
Now you can fill the holes left behind after you have cut out the damaged asphalt. Fill them will hot mix asphalt, which you can order from a local asphalt company. Or you can use cold mix bagged asphalt, which is sold at most home improvement stores.
When filling your own holes, be sure to add the cold patch mixture in layers, compacting each layer as you go. Use a hand tamp or the end of a four-by-four post to compress the asphalt patch level.
Clean the Entire Surface
Before you apply the sealcoating application, use a pressure washer or a garden hose with a nozzle attachment to rinse clean the entire surface to remove dirt, debris, and other loose pieces. This will help the sealcoating layer adhere to the asphalt and ensure it lasts as long as possible to protect your asphalt from aging.
Contact a company like R Williams Paving LLC for more information and assistance.