Learning About Paving Contractor Services

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2 Different Varieties Of Seal Coat And Their Applications

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Seal coat is perhaps the single most effective way to extend the lifespan of an asphalt surface. Unfortunately, many people hesitate to utilize seal coat simply because they don't understand enough about it. If you are interested in learning more about protecting your asphalt, read on. This article will introduce two of the main varieties of seal coat and their potential applications.

The Basic Seal Coat Ingredients

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the principal ingredient in all seal coats is asphalt. This asphalt, however, has been diluted with water to form an asphalt emulsion. So-called surfactants are then added to stabilize the emulsion and prevent the oil and water from separating back out prematurely. Finally, a variety of different binding substances are added. Such agents may include latex, rubber, rejuvenators and polymers.

Fog Seal

Fog seal is one of the most simplified kinds of seal coat. It consists of an asphalt emulsion, a surfactant, and a rejuvenator. The surfactant used is generally a type of simple soap. Its purpose is to keep the asphalt emulsified until the water has begun to evaporate. The rejuvenator acts to soften up the surface of the pavement, thus promoting a better bond between seal coat and asphalt.

Fog seal is diluted to a consistency that is quite thin. This has two benefits. First, it allows the fog seal to be applied more efficiently and quickly through the use of a sprayer. Second, it keeps the fog seal from presenting a driving hazard. You see, the surfactant often makes the seal coat somewhat slippery. If it was too thick, it would negatively impact the traction of passing vehicles.

Fog seal is not considered an appropriate solution for all asphalt surfaces. It is generally applied only to those with a greater proportion of large sized aggregate. This allows the fog seal to penetrate deeper into the asphalt, rather than pooling up on the surface.

 Sand Seal

Sand seal is much like fog seal, at least in terms of the asphalt emulsion mixture used. Like fog seal, it is thin enough that it can be applied by a sprayer truck. Unlike fog seal, however, the installation process does not stop once the seal coat has been applied. Instead, a layer of sand of fine aggregate is then applied to the top of the seal coat and flattened using a steam roller.

The addition of sand to the surface of the seal coat has a number of distinct benefits. For one thing, it acts to fill in any small cracks that may be in the process of forming in the asphalt. It also acts to combat the traction-reducing properties of the seal coat. For that reason, sand seal is often the seal coat of choice when it comes to restoring a high-traffic asphalt roadway. 

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16 June 2016