Asphalt Sealcoating: Is An Aggregate Necessary?
Asphalt pavements in the Las Vegas area are subjected to a high level of ultraviolet radiation that can rob pavements of their dark color as well as their moisture. Asphalt sealcoating refreshes the color, helps stop the penetration of automotive fluids and helps prevent asphalt pavements from becoming dry and brittle. However, a great sealcoating job starts with a great mix, and a vital component of a great mix is an aggregate.
Asphalt Sealcoating: Is An Aggregate Necessary? What Are Aggregates?
Depending on whether the mix is for plaster, asphalt paving or concrete, aggregates are loose particulates such as pebbles or gravel. For sealant mixes, the commonly used aggregates are silica sand and boiler slag.
• Silica sand began as quartz, but the actions of wind and water have broken it into minute specks. Silica sand that is of high purity and having grains that are relatively uniform in size is often found in intertidal zones, wind-driven dunes or ocean beaches. These environments tend to concentrate the sand, making it easier to collect. Because the sand has been thoroughly washed, it is much cleaner and purer than sand found in other environments.
• Boiler slag is inert waste produced by plants that are powered by coal. Before it can be incorporated in a sealant mix, boiler slag must be crushed and cleaned. Due to its numerous uses and limited supply, boiler slag is typically more expensive than sand for sealcoating purposes.
The Benefits of Aggregates
Aggregates provide many benefits when they are chosen and used correctly in the preparation of the sealant mix.
• Traction: Aggregates make the sealcoating rougher. Improved traction helps reduce the likelihood of pedestrians slipping and falling on the pavement, but it also helps prevent tire slippage.
• Durability: Aggregates help the asphalt emulsion sealer bond tightly to the pavement. They also make the sealcoating tougher, reducing wear from normal traffic and extending the life of the sealant.
• Drying: Aggregates help regulate the drying of the liquid sealcoating. Since there is usually less water needed in the mix, evaporation can occur in a shorter period. However, aggregates help ensure that the sealant does not dry too quickly.
• Appearance: Aggregates provide better coverage of surface imperfections. The fine grains can settle in hairline cracks or other tiny flaws to give the surface an appearance that is smoother and more even.
Do All Contractors Add Aggregates?
Unfortunately, some sealcoating contractors lack the equipment needed to incorporate aggregates effectively. This is especially common among the gypsy contractors who change locations frequently. A quality sealcoating machine with a pump to keep the aggregates properly suspended throughout the mix can cost more than $20,000. To avoid this expense, some unscrupulous contractors will try to prepare a sealant mix in an old drum or barrel. However, without a pump to keep the mix agitated, the aggregates will sink to the bottom of the barrel, so there is really no reason to include them if they will never make it to the surface of the pavement.
For Sealcoating You Can Trust
Affordable Striping & Sealing is an asphalt company in Las Vegas and we specialize in sealcoating and other services for maintaining and repairing asphalt pavement. We have built an exemplary reputation by delivering outstanding work and superior customer service at affordable prices. Our services include crack repair, pavement striping, traffic signs, road markings, parking lot design, bumper blocks and asphalt maintenance. You can request a free quote by completing the online form or calling (702) 222-9009.