Asphalt Sealcoating & Windy Conditions
Periodic applications of asphalt sealcoating can help prevent asphalt pavement from deteriorating prematurely, enhance the pavement’s appearance and prevent many costly repairs. However, there are days that are simply not conducive to applying sealants. Most people understand that sealcoating cannot be applied while it is raining, and they typically understand that it can be too cold for sealcoating. Fewer people understand why credible contractors do not want to apply sealcoating on a very windy day. There are two reasons for this: the way that sealants cure and the impact that high winds can have on the quality of the work.
Asphalt Sealcoating & Windy Conditions – Understanding How Sealants Cure
For sealcoating to cure, the water contained in the sealant must evaporate. The evaporation process is linked to temperature and humidity; evaporation rates increase as temperatures rise and humidity levels fall. Las Vegas does not typically experience high humidity levels, the temperatures are often conducive to sealcoating and the abundant sunshine helps expedite the curing process. However, evaporation can be slowed or halted unless there is a light wind to move the evaporated water molecules away from the surface so that additional molecules can escape from the sealant.
Since wind is important to the curing process, you may be wondering how it could ever be too windy to apply sealcoating. The simple answer is that the outermost layer of sealcoating will complete the evaporation process too quickly, leaving liquid sealant trapped beneath a hard crust. This will typically result in cracks in the sealant’s surface and a shorter life for the sealcoating.
Effects of Strong Winds on Job Quality
In addition to surface cracking, strong winds can affect the quality of the contractor’s work in other ways.
• The wind can blow the sealant as it leaves the sprayer, resulting in areas that receive a coat that is too thin to provide proper protection as well as areas that receive a coat that is too thick to cure properly. In addition, the fan pattern can be distorted by the wind, resulting in streaks that make the pavement less attractive.
• Liquid sealcoating can be blown onto passing cars, parked vehicles, nearby buildings, fences, landscaped areas, sidewalks, painted curbs, signs and other items. Once dry, the sealant may prove difficult or impossible to remove without causing additional damage.
• Edging around the perimeter of the pavement becomes more difficult. Normally, if there is a brisk wind, sealcoating is applied around the edges with a squeegee or brush to ensure that the spray is kept away from the adjacent areas. The higher the wind speed, the wider the perimeter edging must be. Even under ideal conditions, edging is time-consuming, but under windy conditions, it can account for a substantial amount of time. Furthermore, a high wind can make it more difficult for workers to judge whether they have applied too little or too much sealant around the perimeter.
• Blocker boards and sprayer shields can only do so much and can undermine efforts to protect areas that should not be sealed. For example, sealant can accumulate on blocker boards, and when it is time to move them, the sealant can drip onto the very surfaces that workers are attempting to protect.
If you need a quality sealcoating job, contact the Las Vegas experts at Affordable Striping & Sealing. We understand how — and when — to apply asphalt sealcoat the right way. We also offer asphalt crack repair, parking lot striping, pavement markings, road markings and the installation of bumper blocks and traffic signs. We deliver outstanding results and superior service at affordable prices. You can call 702-222-9009 or fill out the online form to request a free quote.