There is some confusion about seal coating vs. a well-run maintenance program. Seal coating will not make your old parking lot that has been neglected brand new; it will not correct cracking issues that originate from base course failure. It is meant for parking lots that still have life left in them. It will encapsulate your surface and give you a wearable surface, thus extending the life of your asphalt parking lot or street. The additional benefit is that it provides a fresh black new looking surface.
Many parking lots end up not having anything done to them and they deteriate beyond repair or being in a condition that is not feasible to seal coat. At DC Asphalt Services, Inc. we highly recommend getting your property or association on a maintenance program.
- First – assess what needs to be fixed. Examples are potholes, base course failures, tree root damage, & oil spots from leaking cars or garbage trucks.
- Second – After repairs are done – seal coat and re-stripe.
- Budget for a new seal coat and re-stripe anywhere from three (3) to five (5) years for the rest of its life. This number has a wide range due to the end use of the parking lot – if it is highly active with a lot of car and truck traffic like a shopping center the number is closer to three (3) years and if it is less active like a residential association, plan on stretching that number out to a later date.
- In between the years of seal coating – plan on setting aside a small budget to address asphalt issues that come up such as vehicles leaking oils or unforeseen damage. This simple, but always overlooked solution allows you to stay current on your property’s condition and can keep your costs down. In addition, this annual budget number is very small and can be pushed to subsequent years.
If you have your parking lot or property resurfaced by either asphalt re-construction (removed to base course and put back new) or an overlay (new surface on top of old surface) done – we highly recommend a maintenance program gets put in place.
- You will not need to seal coat for approximately six (6) months to one year later. The reason for this is because new asphalt has a lot of oils – binders –sealers when it is fresh. For example, when new asphalt is put down you will notice the “oil sheen” on it when it rains. The reason for the six (6) month to one year period is because your property may be in a rainy area such as Manoa that will wash out faster or you may be located in Waianae where there is significantly less rain.
- As time goes by – the oils & seal in the new asphalt begin to dissipate. Seal coating at this time is optimal. You have a clean, tight surface that the sealer will “grab” to. This begins the ideal seal coating scenario – you have new asphalt that is going to outlast its normal life expectancy. In fact, on this maintenance program it can more than double its life.
- After the initial seal coat – you then begin the three (3) to five (5) year seal coating cycle based upon the activity and weather your property experiences.
We always recommend this type of maintenance program for all of our clients. If you have any questions or need to get budgeting done for your association or project – please give us a call and we will gladly assist you in preparing a long term plan to get the most out of your asphalt surfaces.
Chris Laird is President & RME for DC Asphalt Services, Inc. He is co-owner of DC Asphalt Services, Inc. along with Dene Schnaible. The two of them, have over 30 years of combined experience in the Hawaii Asphalt Industry. DC Asphalt Services, Inc. is located in Campbell Industrial Park, but do work throughout the islands and specialize in everything involving asphalt and concrete. With a perfect safety record over the last five years and voted Best of Honolulu for the last 6 years – DC Asphalt Services, Inc. is always happy to provide proposals – ideas – budgeting figures for your project or association. They can be contacted at (808) 839-4500.