Can Sealcoating Take Place in the Winter?

Can Sealcoating Take Place in the Winter?High-quality, professionally applied asphalt seal coating can add many years to the useful life of an asphalt pavement. Asphalt sealants block the UV rays that can rob the pavement of the moisture that it needs to maintain its ability to bounce back from traffic, making it much more likely that cracks will develop. Sealants can also delay the progress of automotive fluids from the surface to the interior of the structure. In addition, asphalt sealing rejuvenates the pavement’s color, covers minor surface flaws, and enhances traction. Although you need to have your contractor apply a sealant every two years or so, it is best to schedule the job between the middle of March and the end of October. This does not mean that it will always be impossible to apply sealcoating at other times, but you should never assume that your asphalt pavement can be sealed in the winter.

What Is the Problem With Sealcoating in the Winter?

Up to 70% of a gallon of asphalt sealcoating is water, and this water must evaporate for the sealant to dry, cure, and form a tough protective shell. As you probably know, the temperature plays a major role in the evaporative process. Sealant manufacturers specify that temperatures should be at least 50 degrees and rising. If the temperature is below that point, the best that you can hope for is that it will take the sealant longer to dry. More than likely, it will never cure sufficiently to create the protective shell.

If the Temperature Is Exactly 50 Degrees, Can Sealcoating Be Applied?

Evaporation is affected by more than just the temperature, so there can be days on which the temperature needs to be higher than 50 degrees. One factor is the relative humidity, but humidity is rarely an issue when sealcoating Las Vegas parking lots. Wind speed is also a factor; a light wind can accelerate the rate of evaporation, but too much wind can make it difficult or impossible to apply the sealant evenly without having it blow onto structures, sidewalks, nearby vehicles, or landscaping. Exposure to direct sunlight speeds up evaporation, so the temperature needs to be above 50 degrees for Las Vegas sealcoating if it is a cloudy day. In addition, if rain falls before the sealant has fully cured, the job can be completely ruined. In a typical year, December, January, and February are the rainiest months in terms of both the number of days that it rains and the inches that fall.

If My Pavement Is Due for Fresh Sealant in the Winter, What Should I Do?

The best thing to do is to ask your asphalt maintenance contractor to recommend the correct action to take for your specific pavement. Your contractor may recommend that you just take care of your lot striping, crack and pothole repairs, and other parking lot maintenance now, postponing your asphalt sealing until springtime. Depending on the size of your parking lot, it may also be possible for your contractor to find a couple of days with suitable conditions for applying your sealcoat regardless of the season.

To Learn More, Contact Affordable Striping & Sealing

We are a locally owned, well-respected asphalt company offering the best in parking lot maintenance and repair. Our services include parking lot striping, asphalt sealcoating, pavement marking, asphalt crack repair, parking lot design, road markings, bumper blocks, traffic sign installation, and comprehensive parking lot maintenance programs. We are known for our honesty, customer service, professionalism, and quality. We would be happy to work up a free quote for you; simply fill out the online request form, call our office at 702-222-9009, or send an email to Estimating@AffordableStriping.com.