How to Prepare Your Parking Lot for Sealcoating

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Your asphalt parking lot is designed to survive decades, as long as it is properly maintained. Part of the proper maintenance is sealcoating, which is the process of sealing the asphalt with an asphalt epoxy designed to protect against weathering and damage.

Closure Scheduling

It takes about 24 hours for a seal-coated parking lot to cure to the point of being drivable again. Depending on the size of the lot and the amount of repair and preparation work that needs to be done, you can count on the parking lot is out of service for 24–48 hours. If there are long-term parkers in the lot, make sure they are all notified at least a week ahead that their vehicles must be moved or they will be towed.

If possible, plan this time for when your business is usually closed, such as on the weekend. If this isn't possible, you may need to arrange for temporary parking, such as with a nearby business, or it may make sense to seal coat the lot in two parts so it's only partially closed at any given time.

Damage Patching

Any existing damage on the lot needs to be repaired before you can seal coat anything. Potholes are the most obvious type of damage. These are cleaned out to remove any loose gravel or debris. A hot patch is then applied, which will bond with the asphalt surrounding the pothole. This is compacted and smoothed into place so that there is a level surface. The only hint of the patch should be a slight difference in asphalt coloration.

Small cracks may not need patching, but they must be cleaned out. Larger cracks are often first filled with a flexible foam rod, which allows for future expansion without crack reformation, and then patched like a pothole.

Lot Cleaning

The final step is to thoroughly clean the lot. Any debris on the lot will interfere with seal coating. Oil and fluid stains can also prevent the seal coat from properly adhering, so removal is best. A professional cleaning crew will use a pressure washer and the proper detergent for removing stains. After cleaning, the lot must dry thoroughly, as seal coating is not applied onto wet asphalt. This is why late spring or early summer is the ideal time to seal coat—sunny days and warm temperatures ensure a dry lot.

Contact a parking lot paving service for more help when it comes to sealcoating and maintaining your asphalt paving.

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