Topic: Parking Lot Maintenance

Mike Mitchell with Vance Brothers was the guest speaker for our October meeting. Mike is the Product Development Manager for Vance Brothers. His presentation was entitled, “Sealcoat for A to Z.” Mike started off his presentation talking about the “Enemies of Asphalt.” Those enemies include weather (water), sun (oxidizes the asphalt) and petrolium products (oils, gas, diesel, transmission fluid) and other chemicals. So why sealcoat? It protects asphalt from these elements. It increases the life of the pavement. Lastly, sealcoat is asthetically pleasing to the eye. It gives the appearance of new asphalt. Not only does sealcoat and preventive pavement maintenance increase the life of the pavement, it can save you quite a bit of money over time. An example Mike used was that the cost to repair a lot totaling 3000 square yards would cost $117,210.00. If that same lot received a protective seal coating every three years, the savings after 15 years would be $45,690.00. Pavement maintenance protects the natural characteristics of pavement and helps retain it’s integrity longer. The number one cause for asphalt failure is WATER intrusion into the subgrade. Preventive maintenance at the proper time will prevent premature failure and dramatically extend the life of the pavement by as much as 50%. So, what exactly is sealcoat? First of all, there are two kinds – coal tar and asphalt based. Seal coat is the combination of the following components – Tar, water, emulsifier, clays and other fillers and polymers. Coal tar compared to asphalt emulsion is tougher, has longer life, a funky smell, can burn skin, is fuel resistant, and is a by-product of coal. Asphalt emulsion has no smell, no burn, is very black, can be susceptible, is chemically modified and has no government regulations. Properly cleaning your lot starts with properly prepping your surface. A clean lot must be a priority. Properly cleaning your lot before sealing is vital. Sealer that is placed on a dirty lot, no matter how good, will fail prematurely. The sealer will adhere to the dirt and debris and will not be able to lock down to the asphalt. Always be sure to repair busted asphalt and seal any cracks. Be sure and remove any oil spots before they come back to haunt you. That means priming them right the first time. Always use the proper equipment with repairing asphalt. Whenever you are planning to do any work on your lot, be sure it is locked down like Fort Knox. People don’t care that you are working and will drive right at you and around you, even if work is being done on your lot.