Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do you perform residential paving or maintenance service?
A: No, we do not offer our services to the residential market any longer.
Q: Why should I seal my pavement?
A: The application of quality pavement sealer by an expert contractor will both extend the service life and reduce maintenance costs of asphalt pavements. Sealing protects pavements from the destructive effects of water, sunlight, oxidation, gasoline, motor oils and many other chemicals and solvents. In addition, it provides a distinctive new-looking surface that is skid resistant and easy to clean.
Q: How often should I seal my pavement?
A: In general, pavement should be sealed every 2 to 4 years. There are several factors that affect how quickly the coating wears off. Delaying spring clean-up of winter sand will wear the sealer off faster than normal. The amount of traffic that a pavement receives is another factor. The most important factor is the product used. There are different grade products; the better the product, the longer the job will last.
Q: When is the best time to seal my pavement?
A: On brand new pavement, a minimum of 30 days of curing must take place before applying sealer. As all sealer is temperature-sensitive, meaning the best time to apply the sealer is when temperatures are at least 50 degrees (F) and rising. In this area of the country, generally mid-May through mid-October is the sealcoating season.
Q: How many coats need to be applied?
A: Part of our initial pavement evaluation is to recommend the proper number of coats needed to effectively protect your pavement. Usually, a minimum of two coats is required for a job with average traffic. If we feel your lot gets more than average traffic, we will recommend a three-coat application in high traffic areas.
Q: How long do I need to stay off the newly sealed area?
A: We recommend keeping cars off the new sealer for 24 hours, or at the very least, overnight. The area is usually ready for pedestrian traffic within 1-2 hours of spraying of each coat, with shady areas often taking more time to dry depending on outside temperatures and wind conditions. We handle barricading the sealed areas from vehicle traffic.
Q: When is the best time to seal my parking lot?
A: All pavement sealer manufacturers recommend the application to take place under optimal conditions– when temperatures are expected to be at least 50 degrees (F) for 48 hours after application. Our typical sealing season starts in about late May and ends in early October. Nighttime sealing is not recommended. New asphalt should be allowed to cure for a minimum of 30 days prior to sealing.
Q: I’ve heard that my pavement shouldn’t be sealed. Does the pavement need to breathe?
A: Without protection, the elements of rain, sun and snow will penetrate, oxidize and deteriorate asphalt. When your pavement is new, it is flexible. That is one of the reasons asphalt is used in cold weather climates–it has the ability to flex when the ground freezes. Over time, an unprotected surface becomes more brittle due to the harmful effects of nature, and when it has lost its flexibility, it cracks. Once cracking begins, water can penetrate to the base, leading to wider deterioration of the pavement surface. Water penetration is the number one reason for pavement failure.
By properly sealing your pavement, you can significantly slow down the aging process, and at a fraction of the cost of re-paving.
Q: How can I protect my asphalt investment?
A: We recommend the application of a seal coat within six months to one year of installation of new asphalt. It is also recommended that a surface check for cracks be done annually. Any crack that is ¼-inch or wider in the pavement will allow moisture to penetrate to the subbase, therefore we recommend that these cracks be filled. The goal of a good pavement management plan (PMP) should be to keep the moisture from entering the asphalt pavement. Additionally, we recommend applying sealant every two- to-three years, depending on wear. This will help prevent deterioration of your pavement due to the sun’s rays, gasoline, traffic, and the weather elements.
Q: What causes sink holes near a catch basin?
A: Water penetrates the basin through gaps in the rings and erodes the stone subbase in the surrounding asphalt. Another cause may be that the stone base adjacent to the basin has settled and cannot support the surrounding asphalt.
Q: What is the procedure for maintaining my asphalt?
A: It is best to have maintenance done professionally. M & S Paving and Sealing offers Pavement Management Plans to stay on top of issues as they arise. While there are many do-it-yourself products are available, they are not up to the standards we use.
Q: When you inspect a parking lot, what are some of the conditions you look for?
A: Among the conditions we look for are:
- What kind of cracks are there? What is their density and location? How deep and wide are they?
- Are there potholes? How deep are they? How frequent are they?
- Are there upheavals or concave areas in the parking lot that indicate issues below the surface (as a result of how the parking lot was built originally)?
- Are there signs of inadequate or problematic drainage?
- What are the conditions of catch basins and surrounding areas?
- Are curbs in-tact?
- Are concrete areas like sidewalks free of cracks, flaking and broken surfaces?
- Are markings visible and meet current standards?
- Can the layout of the parking lot be improved to provide more or safer parking spots?
- Are there any structural issues around signs or light posts?
- Are there issues as a result of prior poor maintenance?
- Are any roots of trees undermining the surface?
- Are some areas more worn than others and need more intensive repair than the rest of the lot or driveway?
- Do handicapped-accessible spaces exist in the right ratio, and marked consistent with current regulations?