Proper seal coating in the winter
A good driveway seal coating helps to protect the surface of your pavement from moisture and other damaging elements. Most people get their driveway treated in this way during the summer but may find that they have to do it in the winter at some point.
Unfortunately, seal coating a driveway in the winter is not a good idea and should be avoided whenever possible. However, individuals who have no other choice but to seal coat their driveways in the winter can do it—but only with high-quality professional help.
Winter is a poor time to apply seal coating
Though driveway seal coating can improve the strength of pavement and asphalt, you should try to avoid doing it in the winter whenever possible. Simply put, seal coating is just not suited for the unique challenges of winter. The cold temperatures, poor access to ultraviolet rays, and the excessive moisture caused by snow can trigger many issues that can complicate the application procedure in ways that decrease its effectiveness.
However, there are many instances in which a winter seal coating may be impossible to avoid. For example, an individual may start noticing small cracks on the surface of the driveway that need immediate seal coating to prevent further damage. Just as importantly, individuals may add a driveway to a home during the winter after saving up for it all summer and fall. In this scenario, you may have no choice but to lay your seal coat during the winter.
Whatever the reasons, there are times when a winter seal coating process is simply unavoidable. Anyone interested in this process, though, needs to understand what factors are necessary for keeping the seal coating process effective. Just as importantly, they will need to know how they can achieve the best result when pouring seal coating on a driveway in the winter.
Requirements for pouring seal coating
Seal coating is like any other type of sealing process in that it requires specific factors and elements to be perfectly aligned in order to work correctly. These factors are relatively easy to achieve during the summer but are much more difficult to get during the winter.
As a result, anybody who plans on driveway seal coating in the winter needs to understand these issues and take steps to address them. The following elements must be dealt with on a seal coating site to ensure that it doesn’t experience any complications:
- Temperature needs. A typical seal coating needs to be done when the temperature is at least 50 F or 10 C. Below this temperature, the seal coating may freeze or just not dry properly. Even worse, frozen seal coating may trigger issues on the surface of a driveway that complicate the effectiveness of the application.
- UV ray exposure. Good seal coating needs a high exposure to UV radiation to cure and settle on a driveway properly. Unfortunately, during the winter, the sun will be at such an angle that the ground will receive a minimum of UV radiation. Typically, the UV radiation will be appropriate for driveway seal coating in the winter after about 2 p.m.
- Snow problems. Winter weather often includes excessive snow, rain and ice that can really ruin a high-quality seal coating. Even minimal water exposure will cause seal coating to run, and if it snows during the process, the seal coating is likely to run off the side of the pavement. Unfortunately, this problem can be hard to predict in many snowy regions.
As you can see, these factors are greatly influenced by winter and could trigger severe problems with your seal coating. Does that mean that you can’t do this process at all? Not quite, as professionals fully understand how to minimize the impact of these issues and will work hard to provide you with the smooth, sealed surface that your driveway needs to stay strong.
How to seal coat in winter
If you have no choice but to seal coat a driveway in the winter, a professional will take various steps to make sure that you get the best possible results. The following steps are just one process that experts may take to seal coat your driveway during the winter. These professional will:
- Seal off the driveway. A professional will add a high-quality tent or sealing area over the driveway to keep it safe from outside elements. This tent will remain in place during the sealant process and provide a comfortable place for the workers to move.
- Increase the driveway’s temperature. Once the tent is put into place, the seal coating experts can increase the temperature around the driveway to the proper level. This step not only ensures that the seal coat stays strong but keeps the workers comfortable at the same time.
- UV ray application. Many seal coating professionals will bring high-quality UV lamps to their job site to provide a heavy dose of radiation to the surface of the driveway. These rays can also increase the temperature of the tent, if necessary, and improve the overall job quality.
- Hand application of sealant. To avoid any issues with seal coating in the winter, professionals typically apply the sealant by hand. This process takes a little longer than when using sprayers but avoids any problems and ensures that the coating is thick and appropriately dense on the surface of the driveway.
This process may vary depending on the asphalt professional. For example, some may use direct heat application to keep the driveway warm while others will use other techniques as needed. So make sure that you talk to a professional about this process before getting it done. An expert can assess the situation and ensure that everything goes smoothly and according to your needs.
Don’t hesitate to get professional help
As you can see, driveway seal coating in the winter requires a skilled hand and a full understanding of the application process. Trying to do this process on your own is only going to result in serious complications that can ruin the beauty of your driveway forever.
So please don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule an inspection and application appointment. Our professional seal coaters will work hard to ensure that your driveway is seal coated correctly during the winter. Even better, we can perform maintenance procedures on your driveway to ensure it stays strong in just about any type of weather situation.