When it comes to sealcoating your parking lot, it is highly recommended that you have a professional pavement company get the job done as it is labor-intensive and requires specialized tools. However, if you’re looking to sealcoat your parking lot yourself and want a general guideline on how to go about it, we’ve compiled the 6 main steps of the sealcoating process below.
What are the 6 Steps to effectively sealcoat your parking lot?
1. Block Off Your Parking Lot
The first step you should take in the sealcoating process is to block off your parking lot so that the space can be prepared for the sealant. You want to make sure that no pedestrians or vehicles can get into the area and that any perimeter sprinkler systems for grassy areas around your parking lot are turned off. To ensure that the sealant has enough time to dry, the area should be blocked off for a minimum of 24-48-hours.
2. Remove Dirt & Debris From the Parking Lot Surface
Once the parking lot is blocked off, the next step is to clean the entire parking lot surface. Remove all kinds of debris from the top layer of the asphalt, including rocks, dirt, mulch, wood chips, leaves, stems, and grass patches. You can do this with air blowers, brooms, and small-bristle brushes for harder to reach areas around curbs or in any present cracks.
3. Prime Your Parking Lot
If your parking lot has seen some chemical spills or oil spills in its lifetime, you’re going to want to prime these areas before applying the sealcoat. Otherwise, if you don’t, the sealant isn’t going to adhere to the asphalt if you place it directly onto a chemical or oil-spilled area.
4. Apply the Sealant and Let it Dry
Once your parking lot is primed, you can go ahead and apply the sealant to the parking lot surface. If your parking lot is an older asphalt that has a rockier or more porous aggregate mixture to it, you may need a minimum of two full applications of sealant to get a deep, protective coating. You can apply the second coat of sealant once the first no longer picks up on the bottom of your shoes.
The trick with application is timing it right with proper weather conditions. Ideally, you want to apply the sealcoat sealant when the pavement isn’t going to dip below 40ºF at night. The reason for this is that most sealant used for parking lots is water-based and is prone to freezing which can harm your asphalt. Beyond this, pay attention to shady areas of your parking lot, as these areas will dry at a much slower rate than sunny areas. You may want to alter when you seal your parking lot if it is partially or fully under shade.
5. Repaint the Parking Lot
After the parking lot has been sealed and is fully dry, you can go ahead with re-striping it.
6. Complete a Final Inspection
With all parking lot lines and pavement markings added to the asphalt, it’s time to do a final walkthrough to ensure that the parking lot has been sealed correctly. If it has been sealed and dried properly, you can go ahead and re-open it for use.
How Long Does It Take to Dry?
Before re-opening your parking lot, it is critical to make sure that your sealant is fully dry; but there is a big difference between the sealant being fully cured, dry to the touch, or even dry to traffic. This is because sealant goes through several stages of drying. To err on the side of caution, we recommend that you wait 48-72 hours before allowing vehicles back into the lot, as this will prevent the weight of a vehicle from picking up the sealant and creating tire tracks across the lot.
How Often Should You Sealcoat Your Parking Lot?
This depends a lot on the weather that you get in your area and whether your parking lot is heavily used or not. The recommendation for this is anywhere between 1-3 years when using a commercial-grade sealer. Now, if the parking lot is new asphalt, then it is important to wait between 6-months and 1-year before applying a sealcoat as the asphalt needs time to fully cure.
If you are a property manager, contractor, or business owner, contact us about our FREE annual parking lot walk thru and maintenance program. Once a year, we will send out one of our parking lot experts to discuss and address the needs of your parking lot. Our goal is to save you time and money by planning and budgeting for future needs. Contact us now to get started! You can give us a call today at (407) 618-9646 or fill out a contact form.