How To Prepare Your Parking Lot For Sealcoating
If you want to reseal the parking lot in front of your business or apartment building, you need to spend some time preparing. The following tips will help your sealing efforts go smoothly, and they will help you avoid issues with your sealant down the road.
1. Clean the Parking Lot
Before applying the sealant, you need to thoroughly clean the parking lot. Otherwise, you will end up putting the sealant over the dirt and debris that is on your parking lot. That will lock in dust, leaves, and potentially even paper garbage. More importantly, all of those objects will prevent the sealant from adhering tightly to the asphalt.
If you have a relatively small parking lot, you can clean it yourself. Use a large broom and then go over it with a pressure washer to move off all the debris. Alternatively, you can buy a push sweeper relatively inexpensively — this is essentially like a street sweeper that's the size of a lawn mower. For large parking lots, you may want to hire a professional to bring in a full-size street cleaning machine.
2. Pay Special Attention to Oily Spots
If you see any oil spots on the parking lot after you have swept and cleaned it, you should give those areas a bit of extra attention. Depending on the sealant you use, the oil may prevent adhesion, or an oily stain may rise through the sealant, making your new parking lot look stained.
To avoid that happening, apply an oil spot primer over the oil stains. Essentially, that primer seals this spot, and any sealant that you add over this area will bond to the oil spot primer.
3. Repair Cracks and Holes
Once the parking lot is clean, take a look over it to identify any damage. Fill large potholes with asphalt patching material, and use tar to cover tracks. Make sure all of these repairs are completely dry and well cured before you move onto the sealing.
4. Make Sure You Have Access to Clean Water and Measuring Cups
When you're done prepping your parking lot, it's time to gather the supplies you need to do the sealcoating. Most sealants require you to mix in water. Make sure that you have clean water. Any debris, oils, or other substances can affect the efficacy of your final result.
Also, make sure that you have something to measure the water with. If you don't have measuring cups and you accidentally add too much water, the mixture will be too thin. You will save money in the short term because you will be able to cover a larger area with less sealant. However, it will end up costing more in the long term because the sealant will wear out faster than it should, and you will have to repeat the sealcoating process sooner.
On the other hand, if you use too little water, the mixture will be thick and unwieldy, and you won't be able to spread it as evenly.
5. Obtain Sand
In addition to water, most sealants have to be mixed with sand. You can obtain bags of sand at most hardware stores or from a landscaping company. When mixed with your sealant, the sand helps to hide blemishes on the surface of your parking lot, and it provides traction.
6. Decide If You Want to Use Additives
Finally, you should think about whether or not you want to use additives in your mix. Additives tend to be rubber-latex products that improve the performance of the sealant. Additives help bind the sand to the rest of the sealant. They also help with curing the sealant and improving its resistance to heat while in use.
For more tips or ideas, call a company that does parking lot sealcoating and they can handle everything for you.